Eastern Conference Preview: Ottawa Senators
As we continue our 2014-15 season previews, we’ve already looked at the Buffalo Sabres and Florida Panthers. Now, let’s look at the Ottawa Senators.
With a couple veteran leaders now gone, the Sens will look to their young leaders to step up again this season. But a summer filled with questionable moves may lead to trade winds blowing through Ottawa all season.
Additions: Alex Chiasson, David Legwand
Subtractions: Jason Spezza, Ales Hemsky, Stephane Da Costa
Propects to Watch: Curtis Lazar, Mark Stone, Derek Grant, Mark Borowiecki
- Goals: Kyle Turris – 26
- Assists: Erik Karlsson – 54
- Points: Karlsson – 74
- PIM: Chris Neil – 211
- Power Play Points: Karlsson – 31
- Time On Ice per Game: Karlsson – 27:04
- 5 on 5 iCORSI: Karlsson – 412
This will be an interesting season for the Sens.
This summer, they traded away Spezza and let Hemsky walk as a free agent; both ended up in Dallas.
Now, the front office finds itself at a negotiating impasse with defenseman Marc Methot. As The Fourth Period noted on Friday, Sens GM Bryan Murray told TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie he would rather trade Methot than let him walk as an unrestricted free agent next summer.
Murray has also put negotiations with star forward Bobby Ryan on hold, according to TFP. If one/both of those players decides to they’d rather play elsewhere, the Sens could be looking at two significant trade pieces in play early this season.
Also keep an eye on the situation in net in Ottawa. It appeared that 23-year-old Robin Lehner was one season away from taking over between the pipes when 33-year-old Craig Anderson’s contract expired, but Ottawa gave Anderson a three-year extension late this summer. Lehner, who has three years left on his deal, might want out as well.
Thankfully for Sens fans, two players they won’t have to worry about negotiating with for some time were their leaders last year. Turris, 25, has four years left on a remarkably modest contract ($3.5M cap hit), while Karlsson, 24, has five years left on his deal ($6.5M cap hit).
Chiasson, the key player brought back from Dallas in the Spezza trade, will turn 25 on Oct. 1 and posted 35 points with the Stars last year. The Sens will look for him to take on a bigger role in Ottawa this season.
Prediction: 80 points
The Sens might be close to an implosion if they can’t get deals worked out with Methot and Ryan. If/How they solve those issues will determine how the next few years play out in Ottawa.
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