It has been a fairly quiet off season for the Sens so far. There has been significant movement at the AHL level but for the NHL team, there hasn't really been a ton of action.
At some point this off season, Bryan Murray will have to address a seemingly crowded blueline. The organization has been pretty clear about wanting both Jared Cowen and David Rundblad to make the jump this year but there isn't really a ton of room at this point. Not saying that those spots will be handed to them but if they can have both have a strong training camp and preseason, it will be hard not to pencil them in.
After a dominant season in the WHL and an equally impressive debut at the AHL level, I really think Cowen is ready to take the next step. He was able to dominate physically during the Calder Cup playoffs and seems to be using his strength more and relying on his reach less. Not only do I expect him to make the team but he should be a key figure in the Sens PK next year.
Rundblad is a bit of a wild card. He dominated in Sweden last year, was named the leagues best defenceman and seems like he should be ready to make the jump. I think there's going to be a bit of an adjustment period as he gets used to the North American game but I would much rather see him do that in the NHL than in the AHL.
Right now there are eight guys under contract. I would expect the Sens to carry seven on a regular basis next season.
- Sergei Gonchar
- Filip Kuba
- Chris Phillips
- David Rundblad
- Erik Karlsson
- Brian Lee
- Matt Carkner
- Jared Cowen
Filip Kuba is a name that comes up often but moving him isn't going to be easy. Most teams have their blueline set and are unlikely to take on a guy that has regressed as much as Kuba has. Kuba has one year left on his deal and will earn $3,700,000 this season. Kuba takes plenty of heat from the fans in this city but I really think his struggles had a lot to do with missing training camp and the first part of the season.
If he can have a good off season and a strong training camp, I think there is a chance he can get his game turned around a little bit.
Matt Carkner and Brian Lee are other names that get tossed around but I think both of those guys have a role to play on this team. Lee was one of the most improved players down the stretch last year and Carkner can fill the role of 7th defenceman and enforcer when need be.
Up front things the names are pretty much settled but it's clear that Bryan Murray will have to do a little bit of tinkering on the blueline if they want to have Rundblad and Cowen both start at the NHL level.
- The big news from yesterday was the Sens announcing that the Ontario government is investing in a new on-ramp in Ottawa from Scotiabank Place to Highway 417 eastbound. This is great news for fans that take the bus to the game and should mean everyone gets home a little faster.
- After yesterday's surge, it's clear that there are a number of people that read but haven't yet signed up for an account. You can click here to sign up!
- I've received more than 30 submissions in the Search for the next SensChirp contributor. I'll be reading them over the weekend and will try to narrow the search down to five and feature one article each day next week. Thanks to everyone that has taken the time to send something in.