All valid questions.
The Sens had a great draft yet again, nabbing Cody Ceci with the 15th selection in the first round. This was a move that needed to be made after the Rundblad-Turris trade as Ceci fits the bill as the dynamic blue-chip defensive prospect the Sens had been looking for.
Free Agency came and went with the Senators making a few moves to fill the vacancies left by guys like Matt Carkner, Zenon Konopka and Filip Kuba. Out with the old and in with the new. Guillaume Latendresses, Mike Lundin and Marc Methot were all brought in to bolster the Sens lineup in a few areas where they were lacking last season. Although they aren’t the flashiest names these three guys all help to fill some major spots on the Sens depth chart.
Guillaume Latendresse is a low risk signing that could prove to be a great move should he be able to stay healthy for a significant period of time. Latendresse has shown flashes of serious goal scoring ability and will have ample opportunity to put the puck in the net possibly playing alongside a great playmaker like Kyle Turris. Lundin is a solid bottom pairing defensive defenseman and could prove to be a great partner for Chris Phillips. Methot is a shutdown defenceman who will almost certainly be paired with Erik Karlsson next season.
I’ve heard a lot of talk that the Senators didn’t do enough to improve the team for the upcoming season and in many cases I tend to agree.
There was a lot of talk from the Senators brass about acquiring a legitimate top six forward who can score 25-30 goals. Latendresse definitely has the ability to score 20+ goals, but I’m not sure he is the impact player most were hoping for. However, there does seem to be a method to the Senators madness.
The team seems to be looking for cheap production rather than breaking the bank looking for a sure thing. Players like Mika Zibanejad, Jakob Silfverberg, Guillaume Latendresse and Peter Regin are most likely going to be in the Ottawa lineup next year.
They will be paid roughly $5.4 million dollars collectively (roughly one Bobby Ryan) coming into the season on entry level deals, or low ball salaries. All four have the ability to produce points at a high level and all of them are looking to prove something.
Personally I think this is a great approach for a team who is pretty unsure about how competitive it truly is. I think most people will agree that Ottawa had an above average season last year where nearly everything went perfectly for them and most players had career years.
The team is undoubtedly looking to improve upon last season and while it would be very tempting for fans and front office staff alike to think that this is the new norm, I’m not sure we can hang our hats on the fact that 1 year into our rebuild we made the playoffs.
Bryan Murray and his team seem to be taking a refreshingly realistic approach to this upcoming season. Inserting cheap production into a lineup that already score the 4th most goals the previous season while shoring up the defensive side of the team with guys like Marc Methot, Mike Lundin and possibly Mark Borowiecki is an excellent strategy for a team trying to figure out who it truly is.
As always, let me know what you think in the comments section, or send me a tweet @TomSENS