It's funny, the Sens got softer by ditching Carkner & Konopka (who they'll miss for faceoffs, too), and I think it was a terrible move. Now their only muscle is Neil. This might be fine during the regular season, but come playoffs the "New NHL" rules go out the window and it's no different than 1998. The grittier team wins in the playoffs. It's how the Ducks out-muscled the Sens in '07, and the B's out-muscled the Canucks in 2011.
I would also include Foligno as a player they lost that had some gritt. I don't know what Murray is thinking, Sens was one of my favorite team last year, they had an impressive mix of grit and skills and not only they were fun to watch but that mix helped them in the playoffs. I guess he didn't like that character or something.
I wouldn't really say they're soft. They're a young team so they just lack physical maturity right now. They're going to get pushed around on some nights, and that's to be expected, but they do have some older, tougher guys to balance out the roster a bit.
Surprised that Dallas hasn't come up, especially with Jamie Benn unsigned and Brenden Morrow possibly suffering a concussion.
Loui Eriksson-Derek Roy-Jaromir Jagr
Ray Whitney-Cody Eakin-Michael Ryder
Eric Nystrom-Vernon Fiddler-Reilly Smith
Colten Sceviour-Tom Wandell-Ryan Garbutt
Even if you sub AHL agitator/fighter Antoine Roussel in for Sceviour or Garbutt on the 4th, I don't see many players there, with the exception of maybe Nystrom, where you can go "That guy is definitely tougher than his counterpart on the Oilers". Eriksson doesn't play physical, nor does Ryder, nor Eakin. Derek Roy is one of the softest guys I've ever seen. Jagr and Whitney weren't physical players in their prime and are even less inclined now. Even when you toss Benn and Morrow back in there, it's not that huge of a difference.
lol What does a few vids of 1 player prove? Nothing. I could post the vid of Sedin getting ragdolled by Marchand and so that would prove the Canucks are soft.
Sedins aren't big hitters or enforcers by any stretch of the imagination but they're quietly very tough. They take a ton of beating, and continue to carry on and produce. Henrik Sedin hasn't missed a game since the last lockout and is 6 games behind Bouwmeester for the current NHL ironman streak.
They may not be "gritty" or traditionally tough, but they're far from soft.
I don't think their top-6 is too bad. They're not tough, but they all play the game pretty tenaciously and can take a hit. I think the issue isn't that they're soft, necessarily, but that the team in general lacks toughness. Eager and Hordichuk are non-factors, and Peckham is awful. Fistric is a great addition for them, and Sutton can play pretty nasty, so their D isn't too bad. They still have a lot of youth and their bottom six isn't really intimidating anybody. If they make the playoffs, I think they'd be wise to address that at the deadline.
I don't think I'd call them softest in the league, to answer the OP. Though, that said, I don't know who I would call that. They're not tough enough to win the cup, but they've got the skilled pieces in place and ready to develop. I hope Smyth sticks around long enough to see them win it.
They are kitten soft, but to be expected from a baby face group. Maybe just used to watching their team alone or something, but Taylor Hall is not tough in any way shape or form. He has the occasional spaz a la Bure, but he doesn't scare anyone. In fact, Oilers fans love to say Bure wasn't tough and he would have mopped the floor with Hall at the same age. He doesn't shy away from contact, which is all that really matters, but he doesn't scare any one in this league.
No one is shaking in their boots when you see you have the Oilers to play tonight, usually its an easy 2 points without much physicality. Sure, they may skate and dangle but you know you won't be physically punished for going into corners.