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The team next year

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Old
02-11-2009, 02:37 PM
  #1
Calvin123
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The team next year

As we approach the trade dead line we'll have more and more discussion on who should be traded. I find in any of these discussions it's useful to have a vision of what the team will look like next year and where each player fits. This helps see where we have holes, and redundancies.

I predicted this would be a rebuilding year, and while I certainly thought we would do better than we did, from a personnel perspective I think the right moves have been made. I'm actually pretty optimistic that we will be towards the top of the east next year.

That being said - here is what I realistically expect the team to look like next year. I base this on:

1) Our big names aren't going anywhere. If for no other reason that there is no way we will get a good enough return to replace them.
2) For better or worse, Elliott is going to be our goalie. The only reason to replace him would be with a truly elite goalie. However we don't have the cap space or trade assists to bring in an elite goaltender without leaving huge holes in our line up. (I actually think Elliott will provide us the best goaltending we've seen in Ottawa since Hasek).
3) We need to bring in some new blood, and some young blood, but we do need to keep a core. The goal should be a balance of vets, experience and rookies.

Here's my team it's not perfect, but I think it's realistic. When I have more time I'll update it with salary info to make sure it fits under the cap - but I think it does.

Alfie-Spezza-Heatley
Vermette-UFA-Fisher
Foligno-Regin-Winchester
Ruutu-Donavan-Bass
Veteran UFA

Volchenkov - UFA PMD
Lee - Phillips
Smith-Picard
Schubert/Veteran UFA

Elliott
Auld

In a perfect world I'd like to see Smith gone and replace with some speed, but given his contract I don't think that will happen. I'm sorry to lose Kelly and Neil - but I don't think we have a role for them anymore at their price.

What do you think things will look like?

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02-11-2009, 03:20 PM
  #2
Marble
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I think this is a very rational and well thought out post. There are plenty of people around here who are totally convinced we're going to trade the whole team and end up better.

That being said, you do have 3 UFA holes and I don't think we're going to be getting rid of Kelly since his contract shows us how much Murray loves him.


Heatley-Spezza-Alfredsson
Vermette-Fisher-Foligno
Regin-UFA-Neil
Ruutu-Donovan-Winchester
Veteran UFA

Volchenkov - Lee
UFA - Phillips
Smith-Picard
Veteran UFA

Elliott
Auld


I don't see Cody Bass making this team, nor do I honestly see too many changes being made (though I do hope for it). I don't really see how we can get a top 2 defender either, so I hope for a top 4 defender.

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02-11-2009, 03:32 PM
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Karl Cowensson
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If Murray sticks to a 50 million cap and goes aggressively for a PMD the team will have to find secondary scoring from within.

Heatley-Spezza-Alfredsson
Foligno-Vermette-Fisher
Zubov-Regin-Shannon
Ruutu-Bass-Winchester
Donovan/Shubert

Phillips - Lee
Volchenkov - UFA PMD
M.Karlsson - Picard
Bell/Shubert

Elliott
Auld

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02-11-2009, 03:53 PM
  #4
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I think a few lateral move (skill wise) amongst the forwards need to happen to change the dynamics of the group. The group have slipped for too long and it's hard to imagine them climbing their way back to the top as a collective.

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02-11-2009, 05:06 PM
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I think you'll find a lot less need for a major shakeup under Clouston's system.

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02-11-2009, 05:10 PM
  #6
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Antoine Vermette - Jason Spezza - Dany Heatley
Nick Foligno - Mike Fisher - Daniel Alfredsson
Chris Kelly - Peter Regin - UFA
Jarkko Ruutu - Jesse Winchester - Chris Neil

UFA - Brian Lee
Chris Phillips - Anton Volchenkov
Jason Smith - Alexandre Picard

Brian Elliott
Alex Auld

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Old
02-11-2009, 05:15 PM
  #7
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I know it might be a tad early to say but I hope Shannon can consistently play the game he's been showing us so far because he can really skate. Since his second call-up, he's really impressed me with not only his speed but how he's been able to utilize it. He creates turnovers, he's had a few scoring chances and he generally looks pretty confident out there. If he stays up for the rest of the year and plays the way he's been playing lately, I wouldn't mind seeing him back next year.

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02-11-2009, 05:23 PM
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Like most, I would love to get Kelly's contract off the books, but I wonder if any team would have interest - and also if Murray can get over his man-crush on him enough to move him.

Heatley - Spezza - Alfredsson
Foligno - Fisher - Shannon*
Vermette - Regin - Zubov
Ruutu - Bass - Winchester

extra: Donovan

UFA/trade - Lee
Phillips - Volchenkov
Picard - J.Smith

extra: Bell***

Elliot**
Auld

*re-signed to 850K
** resigned to 1.2
*** resigned to 0.6

Total: 46.4 million. All the extra $$ goes to that one number one D-man.

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Old
02-11-2009, 05:23 PM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blarg View Post
I know it might be a tad early to say but I hope Shannon can consistently play the game he's been showing us so far because he can really skate. Since his second call-up, he's really impressed me with not only his speed but how he's been able to utilize it. He creates turnovers, he's had a few scoring chances and he generally looks pretty confident out there. If he stays up for the rest of the year and plays the way he's been playing lately, I wouldn't mind seeing him back next year.
100% agree. I really want to see him back. He's strong on the forecheck, speedy, creative, great backchecker. He might not have put up the numbers (yet), but I believe he can be very effective for us.

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02-11-2009, 05:29 PM
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Karl Cowensson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 504Heater View Post
Total: 46.4 million. All the extra $$ goes to that one number one D-man.
To get a real number one Dman you need to move Smith too. With a theoretical cap of 50 mil no way does Murray have the cap space to sign a true top pairing PMD. Might as well keep Kuba for 3.5 we'd have available.

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02-11-2009, 05:32 PM
  #11
The Mars Volchenkov
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With the forward group, I think you'll just see an influx of young players, like Regin and hopefully Zubov. I'm sure Bass will be on the team, but I could see him as the 13th forward. In net, likely the duo we've got right now. The defense, however, will be the one that is re-tooled, with Lee, Volchenkov, and Phillips being the only guys I see back for sure. I bet Picard will too, but I wouldn't be opposed to him being packaged for an upgrade.

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02-11-2009, 05:35 PM
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SpezDispenser
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kid Icarus View Post
To get a real number one Dman you need to move Smith too. With a theoretical cap of 50 mil no way does Murray have the cap space to sign a true top pairing PMD. Might as well keep Kuba for 3.5 we'd have available.
I would love that, but figured I was pushing my luck with Chris Kelly coming off the books. It would be great if Murray had the stones to make these two moves and re-tool the D completely.

I'd be open to moving Brian Lee in part of a package to get a PMD via trade. Same goes with Picard. I like the amount of $$ they make, but this D could easily be shaken up top to bottom (we wouldn't touch Volchenkov obviously).

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02-11-2009, 05:37 PM
  #13
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I agree we definitely need a legit number 1 dman more then anything.

Do you think 8 years and 7.5-8 per gets us jbo? i think he's the one player we desperately need

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02-11-2009, 05:38 PM
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Isn't it a bit too early to appoint Lee as a 1st pairing defenseman? Sure he has looked good so far this season but that's been for a mediocre team. I'm not sure if he can handle 1st pairing minutes on what's supposed to be a good team next season.

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02-11-2009, 05:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kid Icarus View Post
To get a real number one Dman you need to move Smith too. With a theoretical cap of 50 mil no way does Murray have the cap space to sign a true top pairing PMD. Might as well keep Kuba for 3.5 we'd have available.
Next year's cap won't drop to $50M. That number was thrown around to describe what the 10-11 cap could drop to. For next season, we have a lot money to throw around on defense.
A lot of money to throw around in one season = players over 35/injury prone players: Niedermayer, Zubov, Blake, Boucher, Spacek, Schneider, Aucoin, etc may be willing to sign for 1 year only and with Smith gone... we could pretty much sign any 2 of those guys.

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02-11-2009, 05:40 PM
  #16
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Originally Posted by SensTown View Post
I agree we definitely need a legit number 1 dman more then anything.

Do you think 8 years and 7.5-8 per gets us jbo? i think he's the one player we desperately need
I think that gets you J-Bo, I'm just not sure it gets you J-Bo here. I have a sinking feeling he's signing in Colorado or out West. You never know I guess.

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02-11-2009, 05:45 PM
  #17
Caeldan
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I seem to recall someone else taking inventory of our roster a bit earlier, but it might be time for an update soon with Clouston's system.

Forwards I'd expect to be around next season:
Heatley-Spezza-Alfredsson
?-Vermette-Fisher
?-Kelly-Winchester
?-?-Donovan

I've left a lot of question marks, because on the bottom half - I'm not sure who will stick in the big leagues out of Regin, Bass, Z.Smith, Zubov and potentially Shannon (he's an RFA this year).

I'd like to see us pick up a top 6 guy similar in style to Stillman to put on our second line, and for Fisher to convert to RW for that line.
I think Zubov could work with Kelly and Winchester, hopefully getting him some solid two-way experience and let him work forward similar to how Vermette's slowly working his way up the lines.
The 4th line will still likely have Donovan on it, and that's where Smith, Bass or Regin can fight out for spots - if we did move someone like say Kelly I'd like to see us bring McAmmond back as well.
Neil's the one that I'm not sure about how he fits - I'd like to see him back, but it depends on his price tag as I'd see him probably ending up on the 4th line next year. Yes, he can do more than fight - but he isn't quite ready for the 2nd line and I'd like to see better skaters on a 3rd line.
I realized I didn't include Ruutu in this ... I think he could be moved in a lateral deal, otherwise he's fighting it out on the 4th line.

Defense:
Phillips-Lee
Volchenkov-?
Picard-?
Smith

On defense, Phillips-Lee seems to be our newest attached at the hip pair. I'd like to see us pick up another guy who can skate to complement Volchenkov, and then assuming Picard continues his progression a Kuba-type (I've been an advocate of keeping Kuba if the price is right) to pair with him on the 3rd pair. We keep Smith around as the 7th D as we always have plenty of injuries especially with Volchenkov and Phillips it seems, and so it'd give us some decent depth without being too dependent on him. Yes he's being overpaid for that job, but that happens sometimes.

Goalie:
Elliot
Auld
?

Well, this is the biggest weakpoint next year. If Auld can be up to the form he was at the beginning of this season, and Elliot continues to progress and stay consistent - I think we should be able to play a system confidently in front of them. We have no depth behind them though, so I expect to see another consistent journeyman backup signed to a two-way to cover Bingo as well as cover us when injuries hit.
Elliot I see as an Osgood type goalie. Someone who consistently plays the same way every game, he's not going to pull games out of his butt for you but you at least know what to expect every night you go out there. Really, that's all we need out of a goalie and that's when we play our strongest - if we can get back to the systems where we get to be known as a club that inflates a goalies play like the Lalime days, it'd be nice again.

I think that lateral moves could work as well, that's actually what I expect at deadline day (similar to a Corvo/Eaves trade) more than straight out selling for draft picks.


Last edited by Caeldan: 02-11-2009 at 05:50 PM.
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Old
02-11-2009, 05:45 PM
  #18
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Good thread, and an excellently thought out post.Personally, I think we've gotta spend our money on defence, and allow guys like Zubov and Regin to fill out our top-6. I like lines something like this.

Zubov (0.85) - Spezza (7) - Alfie (5.4)
Heatley (7.5) - Regin (0.608) - Fisher (4.2)
Kelly (2.125) - Vermette (2.6725) - Winchester (0.55)
Foligno (0.85) - Z. Smith (0.583) - Ruutu (1.3)
Donovan (0.6)

That gives us a total of 34.2385 on forwards. I don't see a ton of turnover with the forward group, but I think it's important to inject youth and skill, which is why I included Regin, Zubov and Zack Smith (over Bass). One thing I wouldn't be surprised to see however, is Kelly being moved, and moving Foligno to that third line LW spot. I also think splitting up the big 3 is vital, and Regin/Zubov should be effective so long as they can be complementary players on their respective lines.

As for the defence:

UFA/Bouwmeester (6.5) - Volchenkov (2.5)
Phillips (3.5) - Lee (1.25)
Picard (0.8) - M. Karlsson (0.5?)

Some feel like the Bouwmeester cap hit may be modest, but from what I've heard, he's reportedly looking for a deal similar to Phaneuf's. That bottom pairing is a little weak, but if we're able to sign Bouwmeester, his 27 big minutes a game will take some pressure off them. Anyways, this comes to a total of 15.05 on defence.

In nets, I'd put a cost-effective tandem of Elliott - Auld, which I expect to be a cap hit of about 2-2.5.

The entire team's cap hit is 51.2885, which is a bit higher than the 50M projected cap in two years, but I think guys like Kelly and Vermette could be gone from our roster and give us some more space to play with. A number 1 defender that can play almost half the game would be an incredible addition to our core. I'd be somewhat worried about having so much money locked up on a few players, but Fisher's NMC changes to a limited NTC (I believe) in two years, when the cap is supposed to go down. I belive having a number 1 defender is pivotal to our future success, and if we need to make sacrifices at other positions to fit everything under the cap, that's something we should do.

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Old
02-11-2009, 05:46 PM
  #19
The Mars Volchenkov
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trentmccleary View Post
Next year's cap won't drop to $50M. That number was thrown around to describe what the 10-11 cap could drop to. For next season, we have a lot money to throw around on defense.
Next years cap won't, but Melnyk has told Murray he probably won't be able to spend that much more than 50M next year. This came out a while ago.

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02-11-2009, 05:48 PM
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Isn't it a bit too early to appoint Lee as a 1st pairing defenseman? Sure he has looked good so far this season but that's been for a mediocre team. I'm not sure if he can handle 1st pairing minutes on what's supposed to be a good team next season.
I think Phillips-Lee, Picard and friend, and then Volchenkov and a new partner would work well as defense by commitee. Have everyone average 16-23 min.

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02-11-2009, 05:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 504Heater View Post
I'd be open to moving Brian Lee in part of a package to get a PMD via trade. Same goes with Picard. I like the amount of $$ they make, but this D could easily be shaken up top to bottom (we wouldn't touch Volchenkov obviously).
Isn't trading Lee counter productive? I mean, if we want puck movers, we should keep him, right? He's cheap, he's young, and he'll get better. If we lose Kuba, and deal Lee for a puck mover, then how much better would we really be?

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02-11-2009, 05:50 PM
  #22
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Originally Posted by The Mars Volchenkov View Post
Next years cap won't, but Melnyk has told Murray he probably won't be able to spend that much more than 50M next year. This came out a while ago.
What?

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02-11-2009, 06:00 PM
  #23
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Barring a substantial trade

Heatley Spezza Alfie
Foligno Fisher Shannon
Kelly Vermette Zubov
Ruutu Bass/Z.Smith Winchester

UFA Volchenkov
Phillips Lee
Bell M.Karlsson

Elliott/AUld

Boring - just like the past 2 offseasons

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02-11-2009, 06:04 PM
  #24
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Originally Posted by Sens fan in Toronto View Post
Barring a substantial trade

Heatley Spezza Alfie
Foligno Fisher Shannon
Kelly Vermette Zubov
Ruutu Bass/Z.Smith Winchester

UFA Volchenkov
Phillips Lee
Bell M.Karlsson

Elliott/AUld

Boring - just like the past 2 offseasons
I think we'd see a move to improve that 3rd pair... that scares me more than our defense has this year. Bell's not a fulltime NHL Dman, and I don't know if we should really expect M.Karlsson to be ready for fulltime duty next season either.

On top of that, it'd require Bell being re-signed as this is a contract year for him, and I can't remember but he may be arbitration eligible (but don't quote me on that, I can't find anything to verify it at the moment).

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02-11-2009, 06:05 PM
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sens fan in Toronto View Post
Barring a substantial trade

Heatley Spezza Alfie
Foligno Fisher Shannon
Kelly Vermette Zubov
Ruutu Bass/Z.Smith Winchester

UFA Volchenkov
Phillips Lee
Bell M.Karlsson

Elliott/AUld

Boring - just like the past 2 offseasons
You're missing Picard and Smith, since no one knows if he'll be dealt. I don't think Bell will be brought back. At least, I hope not.

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