With the awarding of the Stanley Cup last night, after a two night delay due to the Pens' heroics in game five, the offseason can officially begin in Ottawa.
Unlike some teams (teams that rhyme with Boronto Fable Chiefs), generally it is considered respectful to wait until the Stanley Cup Final is over to start making moves and headlines, so as to not distract from the teams that deserve attention.
But I digress.
One of the first orders of business will be to end the soap opera that is the Ray Emery saga once and for all.
The Sens now have a 48-hour window in which to buy out Emery for one third of his contract.
Favorable CBA conditions make doing so relatively painless, though the thought of giving Emery a $2.25 million check to go buy more monstrous SUVs, designer suits, and bling makes me a bit ill.
While I have no doubt that Emery will resurrect his career, it can't be in Ottawa; there's too much baggage.
In many ways a buy-out is exactly what Rayzor needs to get his game back on track—a wake up call. I just hope he does it somewhere in the western conference.
Next, the issue of a new coach will be the focus.
With the draft being in Ottawa this year, it is important that the Sens have all hands on deck for the event, meaning a coach needs to be in place before everyone's favorite demonic imp, Gary Bettman, takes the stage in Ottawa.
Brian Murray has confirmed that Craig Hartsburg, Bob Harley, and Peter DeBoer have already been interviewed and has suggested that he will interview one or two more candidates before narrowing down a short list for a second interview.
As accomplished as DeBoer is, I don't want to see a rookie head coach in Ottawa. This team needs experience, discipline, and accountability.
Hartsburg seems a bit too quiet for my liking. Hartley is highly overrated and won his Cup on a stacked Avalanche team (See: Michel Therien, 2008 Pittsburgh Penguins).
The guy that is getting some media buzz, and who I would like to see considered, is John Tortorella.
The Sens need someone who will breathe some life and some fire into them, someone who will call out their at times lazy stars and even sit them in the press box for a game or two.
Vinny Lecavalier once had a similar reputation as Jason Spezza—lazy, one- dimensional, uncommitted—so much so that the Bolts almost gave up on him in a trade that would have sent him to Ottawa for Radek Bonk (Yes, that Radek Bonk, the one who sucks). Unfortunately the trade was vetoed by ownership at the last minute (that one still hurts).
The Senators need some passion on the bench, and as much as I think Tortorella may be crazy, he's also a great coach.
Stay tuned for Part Two: The Draft and Free Agency...