With Ottawa’s aging defense, look for the Senators to make a splash in the free agent market, especially with UFA’s Mike Commodore, Wade Redden, and Luke Richardson on the go.
In last season’s play-offs, it was quite evident that this aging defense couldn’t take the speed and punishment of a younger and quicker Penguins team and were bounced in four straight.
GM Murray will not have a shot at the likes of a Steven Stamkos on forward or top ranked defense men Drew Doughty and Zach Bogosian, so he’ll have no alternative to look at the Free Agent market to address the defensive situation or trade up.
Arguably the top three unrestricted free agent defense men are Jay Bouwmeester, Mike Green, and Andrei Meszaros. Andrei Meszaros’ future with the Ottawa Senators will depend greatly on the decision of one Wade Redden.
The only way I see it of Wade Redden staying on with Ottawa will be if the veteran blue liner agrees to stay on and take a major pay cut.
With Bryan Murray’s hiring of World Junior success story Craig Hartsburg in place, the emphasis can now be directed to the draft on Friday.
One option for Murray, if he can find a willing participant, would be to trade up in the draft order and get rid of the estranged Ray Emery. One would think, given Emery’s lifestyle and attitude, the Los Angeles area would be the perfect fit for Ray.
With the King’s lackluster performances in goal last season, I wouldn't be too quick ruling out L.A.’s interest in a goaltender like Ray Emery, and Ottawa’s interest in a top draft pick defense men could entice a deal from the Kings.
If Ottawa wants to reclaim Eastern supremacy like years past, they will have to make a huge change on Defense. Let’s see what happens Friday, and then we’ll worry about the dynamic duo of Heatley and Spezza.