The Ottawa Senators made it to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2007. The Senators were a young and skilled core that included Andrej Meszaros, Mike Comrie, Mike Fisher, Antoine Vermette, Patrick Eaves and Ray Emery.
Now to the present
With Mike Fisher the only name that out of that list remaining.
A rebuild might be needed…
When people hear “rebuild” it means fire sale; we are not the Edmonton Oilers. We are still contenders; we need to change how we bring in new players. Our Captain is not getting younger and neither is Spezza, Fisher, Phillips and Kelly. With Bryan Murray signing players that are just hitting the downside of their careers (Gonchar, Kovalev and maybe Ruutu), one final piece of the puzzle is not good enough anymore. With past draft prospects no longer with us and our draft picks being traded off for that final piece is should no longer be the answer. With the salary cap being what it is, teams have more restrictions and have to be smarter when dealing with a salary cap.
Watching the past 4yrs of Stanley Cup Finals I noticed one trend that had stood out; all teams have built from within including Chicago, Pittsburg, Detroit and Anaheim. Each may have had a upside but they main reason was there core was drafted and trained with their organization. Here are some examples of players who are Stanley Cup winners and developed in each of their respective organizations.
Chicago: Brent Seabrook, Duncan Keith, Jonathan Toews and Dave Bolland
Anaheim Ducks: Andy Macdonald, Ryan Getzlaf, Samuel Pahlsson and Teemu Selanne
*note: All of these players have been with their teams for at least 3yrs
I understand that this may be a little shocking and some may say that I am crazy. The method of signing veterans and trading draft picks needs to end. Seeing someone like Kovalev and Gonchar being signed is nice but it also hurts how much these are guys are being paid at this stage of their careers. Plus we need to get younger and faster not older and wiser.
Now for the draft picks; A first round pick(including Dean McAmmond) was traded for Mike Comrie (UFA) and Chris Campoli (RFA). Both players I believe have not justified the use of a first round pick.
If Murray continues of the use of signing of stopgaps and trading picks; we will be in a hole and then a rebuild will be our only option.
Nobody wants to relieve the early 90’s editions of the Ottawa Senators. Well maybe the Leafs, but they are just jealous because we have actually been to Stanley Cup Final within the past 4 decades.