The Ottawa Senators have been not only an Eastern Conference powerhouse but a President’s Trophy threat every season for the past three years. But what has happened to them this year? Is it Wade Redden going to the Big Apple? No. Ray Emery playing overseas? Nope, the answer it much more simple than that.
Things have simply gotten stale in the Sens dressing room. Players who normally thrive on each other are no longer working as well together and when this happens the team comes out flat and plays with out heart.
How would I fix this problem? I would be rid of one of the big three: either Spezza, Heatley, or Alfredsson. But how would you choose which one has to go. It’s almost like choosing which child you love the most.
Let’s go through the players one by one:
Daniel Alfredsson (36)
The team captain and the heart of the team. Also a career Senator he hold many team records, games played, goals, assists, and total points. He plays a sounds two way game and at his age still has explosive speed and a laser of a wrist shot that is accurate as soon as he skates over the blue line, not to mention he is also one the best passers in the game.
Alfredsson is to Ottawa, as Yzerman is to Detroit. Also it doesn’t hurt that the captain is only a 4.3 million dollar hit on the cap. Alfredsson is not going anywhere.
Danny Heatley (27)
Since leaving Atlanta, Danny Heatley has gone from good to great, nothing seems to slow this man down from torn ligaments to a broken jaw, and with every passing game it seems that Heatley just keeps getting better. This leads me to believe that Heatley must be some sort of a hockey robot. It seems no matter where he plays or who he plays with Heatley is an unstoppable force.
Also Heatley is a player to build around cause no matter who you put around him he will make those players better. The only down side I can see to Heatley is that he is a 7.5 million a season hit on the salary cap.
Jason Spezza (25)
Drafted second overall in 2001, it took Spezza a couple years to get a full-time NHL gig many said he was not ready to play the bigger faster brand of hockey. However when he was finally given the chance to suit up for the Senators in full-time in 2003-04 he has made every hockey analyst that doubted him and his abilities eat their words.
Spezza can put the puck in the net almost at will however it seems that he would rather pass the puck and see a teammate score that take one for himself. He is a selfless hockey player and will be a great set up man and a great leader for years to come.
Who is the odd man out on the “pizza” line? You are the judge, but one thing is for sure and that is one of these guys has to go for the team to move forward.