Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Guess who's coming to town

What the hell are the Senators going to do this off-season? Sure, they made big changes upstairs, but the small ones on the ice have only kept the team roughly equal to the one from last year. The one that didn't win the Stanley Cup. And since so many teams, especially in the Eastern Conference (Philly, New York Rangers), have improved. And if Scott Niedermayer decides to return to Anaheim, the team that beat Ottawa last season has also improved. Here are a few of the remaining free agents that are rumoured to be considering Ottawa, or would be a good idea:

1. Peter Forsberg: I think he's on top of 30 'most wanted' lists across the NHL, and Ottawa's no exception. It would be great to see him playing alongside Daniel Alfredsson, but Forsberg will play where he wants--and that might mean a return to Colorado or Philadelphia.

2. Danny Markov: The Sens are stacked on defence, but if Markov wanted to play in Ottawa (and, according to, he might) I think John Paddock would make room for him by moving Christoph Schubert back to forward, or trading one of the six. People have been saying Joe Corvo's on the block for a while, but I'd rather keep him.

3. Mike Johnson: All off-season I've been pleading with Bryan Murray to bring in Johnson (pictured above, hitting Buffalo's Brian Campbell). Apparently he's not reading this blog enough. The bottom line is that MJ would be inexpensive, and he plays a solid style to fill out our third- or fourth-line. Albeit less effective than Mike Fisher, he plays a similar style. The more Fishers we have, the better.

4. Jeff Friesen: Maybe it's a risk, but as a fourth-line veteran who's won the Cup, it might be worth it. He wouldn't cost much. Plus there's the bonus that we're taking a Senator killer (see 2003 Eastern Conference Finals) off the market.

5. Anson Carter: An interesting option. He's pretty inconsistent, it seems, but he had a hell of a year with the Sedins. He could add a scoring dimension to Ottawa's second or third line, so that if the big line takes a night off we're not screwed.

6. Adam Hall: I don't know what to say about Haller... his effectiveness is limited, and we've got Chris Neil as a more responsible pest on our team. Still, he might be alright as a depth/fourth-line move.

7. Patrick Marleau: Marleau is still the property of San Jose, but apparently they've been shopping him around. One of the potential suitors is Ottawa, but I don't see what they'd want from Ottawa. There is cap room in San Jose, so it's possible they'd take Martin Gerber to back up Evgeni Nabokov, but then Ottawa would have no backup (aside from unproven youngsters). Other than that, there's still Corvo, and possibly Patrick Eaves (who's name has once again, for some unknown reason, been mentioned in trades). An interesting possibility, but unlikely.

The problem with this whole scenario, though, is that Murray could be waiting to give some prospects a shot to crack the lineup. Look for centre Josh Hennessy and wingers Nick Foligno and Danny Bois to push for roster spots. If they fail to impress, then count on Murray dipping into the free-agent pool to fill out the Senators' lineup.
Blog Widget by LinkWithin