Musthafa Ebadi
Ottawa Senators will finish in Top 5 this year!
by Musthafa Ebadi on August 25th, 2011

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Ottawa Senators’ first preseason game starts today against their main arch rival and provisional foes the Toronto Maple Leafs!

Since my last blog on Ottawa Senators dates April 27th this year the Senators have made some off season changes and now should be a better team than they were four months ago.

Apart from the fact that the most sought bachelor in Ottawa a.k.a. Mike Fisher got married to singing sensation Carrie Underwood and the Senators were awarded 2012 NHL All Star game Ottawa Senators also made some changes and commitments to their 2009 – 2010 NHL roster.

The summer started with placing the former Rocket Richard Trophy winner
and one time 56 goal scorer Jonathan Cheechoo on waviers and then buying him and his $3 Million dollar yearly salary. On the draft day the Senators added David
Runblad in exchange for their first round pick. The next few days were equally
eventful for Ottawa as at 12:01PM on July 1st Ottawa let the league’s top shot
blocking defenseman Anton Volchenkov walkaway as a free agent, and within 30
minutes added the vetern offensive blue-liner Sergei Gonachar to a three-year,
$16.5 million deal.

The Senators also parted ways with D Andy Sutton, and F Matt Cullen but locked up their young talents of Nick Foligno, Jesse Winchester, Peter Regin, and Chris Campoli. In early August Ottawa also added David Hale a 29 year old defenseman with 302 NHL games under his belt.

So when 50 players reported for training camp on September 17th 2010 at
Soctiabank Place there was potential for one forward position and one more spot
in the blue line on this year’s team. Remember in the Salary Cap era you are
only allowed to have 20 players in your active roster.

Below is the list of potential 20 regualrs of Ottawa Senators in 2010 – 2011 quest for Cup!

1. Michalek-Spezza-Alfredsson
2. Regin – Fisher – Kovalev
3. Foligno – Kelly – Neil
4. Ruutu-Winchester-Shannon

1. Phillips-Gonchar
2. Kuba - Karlsson
3. Campoli - Carkner

1. Pascal Leclair
2. Brian Elliot

Now with those 20 potential regulars out of the mix the following players have to push players like Ryan Shannon (F), Jesse Winchester (F), and Brian Lee (D) for a job with the big club:

One Defense Ottawa has five legitimate NHLers today or in future to push for one roster spot.

1. Jared Cowen (Spokane - WHL, Ottawa - NHL),
2. David Hale (Norfolk – AHL, Tampa Bay - NHL)
3. Patrick Wiercioch (Denver - WCHA)
4. Derek Smith (Binghamton - AHL, Ottawa - NHL)
5. Eric Gryba (Boston U. - HE, Binghamton - AHL)

The following seven potential NHL forwards have to fight for one & at best two spots on this year’s team:

1. Bobby Butler (New Hampshire - HE, Ottawa – NHL)
2. Zack Smith (Binghamton - AHL, Ottawa - NHL)
3. Roman Wick (Kloten - Switzerland)
4. Ryan Keller (Binghamton - AHL, Ottawa – NHL)
5. Corey Cowick (Ottawa - OHL),
6. Mike Hoffman (Saint John - QMJHL)
7. Corey Locke (Hartford - AHL, NY Rangers - AHL)

If I am a Senators fan or part of the organization the above problem is a pretty good one to have. Not only will the above 12 players will push the regular 20 players to take their game to the next level it will also help the farm team tremendously.

Add the two highly talented goaltenders to the above list, Mike Brodeur (Binghamton - AHL, Ottawa - NHL) and Robin Lehner (Sault Ste. Marie - OHL, Binghamton – AHL, to the above listed players and the farm team hasn’t been loaded with this much talent and these many potential NHLers in a long time.

Furthermore these players will be developing throughout the year, and for years to come the Ottawa Senators are set up for success and deep talent for years to come.

As for this year the preseason is underway with regular season nearly two weeks away so enjoy a great hockey season from the Ottawa Senators and their farm team.

My prediction for this year:
Senators will finish in the top 5 of eastern conference with at least a date with round 2 of playoffs.

What do you think?

Thanks for reading.

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