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Sens Underground Forums > Year in Preview

We all agree it was a great year, but once there won't be any Sens games for a few months, I don't like to dwell on that. Let's look forward.


First we start with a "Should he stay, or should he go?" I purposely haven't looked at any articles before trying to form my own opinion on it.

So, farewells to...:

Bring back...:
-Hoffman (if he will sign a two-way, hasn't proven himself enough at the NHL-level)
-Condra (he's our next Kelly, he's stone handed but very useful for let's say $1 - 1,5 mln. )
-Wiercioch (one year two-way?, also depends on Gonchar situation)
-Gonchar (yes, I know... but if he'll take a discount... His last 2 games aren't representative of this season.)

This would result in the following line-up:

Michalek - Spezza - Silfverberg
Z'bad - Turris - Alfie
Greening - Pageau - Condra
Conacher - Smith - Neil
Karlsson - Methot
Gonchar - Cowen
Phillips - Wiercioch

Pressbox/Bingo: Hoffmann, JimBo, Kassian, Benoit, Gryba

The situation would look a lot different if two of our oldies but goodies won't be back (Alfie, Gonch). On defense we should have enough depth to fill this gap, as for the forwards... we might need a signing or a trade there. I'm not considering surprises in camp here as you can't count on those.

Any thoughts on who to trade and who to trade for?

My untouchables (it always depends on the return though):
Karlsson, Methot, Spezza, Silfverberg, Turris, Z'bad and Pageau.
The young ones (Silfv, Z'bad and Pageau) more for the reason that I really would like to see more of them. Considering that you have to give up something to get something, it would depend on the return if I'd be okay with a trade.

A few signings I wouldn't mind (one or two of them that is):
-Dupuis (34, Pit, RW, 38 pts, +31, TOI:17:51)
-Brunner (27, Det, RW, 26 pts, -6, TOI:15:59)
-Clarkson (29, NYD, RW, 24 pts, -6, TOI:17:59)
-Stalberg (27, Chi, LW, 23 pts, +16, TOI:14:12)
-Horton (27, Bos, RW, 22 pts, +1, TOI:16.86)
-Fillipula (29, Det, LW, 17 pts, -4, TOI:17.78)
-Cleary (34, Det, LW, 15 pts, -6, TOI:16:44)
-Koivu (38, Ana, C, 27 pts, +4, TOI: 17.60, Like we need any more centers, right?)

The older guys are also a little bit of a age/leadership injection in case both Alfie and Gonch go.

It appears a certain mr. Cooke is a free agent. He would be a nice signing, no? Sure could do some damage :-\
Also available:
-Bozak ;-)
-McArthur ;-)
-Bordeleau (just for the awesome soundclip)

Trade for:
-Boyes (31, NYI, RW, 35 pts)
-Stepan (22, NYR, C, 44 pts, but then, who needs centers?)
-Kunitz (33, Pit, LW, 52 pts, +30)
Sorry I'm a bit out of inspiration for this one....

May 28, 2013 at 3:35 AM | Registered Commenterdisappointed labru


you did more research for that ne email than Stooli did in 7 years of podcasting.

Gonch wants a 2 year deal. I'd be leery about giving him anything over 1 year. Keep those Russians hungry!

May 28, 2013 at 10:15 AM | Registered CommenterResigned Russell

If they can sign Gonchar for 2 years at a reasonable cost, grab him. Especially if Alfie retires. In my valued opinion, he, Alfie and Anderson carried the team this year. However, they can't expect him to play 25 minuets a game. I believe that was his problem last few games. I think he can help out the younger guys.

May 28, 2013 at 10:43 AM | Registered CommenterSunburned Senior

Gonchar has to go. Keep Benoit - he's not fast (neither is Gonch) but he's got great hockey SENSe and is solid defensively. Gonch's minutes can go to the young guys.

I think the current teams will want to sign all of their free agent wingers (at least, the ones Labru listed). I think this may be a year to build from within - nothing exciting on the market.

I think guys like Stone (RW), Prince (LW), Cowick (LW), Hoffman (C) will be pushing for spots. There is also Buddy Robinson (RW) who signed from university and played 1 year for the Raiders locally. He is 6'5. Lastly, you have Grant (C) and Dizzy (LW) who already showed some promise.

Obviously, Gryba and Benoit are solid choices. Pushing for spots: Boro, Sdao (6'4), and Ceci.

Bottom line: this is 3rd year of the rebuild (or phasing in of new players). Yes, the Sens lack some pure scoring punch up front, but with a healthy Karlsson, Spezza and Michalek this could all be erased. I think they should keep giving young guys a few games here and there, and if they can contribute - keep them! Just like they did with Pageau.

May 28, 2013 at 4:27 PM | Registered CommenterSens Dawg

i'm not sure you'll ever see 9MM really healthy again. he may be done, as far as his old self goes.

May 28, 2013 at 4:49 PM | Registered CommenterResigned Russell

You have to wonder if Zach Smith did enough to keep his spot. I am beginning to think he will always be a 4th line guy.

May 28, 2013 at 5:27 PM | Registered CommenterSunburned Senior

Maclean spoke highly of Smith in his presser. thought he played well in role given him with spezza out. i didn't see much until the play-offs, then I thought he stepped up.

May 28, 2013 at 5:46 PM | Registered CommenterResigned Russell

If Alfie does come back, just my opinion but I think Murray will do everything he can to bring in a top goal scorer in a trade, preferably someone in mid to late 20's. It will cost some young guys but when he made the Foligno for Methot trade who knew anything for sure about Methot?

Anderson Phillips and Alfie aren't getting any younger and he may think it's time to get more top end talent to battle Detroit Boston Toronto and Montreal in his own division. TB and Florida are getting Drouin and MacKinnon this draft too--the lucky bastards. This is going to be a tough division next season. If they don't make some changes to get better they could easily not make the playoffs with those first 4 teams I mentioned beating them out.

May 28, 2013 at 9:02 PM | Registered Commentertjlincoln

i just hope we they don't give up too much to try and "win now" cuz this team is still a few years away from being a top contender. still a lot of young guys that need more seasoning.

May 28, 2013 at 9:05 PM | Registered CommenterResigned Russell

I wonder if Gonchar would go to the KHL if not getting signed. I can't think of another team that would sign him (but I could be very wrong) to a 2-year deal. Smith didn't totally impress me during the playoffs but I mean really, looking bad against Pittsburgh probably isn't a super good indicator of a 3rd/4th liners skills when your top guys are still playing injured. Hopefully the off-season gives Karlsson enough time to heal up properly and get back to where we was.

I really liked Benoit in the playoffs, he impressed me more than Gryba.

May 29, 2013 at 9:43 AM | Registered CommenterSpezzial Delivery

Is this what it's come down to? tweets about Amanda Bynes?

the hockey gods are so cruel

May 29, 2013 at 11:37 AM | Registered CommenterHomer

I wasn't overly impressed with Smith's playoffs... He's supposed to be bringing a lot of what Neil is - hard-nosed, pain in the ass, chip in with a goal occasionally.... He was like a little kitten in Pens series. I know he probably would have gotten penalties (like the one for rubbing Malkin's helmet) but that can't stop you from playing hard-nosed hockey.

I just hope he improves in that department this year. Him and Greening need to turn into cycle machines - dump the puck in, punish the other team continuously and if they cough up the puck put it on net.

What do you guys think of Grant Clitsome? Team 1200 guys were talking about the Sens bringing him in and being a good fit cause he's a local guy.

May 29, 2013 at 12:17 PM | Registered CommenterSens Dawg

I guess I'm going to have to google Amanda Bynes, whatever she is--my first guess she's a nut job......

May 29, 2013 at 2:56 PM | Registered Commentertjlincoln

I was right she is a nut job, why would she throw a perfectly good bong out a 36th story window and break it that way?

May 29, 2013 at 3:01 PM | Registered Commentertjlincoln

Amanda please. I used to watch her show with my son when he was younger. Sad to see what money and fame can do to young people. Maybe she and Beiber can get a group rate at the local looney bin.

May 29, 2013 at 7:14 PM | Registered CommenterSunburned Senior

@ Sens-Dawg

Clitsome is OK, (As he played for the Jets the last couple of seasons) I dunno if he's anything special. He'd probably be along the lines of someone like Benoit. He is pretty responsible on the ice.

May 30, 2013 at 10:03 AM | Registered CommenterSpezzial Delivery

Methot wasn't exactly thought to be all that great until a very good coaching staff started getting the best out of him

May 30, 2013 at 10:27 AM | Registered Commentertjlincoln
June 5, 2013 at 8:36 AM | Registered Commenterdisappointed labru

Sign Stalberg and Penner

June 5, 2013 at 11:35 AM | Registered Commentermethottomymadness

Labru, I love your work, but after mailing it in for the last show I'm doing that all summer as well so I haven't got nearly as many thoughts about what the team might / should look like next year.


I wouldn't be surprised if Bryan Murray signs a UFA / buyout player, and I don't mean another reclamation potential project like Latendresse. It isn't an absolute priority, but if he can find one he likes at a term of no longer than three years, or can trade a prospect / draft pick and get back a quality player from a team that is having cap issues, I'm sure he'll do well.

I don't see Puempel or Noesen in Ottawa in the coming season, and Cowick only has an outside chance, but Prince / Pageau / Dizzy / Hoffman all have a legitimate shot at a spot up here. The rest will be on a young-and-learning-but-lots-of-potential Bingo team.


I don't think Ceci or Radkowski will be Ottawa; they need at least a year or two in Bingo to get used to a game with men instead of juniors. Gryba / Wiercioch / Benoit will be 5/6/7 players, with Boro as the captain in Bingo and a call up if needed.


I think both Dreider and Brassard will both back in junior for another year.

.....and Alfie will be back.

June 5, 2013 at 7:34 PM | Registered CommenterKardinal

As we can see with this Boston/Pittspuke series the Senators are going to have to get someone or someones who can frikkin score, Murray said as much in an interview last week.

June 6, 2013 at 1:03 AM | Registered Commentertjlincoln

It sure would be nice to have a legit sniper (other than Milo when healthy) on this team... But more than anything, this current roster needs more playing time together work out chemistry.

We've seen that in Maclean's system he's not afraid to juggle lines, and everyone has pretty much played with everyone. This style takes time to develop. Also, the youngsters on the roster need time to become stronger and smarter.

I remain a firm believer in the team concept over picking up a sniper and loading up one line. If the boys are all healthy next season, it'll be another successful year and who knows how far they can go that time.

June 6, 2013 at 12:45 PM | Registered CommenterSens Dawg

Senators' Gonchar weighs hefty offer from KHL

A move back to Russia could mean millions of dollars for Ottawa Senators defenceman Sergei Gonchar.

The 39-year-old Stanley Cup champion has an opportunity to earn more than $6 million per season if he agrees to sign with KHL club Metallurg Magnitogorsk, reports Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun.

That's way more money and term that I'd want Ottawa to offer. It's only rumours, but if they are even remotely true I don't think we'll see Gonchar back in the fall. I'd like him for one year, but not on a multi-year deal.

June 6, 2013 at 6:26 PM | Registered CommenterKardinal

I also like him back for one year, but not for that money. Not that we're having cap-problems, but I bet Alfie won't make that much next year. And that just wouldn't be right; Alfie means and does so much more for this team.

I'm not saying that Gonch would have to make less than Alfie, he already made more than him last year. But 6 mil would make him the second most expensive player on the team, does that reflect his real value...?

June 7, 2013 at 3:58 PM | Registered Commenterdisappointed labru