The Ottawa Senators are going to have to figure out what to do about their aging veterans on the blueline heading into next month’s training camp. The general feeling is the club is willing to give up and coming youngsters David Rundblad (acquired from St.Louis in the 2010 NHL entry draft for Ottawa’s 16th overall pick) and Jared Cowen who was relied on as a top minutes, shut down guy in the Baby Sens run to the Calder Cup last spring, every shot to make this team heading into October.
So we’ve got Chris Phillips who isn’t going anywhere along with Erik Karlsson who is already looking prepared to dive into more of a leadership and mentorship role, Filip Kuba and his 3.7 million cap hit, Sergei Gonchar and his seemingly unmovable 5.5 million a year cap hit, unless Murray orchestrates another coup (see Brian Elliott for Craig Anderson). You can’t get rid of Matt Carkner as he is the only one on the d corps, other than Phillips to an extent that brings a punishing physical element. Brian Lee at 875k this season is expendable, however he hasn’t proven when given the opportunity that he can make the jump from an AHL defenseman to an NHL defenseman. And then the young guns who will be given every opportunity to make the big club in Cowen and Rundblad.
So Sens fan what would you do? Then again, what can you do if you’re Bryan Murray. The thought of trading away Bryan Lee is appetizing but then again, what if Anderson carries this team and is fighting for a playoff spot, and one of your 6 d guys go down long term during the stretch drive? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a depth guy, healthy scratch who has played meaningful games in the NHL before to lean on to offset the loss to injury? Sergei Gonchar, call it a gut feeling but I think this guy is going to bounce back nicely this year playing under Paul “Stache” Maclean so I wouldn’t trade him unless the return was too much to balk at. The most logical thing to me is to find a trading partner for Filip Kuba. My general feeling is that something could be worked out with a team like the Islanders, who have made it no secret they wish to upgrade on defense and need to get to the cap floor still. My general feeling is Filip Kuba and his Stanley Cup ring are very much available however and I don’t feel this guy makes it out of training camp wearing #17 for the Sens this coming season.
About the Author: Just a native kid, 22 years old, Television Broadcasting graduate out of Ottawa, ON. Currently sit on the Alderville First Nation band council in the role as councilor. Father of two little girls, Cameron Amber Lee and Brodi Caela Mikita. Ask me who is gonna win the cup, every year it's the Sens out of the East, Blackhawks out of the West. Huge hockey fan, love to play and love to just talk the game whenever I can.