Monday, August 25, 2014

2015 Pool Projections: Ottawa

The optics of the Ottawa Senators franchise are not very positive, are they?

Last Summer, we saw some strange management around re-signing long-time captain Daniel Alfredsson, who elected to go to Detroit after some poor salary negotiations.  This Summer, the team's most recent captain, Jason Spezza, a career Senators player to this point, gets dealt to Dallas in a deal that returns some youth.  Those are some big pieces to fall out of favour with this club, especially given that there is a lack of immediate comfort in what is about to join the club.

Confidence in this team as a poolie is somewhat low, despite some of the promise that some of their players have shown in recent seasons.  There is going to be a lot of pressure added on a couple players, forcing them to take the reins as top end players and/or carry this team through the dregs of the coming season.

Unless the Senators have hit a grand slam with some of their acquisitions, which seems somewhat unlikely, it could be a long year for the team in Ottawa.  A good chance at Connor McDavid in the 2015 Entry Draft does have a nice ring to it though, eh?

Forwards 14/15 Proj Cap Hit Defense 14/15 Proj Cap Hit Goaltenders 14/15 Proj Cap Hit
Kyle Turris 65 3.500 Erik Karlsson 65 6.500 Craig Anderson 40 3.188
Bobby Ryan 55 5.100 Jared Cowen 25 3.100 Robin Lehner 40 2.225
Clarke MacArthur 55 3.250 Cody Ceci 25 0.894
Milan Michalek 45 4.000 Marc Methot 20 3.000
David Legwand 45 3.000 Patrick Weircioch 20 2.000
Mika Zibanejad 45 0.894 Chris Phillips 15 2.500
Alex Chiasson 30 0.867 Eric Gryba 10 1.250
Colin Greening 20 2.650
Zack Smith 20 1.888
Erik Condra 15 1.250
Chris Neil 10 1.900
TOTAL 52.955
Mark Stone 30 0.603 Mark Borowiecki 10 0.575
Curtis Lazar 30 0.894
Mike Hoffman 5 0.750
Jean-Gabriel Pageau 5 0.613

First Round Picks

Last season, in the 24-team draft, Erik Karlsson went in the 1st round and that has a certain possibility again, but I don't think you will get the same kind of return than what you would have last season.  With the lack of established firepower, Karlsson may not be able to snag some of those assists during the year, which should lower his stock a little.  There is no question there will be a rush for his services, but how high are you willing to go for him?

Oh yeah, I don't see anyone else really being a 1st rounder in Ottawa either.

Most Intriguing or Breakout Player

It has been up for an internal debate as to whether or not Kyle Turris earned the number one pivot job in Ottawa or whether or not he just fell into it by default.  Nevertheless, Turris will go into training camp with the moniker attached to his name, until someone otherwise is able to snatch it away.  For this reason, Turris is the most intriguing player for the Senators and could just as easily be the breakout guy in 2015.  Will he though?  My projections see him going up, but he won't see Spezza-type numbers this season.

Other Pool Worthy Forwards

The Senators, despite a lot of their moves in the past couple seasons, still have some players that can do some damage on the scoresheet.  Bobby Ryan still comes to mind as a natural scorer, he will be leaned on heavily to keep the Sens in games.  Clarke MacArthur, who just signed a long-term extension with the club, is also being seen as a key piece of the puzzle going forward.  Milan Michalek may not get the help he once had, but should still feature in the Ottawa offense.  Newcomer David Legwand will be asked to help some of the wingers with their scoring and should do okay at that.  It will be the third full season for Mika Zibanejad and he will be looked upon to improve into what his potential had stated for him.

Other Pool Worthy Defense

There are a couple young defensemen behind Karlsson who may be worth taking a look at this year, as Jared Cowen, who is coming off a rough year after signing a longer term deal, and Cody Ceci, who managed 49 games last season and didn't look too much out of place for being a 19-20 year old.  The blueline does have a wealth of potential, lots of which to still be realized, but they still may be a few years before they really hit their stride.

Goaltending Situation

It wasn't long ago when you would have said that Craig Anderson was the only real rock on this Ottawa Senators team, but some shaky play, some injury issues and a lack of help has hurt the confidence that his coaches have in him.  I don't think it is out of the question that Anderson can come back and be a minute eater in the Ottawa net, but the team in front of him, on paper, doesn't look like a group that will help him out much again this year.  I think a split between Anderson and the number one to be, Robin Lehner, is very likely.

Team To Pick From Late?

Unless you're going after Karlsson early, you're more likely to go after Ottawa players later on in the draft.  The Sens do have some mid-round quality, but if there are any confidence issues about the Senators in the poolie ranks, that may mean that Ottawa players fall in the draft and potentially could turn into some bargains.  If you can hold out, it may be a good idea.

Unsigned Players and Salary Cap

Salary CapThe Senators are again playing as a budget team, going into the 2015 season.  Their 20-man projected roster above is only coming in at $53 million, just over the $50 million cap floor and with a lack of RFAs left to sign, this is likely where the team is going to open the season at.  The Sens may be finding their way to a selling mode again in this off-season at this pace, so they may have to find ways of bumping up that cap number before the deadline.


It looks like the Senators are healthy going into training camp.  There are no outstanding or lingering issues floating around at the moment.

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