Once the floodgates open on free agent signings tomorrow, many of the questions that Ottawa Senators fans have had over the past few months will start to be answered. However, we couldn't wait that extra day, and decided to tackle some of these questions ourselves. How correct will our predictions be?
1) Will Cullen or Sutton be re-signed by the Sens?
Peter: Yes, actually: I think Cullen will stick around. I get the idea that Sutton liked his time here, but will test the FA market and sign a Mike Commodore-esque contract somewhere. Cullen, on the other hand, might decide to stick around in Ottawa because there are so many good players he might play with--and I think he likes Cory Clouston.
Darren: No to both.
Mark: No to both.
Ryan: Sutton will, Cullen will find a new team. Sutton and Karlsson will be together again next season.
Alex: Yes, Sutton will, but after July 1st. Both players would like to return to Ottawa, and Ottawa would love to have both of them back. I think Ottawa would sign Sutton if they are unable to find a defenseman they feel can take the place of Volchenkov. Plus, the hits. Oh man, the hits! Cullen could be signed too as well, but I put my money on Sutton returning after July.
2) Where will Volchenkov end up?
Peter: I'm afraid to say it, but Pittsburgh. He'll sign for about $5M--the money they would otherwise have given to Gonchar, had his demands not risen--and he'll love every second of playing on the same side as Crosby and Malkin, instead of facing off against them. And God help the Senators if (when?) they face Pittsburgh in the first round of the playoffs.
Darren: I'll say Washington
Mark: Washington, and I bet he plays there for less money than he's asking the Senators for.
Ryan: Colorado. They've got money, and they need someone to play defence-first who isn't the just-past-twilight Adam Foote.
Alex: Since everyone else is going to have a better take than me, I am going to make this fun and say he goes to Florida. The Panthers had a great draft, and have $15,450,000 of cap space to play around with. Florida has no real star player, and Volchenkov is a great player to build around. Plus Sunrise has a surprising good Russian community, so he'll feel at home down here in the sun.
3) Will the Senators sign a player who was not on their roster last season?
Peter: Yes, the Senators will have to add a player to their roster--a defenceman, especially if Sutton's not back.
Mark: Without a doubt.
Ryan: Yes, but I won't be surprised if it doesn't happen in the first week.
Alex: Of course they will.
4) Bonus points: Who will it be?
Peter: Derek Morris. He's a big guy, but he can move around and put up points well, too.
Darren: Zbynek Michalek.
Mark: Since everyone is going to say Zbynek Michalek and that's no fun, I'm going to say Derek Morris.
Ryan: I'll go off the board one and say Brett Clark.
Alex: Ilya Kovalchuk (just kidding) Since I think everyone has a better answer, so again I am going to name a fun player. I think Ottawa brings back Mike Comrie. He's proven that when he plays a full season with one team he can put up as much points as Mike Fisher, and he'll come in cheap after playing only 43 games in Edmonton due to injury. Plus he's marrying Hilary Duff, so adding him gives the Senators the hottest wives in the entire NHL.