So we have Kyle Turris now... haha. Awesome
Looking at the depth chart down the middle, it seems like Mr. Turris or Regin will be holding down the fort at the second line centre position for the remainder of the year, barring injury. ( knock on wood for Regin's glass shoulders)
I for one, am okay with this. Hopefully Turris will be able to step into the #2 centre spot, and provide a bigger offensive spark than Regin is capable of. Regin has been largely unspectacular, yet defensively reliable, so he's not causing any problems for us in the 2 spot should he get some minutes there.
Next year? Unless Spezza is gone, Regin, Turris, DaCosta, Zibanejad, Smith, Konopka and Winchester will be the centres that are battling for the remaining 3 centre positions on the NHL roster.
Konopka and Winchester are UFAs next summer, while Regin and DaCosta are both RFAs. I feel like Winchester will be let go, and Konopka might be asked to stick around to provide some gristle, and for his general positive attitude in the the locker room. I can't imagine that we would let either of the RFAs go without a fight, so that leads me to believe that they will either be re-signed on short term deals, or they will be traded before draft day. However, I just don't think there's room on the NHL lineup for either of them as centres, since they aren't physical enough to play on the bottom two lines. Regin could be converted to a winger, and DaCosta could still use some seasoning in the AHL, so that leaves us with the following down the middle next year:
Spezza, Turris, Zibanejad, Smith and Regin converted to a winger. Spare: Somebody else... Winch/Konopka/ Jim O'Brien.
So, what's next?
Solid pipeline of centres? CHECK (Spezza, Turris, Regin, DaCosta, Smith, O'Brien/ Winch, Zibanejad with Pageau and Prince in 2-3 years)
Good amount of potential top-6 wingers developing over the next few years? CHECK ( Daugavins, Filatov, Noesen, Puempel, Stone, Petersson, Silfverberg) Surely one of them will be able to step in for our departed Alfie when he hangs up the skates for good. ( It hurts to write this...) I'm not saying they'll be as good immediately, or be able to grow as fierce of a moustache, but they should be able to provide some offense on one of the top two lines.
Strong 2nd and 3rd pairing defensemen coming up in the next few years? CHECK ( Borocop, Wierchoch, Gryba and Claesson are close, with Fransoo being ready in 3 years or so) There was a post a while ago talking about our so called depth at defense, and with David Rundblad gone, I would go as far as saying that our defensive depth needs the most work, and should be a target for the upcoming 1st round of the draft ( and ensuing rounds for that matter)
KING LEHNER??? CHECK. Nuff said. But we do need somebody else to fill his role in Bingo next year when he graduates to the big club. Could be another target for the draft.
We currently sit 19th overall in the league, giving us the 11th overall draft pick in the upcoming draft. 10 of the top 20 ranked players are defenseman according to Craig Button's analysis on TSN (It was the most recent analysis I could find), so it's safe to say that our targets could be set on finding a replacement for Rundblad when the draft rolls around in June.
Overall, I'm liking the looks of the organization with the Turris-Rundblad trade. I was hesitant to like the trade at first, but as of right now, the Sens will still have 7 picks in the 2012 draft and have more than enough opportunities to build our defensive depth and find a solid goalie prospect. Bryan Murray has not halted the Senate Reform in any way, I think he might have even been looking ahead, and noticing that there isn't a star centre within reach on draft day. Leveraging the skill set of a potential star defenseman for a potential star forward is more of a lateral move for our Senate Reform than anything, and is definitely not a step backwards.
In the short term, it's definitely a win for the Senators, because BM addressed a position that was a glaring weakness on the team by trading away a player that was causing us more harm than benefit on a nightly basis.
Short Term= We won this trade, hands down.... Long term? Only time will tell.