Of course training camp is still months away (writing that makes me want to cry) so these things will not be decided for some time, but the fact is, the top two lines look like this:
There are many internal candidates for those X positions, that much is certain, and chemistry will likely decide who plays in those spots. The summer, however, is for speculation, so I will now provide a list of candidates likely to get there chance to fill those spots.
- Colin Greening: Colin had himself a solid, if unspectacular rookie season last year. At times he looked like a big bodied scoring forward with good instincts and a good shot, at other times it was hard to notice him out there. Consistency is the biggest issue for young players, so if Colin can play consistently at the relatively high level he is capable of, he stands a chance to grab one of those spots.
- Peter Regin: Ah, remember a couple years ago when people were pencilling Regin in for a top line left wing spot and 25 goals after his solid play against the Penguins in the playoffs? After two dismal/injury riddled seasons, its now or never for Regin to prove he can be a player at the NHL level. His two-way, smooth skating game is suited for MacLean, so I expect him to try out the second line spot.
- Guillaume Latendresse: Essentially brought in as a replacement for Foligno, albeit on a cheaper, shorter contract, Latendresse will have something to prove this season. He has much better offensive instincts than Foligno and put up 25 goals in just 55 games when he initially joined the wild after his trade from MTL a few seasons ago. If he can stay healthy and comes to camp in shape, I expect he will find a nice home in the top 6.
- A converted right winger/centre: Mika Zibanejad, Jakob Silfverberg and Mark Stone will be big stories in training camp but they all play the wrong side; the right one. Sure Michalek can move to the left side, or the young kids could adapt, but as of right now, they aren't ideal for the left wing spots.
- Shane Prince or Mike Hoffman: Ok, hear me out. No seriously, stop running away. These two players probably will not make the team in the fall, but I wouldn't be so shocked to see them put on a good show in camp. They both posses fantastic speed that would fit right in on the second line, and they both are great with the puck. Hoffman led Bingo in points last year, and he may again, but my money is on Prince having a strong camp. Might not be strong enough to beat out the above competition, but I think it will be strong.
- The first of two absolutely top notch analysis articles found right here on this site, Darren (who really should write more because this is awesome) looks at whether the moves made by Bryan Murray on July 1 made the team better or worse compared to last year. [SSS]
- Look I feel like I can brag for the blog when I didn't write it, so here is another home-run this time by (who else?) Mark Parisi, analyzing the moves in what should be a considered a bridge year to future success. A must read. [SSS]
- Further to my last point before the jump, an article on the official Sens site about Shane Prince and his future with the club after signing his ELC. [Sens]
- I can't believe the way this guy writes, but here is Brennan talking about whether the Sens have improved. When talking about Methot or Kuba he says "well, I know I will like Methot better. At least he hits guys.". He also pines after the lose of Carkner and Konopka --SHOCKING. [Sun]
- Scanlan talks about the Sens philosophy of developing their own assets so that they need not overpay for someone else's on July 1 to fill a hole. [Scanlan]
- Scanlan article starts by discussing the Mika Zibanejad game winner in the 3 on 3 tournament that his team won, with Shane Prince, Corey Cowick, Jordan Fransoo and Darren Kramer. [SensExtra]
- Two more free agency recaps and thoughts from two of my favourite blogs to link- [WTYKY] and [6thSens]
- The 6th Sens had a great feature where they asked a Columbus Blogger 5 simple questions about new Sens D-man Marc Methot. [6thSens]
- The player shipped out for Methot, Nick Foligno, was shocked to find himself traded out of town. Thanks for all you did in the community here Nick, and best of luck in Columbus. [SensExtra]
- Update: The Sens have signed former 12th overall pick Hugh Jessiman to a one-year, two-way deal. Should provide some good depth for Binghamton this season. [Senators]
- Update: Rob Klinkhammer has left the organization, signing a two-way deal with the Phoenix Coyotes. [Coyotes]