After the post-season press conference by Byran Murray, it was not completely surprising to find out that Sergei Gonchar would not be returning to the Ottawa Senators lineup for next season. There were arguments to be made for keeping Sergei, and many of them were valid. In the end, Murray had decided that Gonchar did not fit into the future plans of the organization, and the fact that he could get an asset (even if it was just a 6th rounder) is very good asset management.
One of the main arguments for keeping Gonchar around for one more season was the idea that Cody Ceci, the Senators 15th overall selection from a year ago, may benefit from another year of development before making his NHL debut. In this scenario, Gonchar could capably hold down the roster spot until Ceci was ready. While no one argues against Ceci's abilities in the opponents zone (he was second in the OHL among d-men with 64 points in 67 games), it is his defensive game that has some experts more than a little bit worried.
Ceci is slated to turn pro in the upcoming season, and has already played 3 games with the Binghamton Senators. If he were to join the big club next season, what would that mean? Well, it would make Erik Karlsson the 3rd most experienced d-man on the club, and looking at the depth chart would reveal the spots 4-7 were very very young.
So if the Senators want to give Ceci a year in the AHL, what options do they have? Does Patrick Wiercioch slide into Gonchar's spot alongside Jared Cowen? Will that pairing be able to handle even reasonably tough minutes? Or could we see Bryan Murray dip into the free agent pool?
- Amelia's awesome "By the Numbers" series has returned! This time, #25! (which Adnan has tattooed on him in a heart) [SSS]
- Our story on the Gonchar trade. [SSS]
- Really excellent article about the future of Bryan Murray and what it means for the Senators. I for one would love to see him around for as long as he wants to be here, and would be happy to see him in an advisory role when he no longer has the energy for GM duties. [SSS]
- Varada dips into a little Chaos Theory to discuss the Eastern Conference. [WTYKY]
- Chris Lund on the official site takes a look at the Senators' shots this season, and compares them to the rest of the league. [Sens]
- The folks at Bonks Mullet are down to the final two GIFs and without looking I predicted them. Get over there and vote! [RBM]
- Pierre Dorion speaks, 6th Sens transpose. [6thSens]