How much does one Cup win mean? How much does it mean if it's to see Daniel Alfredsson lift it?
Let's say that next year, hypothetically, the Senators make several trades to bring in top-end talent, spend to the cap, and win the whole thing. Alfie skates the Cup and retires on top. The extended playoff run covers the team's expenses for the year, but they can't sustain that level of spending for another year.
The Cup champions are therefore immediately broken up. With an increased cap the following year, teams who can better absorb cap hits are able to pluck stars away from the team for pennies on the dollar. The Senators have traded away most of their best prospects to win the Cup--the cupboards are bare again. The team is left with Erik Karlsson and no one. It's a rebuild essentially from scratch, and the team is looking at years of lottery picks before it returns to the playoffs. But they won one for Alfie.
Would you be willing to suffer through a true rebuild--not a retooling like we saw in 2011, but a start from the very bottom--if it meant one Cup win before the captain retired? To mortgage everything for a taste of glory? To stomach years of a bad team losing a lot of games?
I don't think I know the answer to this question for myself. I like to think I would sit through dark years just as I did in the early 90's, but the fact is I wasn't as emotionally attached to the team in those days. Could a Cup win really be enough to sustain me into years of telling myself there's a light at the end of the tunnel after another night of getting bombed 7-3? I don't enjoy losing. I don't enjoy recapping losses. I don't enjoy banging the drum of optimism to try and drown out a chorus of negativity. I don't enjoy the way expectations skew wildly from moment to moment. Two years ago, it was just about winning the draft lottery. Now it's about contending for the Stanley Cup. It's very bipolar: The Sens should either be contending for the Cup or stockpiling top picks like the Penguins (but not like the Oilers) to contend for the Cup. Anything else is unacceptable.
It seems to me that the expectation of our fanbase is simple: Always Be Winning. So... how much is winning worth to you?
- Darren takes a look at the Alfie contract situation and some comparables. Outstanding stuff here. [S7S]
- Speaking of outstanding stuff, Amelia delivers another must-read about the evolution of the development camp. [S7S]
- Speaking of development camps (TRANSITIONS!) the Sens' camp opens today. Here's the roster. [Sens]
- Varada's still talking about Eugene Melnyk's money. I don't get the internal cap either, but it's something we have to take at face value until we know more. [WTYKY]
- Glowing stuff about first-round choice Curis Lazar here. The more we hear, the more I like him. [Senators Extra]
- Worsteverything is okay with building through the draft [WTYKY]
- The Sens have always built through the draft. (TRANSITIONS!) [SE]
- The boys at Bonk's Mullet have cracked the mystery of the delay in the Aflredsson negotiations. [RBM]
- Hot on the heels of signing Kris Letang to a contract that pays him more than Erik Karlsson despite him not being better than Erik Karlsson, the Penguins have re-signed Pascal Dupius to a 4-year, $15M contract. I thought they were shedding salary post-Malkin deal? [Penguins]
- The Coyotes are staying in Phoenix for a few more years, because the City of Glendale is willing to swallow their mistake. This had to happen--the city had invested too much in the construction of Jobing.com Arena to lose its primary tenant. They were pot-committed from the minute they broke ground. [AZ Republic]
- Elliotte Friedman thinks that the nature of the CBA is finally going to start putting enough pressure on GMs to break the taboo of the offer sheet. He also has 30 other thoughts. He should make a running column out of that idea. [CBC]