8 - the number of unrestricted free agents Ottawa has that are up for a new contract.
Some of them don't really matter much to the big team - Nathan Lawson, Alex Grant, Tyler Eckford and Patrick Mullen are all career AHLers who have a combined 20 games of NHL experience between them. Re-signing them would be purely for the benefit of Binghamton.
That leaves four NHLers on the list. We can probably safely scratch Joe Corvo from the team's plans, but the rest are question marks. No doubt many fans would not be too disappointed to see the team let Matt Kassian or Milan Michalek walk away, but that doesn't mean the team agrees. Ales Hemsky is a different matter. There's no doubt he's passed his audition at this point, it's just a question of if Murray can get a deal done with him before free agency.
Despite the loss over the weekend, the numbers haven't gotten significantly worse. The teams Ottawa is chasing have changed though. Detroit has pulled away, but Toronto's losing streak has pulled them down to the point of catching them being a more realistic possibility (but still a long shot). Washington, Columbus and New Jersey have all gained a little ground, and Carolina has pulled ahead as well.
|Team||Magic Number||Percentage of Remaining Games|
|OUT OF PLAYOFFS|