I'm subscribing to the whole "addition through subtraction" theory for this coming season.
Let me preface this by saying that I am and always have been a big Spezza fan. I was upset annually when people started talking about trading him, and was more than a little disappointed to hear that he wanted out. That said, I don't think we're going to be nearly as bad this year as many pundits (not to mention certain fans) seem to think... and here is why:
We were 11th overall in goals for last season with 229. Spezza 23 had and Hemsky had 4. Take those away, and we're sitting at 222, which would be good for 14th overall.
Our goals against was an abysmal 258. Spezza was -26. That means that if you take Spezza's 23 goals into account, he was on the ice for 49 goals against. If we can improve our defensive game EVEN SLIGHTLY, we'll be a much better team this coming season. I think Legwand will help in that regard.
All four of our centres are more defensively-minded than Spezza was/is, so it shouldn't be that hard to cut down our goals against.
Also, add in the fact that we have Anderson playing for his job, Lehner motivated to become the starter, MacArthur, Ryan, Methot, etc all playing contract years... and I think you'd be foolish to think that this team won't be better.
Alfie leaving hurt. A lot more than people thought it would. It's taken time, but this team has a new young core that are motivated, and will be playing the season as underdogs once again.
I'll admit it if I turn out to be wrong, but I will NOT subscribe to the bullshit theory that the sky is falling because we lost an offensive player who was an absolute liability in his own end.