One of the interesting things that happens to manifest with winning is that it whets your appetite for more winning. The Senators made the playoffs last year, and people wanted to add Rick Nash. Heck, general manager Bryan Murray wanted to add Rick Nash. The team won a playoff round this year, and now fans turn their eyes hungrily towards every big name that might even be available. The team is under the cap! Spend that money!
Even in the draft, there was desire to trade up into the top 10--maybe even the top 5 or top 2, depending on your greed. Never mind that the price to do so will probably be exorbitant--the Senators are good now, so just imagine how good they'll be if they get a great player! Think of the future! Infinite Cup dynasty!
But the Sens didn't get to this position of winning a playoff round by swinging for the fences on the first pitch. It's been a patient, methodical approach. Young players like Erik Karlsson, Jakob Silfverberg, Mika Zibanejad, Kyle Turris, and Jared Cowen have been brought along slowly. The team has already seen benefits with Karlsson. Kyle Turris, who is now almost three years from his last training camp, is behind on his development curve but starting to blossom under head coach Paul MacLean. Opting not to rush Silfverberg and Zibanejad led to them being able to contribute in hard circumstances this year. There are even flashes of talent from young Jean-Gabriel Pageau.
Senators fans should know the truth. Jacques Martin laid it out for them all those years ago: This is a man's league. Outside of the very best best players in the draft--who can get by on raw talent while they still develop--the guys selected today aren't ready to play against men, and won't be for several years. There is mental and physical dedication to becoming a professional player that cannot be learned overnight.
It's tempting to want the best players. It's tempting to want to make a splash. But the dividends the team can reap from the seeds they've sown since 2007 might outweigh any short-term benefits created by the desire to win now. It just takes a little more effort is all.
- Paul MacLean was happy at the draft. Well, why wouldn't he be? [Senators Extra]
- Beyond the obvious Senators-Sweden connection story, Ken Warren gets some thoughts from our scouts on our newly-selected players. [SE]
- Ken also has a good article on the team's latest first rounder, Curtis Lazar. Ken killed it yesterday. [SE]
- The boys at Bonk's Mullet did a mock draft on Sunday. These things always get harder outside of the top five picks [RBM]
- Did you hear that some guy named Daniel Alfredsson is going to play for the Senators next year? I hope he's good. [Sens]
- Sens TV has more post-draft coverage than I could possibly link. Interviews with prospects and Bryan Murray, Tim Murray, and Pierre Dorion. [Sens TV]
- Cory Schneider was traded instead of Roberto Luongo. [Puck Daddy]
- Tyler Seguin gets called out by his GM [Boston Globe]
- The Predators lost Ryan Suter to free agency and then replace him with Seth Jones. That's bullcrap; where's our Chara replacement? [Tennessean]
- Chicago finished their retooling before free agency even started. [Chicago Sun-Times]