Barring a trade, the group of NHL players that will show up to Sens training camp in September is pretty much set. In terms of contracts in-and-out, there really hasn't been much change to speak of. However, if you compare this roster to the one we saw at the end of 'The Streak', there's a marked difference.
As a reminder, here was the lineup entering Game 82 vs. Philadelphia:
MacArthur - Turris - Stone
Hoffman - Zibanejad - Ryan
Condra - Pageau - Lazar
Smith - Legwand - Chiasson
The entire top-six *should* be intact, with the emphasis around should because it honestly depends where Dave Cameron decides to play Mike Hoffman: on line two or on line three instead of the currently-absent Milan Michalek. Out are Erik Condra and David Legwand, and in their place are Colin Greening, and Chris Neil. Like I said, not that much change, because really, two players were let go and no one was added -- it's just that Greening and Neil didn't play that much last season due to injury and the syndrome we call Being Bad.
The question that I want to pose to all of you is how do you line 'em up? You can be realistic, idealistic, or both, but the players that you have to include are:
Michalek/Hoffman, Pageau, Lazar, Greening, Smith, Chiasson, and Neil. Before even including BSens players, that's seven players for six spots. Add in competition from Shane Prince, Matt Puempel, Eric O'Dell, Cole Schneider, Max McCormick, or Nick Paul, and you can see why we're doing this exercise. Do you play Lazar and Pageau together and risk the Paul MacLean Special (Greening - Smith - Neil)? Do you play Curtis Lazar at centre, wing, or in Binghamton? Do you scratch almost $4M in salary (Greening + Neil) to make room for young kids?
I'll let you know what I think on Tuesday, and try to analyze the best options for the Senators!
- Speaking of potential bottom-six forwards, the Senators announced the signing of Shane Prince right before qualifying offers expired. It's a two-way deal that would pay him $700k at the NHL level if he makes the team. [Ottawa Senators, Silver Seven, 6th Sens, SensChirp, SenShot]
- Peter Levi has an interesting note on Sens 2012 4th round pick Tim Boyle: it looks like the organization has cut ties with him. The justification for picking Boyle at that time was his NHL bloodlines (brother of Brian) so I share Peter's sentiment that hopefully the scouting staff learned something from this mid-round flop. [Eye on the Sens]
- Chirp has a bunch of videos to start your weekend off right! I won't spoil the topic, other than to say that it cheered me up. [SensChirp]
- Over at WTYKY, Andrew has a fantastic piece that highlights an important issue in general, but especially around attending sporting events: there are barriers that can prevent people from feeling safe at arenas, and teams/the league need to take a leadership role to do something about it. [WTYKY]
- Trevor takes a look at the best/worst case scenarios for two players: Craig Anderson and Mark Stone. [SenShot - Anderson, Stone]
- Trevor also takes a look at the new goalie of the future, Matt O'Connor. I was extremely impressed at his development camp showing, and hope he puts up a good year in Binghamton this season. [SenShot]
- I've been enjoying Jeff's Bingo Bites thus far! Here he focuses on the BSens crowded blueline, what to expect from Eric O'Dell, and Max McCormick pushing for a spot. [Silver Seven]
- Peter also has some BSens content, focusing on prospective BSens players from development camp and sharing information on the AHL signings of Kostka, O'Dell, Stortini, Carlisle; invitees Goff, Penny. [Eye on the Sens]
- Speaking of former BSens, Travis takes a look at the Eric Gryba trade and whether he was the wrong player to subtract from the Sens blueline. [SenShot]
- Wondering which teams have had the best and worst offseasons thus far? [The Hockey News]
- A great writeup at McKeen's on the European hockey players coming over to the NHL this season. [McKeen's Hockey]
- Some great visualizations from Spencer that look at things like five-man units, goaltenders, and more. [SpenceIce]
- A great article by Sean Tierney that looks at a player the Sens are going to have a lot of looks at this season: Brett Connolly. [TSS]
- A trio of articles from the folks over at Japers' Rink that look at the Caps tactics after defensive zone faceoff wins, neutral zone faceoff wins, and offensive zone faceoff loses.
- Travis Yost asks why Brad Boyes hasn't signed yet, despite being a relatively productive forward [TSN]