Okay. I think we all know that everything sucks right now. I've gone through all the animated gifs on my Twitter feed:
But let's... just for the sake of argument... take Dorion on his word right now.
Okay, I vomited in my own mouth again writing that.
But lets say that this rebuild is entirely serious.
Word is that Ottawa had agreed to dollars and term with Stone but just couldn't, or wouldn't, take care of the bonus plan. You know who doesn't cost 9.5 million a year or require major signing bonuses? Scouts.
Eugene Melnyk is not going to spend a lot of money next year. The Sens are most assuredly going to be a Cap Floor team, and if they're smart they'll probably pick up a few contracts for next year to give other teams cap relief that require fewer actual dollars out than the cap hit attached. Now I'm not saying that the Senators will have money to burn. Obviously. But maybe, just maybe, they might have the tiniest bit more flexibility than if they'd signed Mark Stone.
So why not take just a tiny portion on the Mark Stone money, say $1.5 million, and throw it into your Amateur scouts. Now, I don't pretend to know what amateur scouts get paid, but I'd be very surprised if you couldn't get at least 3 decent guys for that money.
The 2019 draft is coming up, and Ottawa has a good number of picks, but the real target is 2020. If we hire scouts this offseason, they can get to work for a draft list that would build to:
San Jose's 1st (Karlsson Trade)
MAYBE Columbus' 1st (Duchene trade, if extended)
Columbus' 2nd (Dzingle Trade)
Dallas' 2nd (Stone trade) (via the Dallas/Vegas Methot trade, incidentally)
Columbus' 3rd (Ian Cole trade)
St. Louis' 6th (Wideman Trade) (via Edmonton)
San Jose's 6th (Hoffman Trade)
That's 12 (Or 13) picks in 2020, including 2 (Or 3) firsts, 3 seconds, and 2 thirds. Plus whatever we get from probably selling more at next year's deadline. 2020 is going to be a monumentally important draft for this organization, and any serious look at a rebuild would be going out of its way to make sure that they go in to this draft with as much information as they can possibly get.
The front office has been a place where Melnyk has tried to keep costs low. Pierre Dorion has towed the company line on this, and when asked about having a small scouting staff in the past has shrugged it off by saying he prefers quality over quantity. I mean, that's all well and good, but why not both? Wouldn't a few more smart voices in the room be an asset? Can't we, in the midst of cutting the player payroll to the bone for next year, just throw just a little bit more money into what's likely to be the most important draft of at least the decade?
Simply put, if no amateur scouts are added to the staff this offseason, then there's no reason to believe that this organization seriously cares about rebuilding beyond as a cost cutting measure.
If anyone really needed another reason to see this rebuild as a cost cutting measure to begin with.
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