Reason for optimism?

While the vast majority of pundits predict the Ottawa Senators will be a better team, albeit still out of the playoffs, I disagree.

After years of using a strategy of building around or over relying on a few stars, the Sens have torn everything down and have started the rebuild from the goal outwards. No one can question that Matt Murray is a huge upgrade, and with him in net the team will add several games to the win column that otherwise would be losses. While still a work in progress, the defense has improved and will not be the disaster of the recent past, avoiding the goalie from being shellacked night after night. And as for the young gun forwards, they will be able to play (and learn) without worrying as much of their defensive game, since the goalie and the defense will have that covered.

Personally I see an exciting team that has all the right pieces to get back in the playoffs, where no one player will be asked to carry the load (other than perhaps Murray on some nights), and if there are injuries, the Sens will have young players to fill in.

While I was sad to see the departure of the remaining veterans, they were stifling the growth of younger players, taking up spots on the team with one way deals. With more flexibility, and perhaps a few more additions on offense, the Sens could be a much better team than anyone is predicting.

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