Five Thoughts for a Friday: Now and Forever

Welcome to the offseason, baby

Five Thoughts for a Friday: Now and Forever
Photo by Alexandra Gorn / Unsplash

On Licking our Wounds

When I think about this past season in Ottawa and all of its disappointment, I guess I find some solace in the fact that for the most part that the Senators can bring back pretty much the exact same roster next season (although why would one want to given the results?). I wonder if a ticking clock could have made a difference in terms of team motivation. Only Vladimir Tarasenko had an expiring contract of consequence and even that seems insignificant in hindsight. Would the Sens have fared better if they had held onto Alex DeBrincat knowing he would hit the market imminently? Someone must have already drafted that alternate timeline. This next season presents a very similar proposition with *most* of Ottawa's core still intact going forward. All eyes have turned to Jakob Chychrun given his comments at press day but I choose not to read too deeply there. And then we have the man I came here to talk about: Claude Giroux. If anything can give next season a sense of urgency, it comes in the form of our beloved prodigal son (turned father). The Sens literally have to win the cup next year with Giroux. No other narrative works.

On Claude Giroux

Among the things that kept me going this past season, I kept circling back to Brandon's old write up about free agents in Ottawa and the title of best all-time. I had penciled in Giroux at the top of the list by the end of the 2023-24 campaign and he hit the target about as closely as possible without going over. Giroux now ranks just one point behind Todd White (two fewer goals, one more assist) in 66 fewer games. I had to snag the numbers from hockey-reference to illustrate how absurdly close the numbers ended up in so many categories (with the note again that Giroux has played substantially fewer games (on worse teams). I don't have anything to say except congratulations Claude on becoming the best free agent Senator in franchise history. Giroux has played two literally perfect seasons and all he has to show for it are his millions of dollars and legions of adoring fans (for real though get this guy to the goddamn playoffs).

On Joonas Korpisalo

I generally try to avoid piling on goalies because for the most part I think they have a very difficult job and they don't deserve to bear the brunt of the porous defence in front of them. I also think Joonas Korpisalo could very well bounce back next season if he sticks around in Ottawa. But as a scholar I do have to at least ask the question as to whether this has already amounted to the worst free agent signing in franchise history (among goalies). And after some very cursory research the answer is: No. Korpisalo finishes a close second to Darrin Madely who over parts of three seasons scrounged a save percentage of 86.8 in his Senators career with just four wins over 39 games. And while I don't put stock in goals against average typically, 4.36 is a remarkable GAA and truly reflective of those expansion-era teams in Ottawa. Madeley obviously never played in the NHL again after his Sens tenure. (Who would want to, really?)

On Anton Forsberg

On the other side of said Ottawa Senators goaltending conversation, I think Anton Forsberg deserves a bit of a shoutout because he did come back from an extremely gnarly injury and while he had some *rough* nights this season, Forsberg also has put together kind of an interesting resume in Ottawa. It seems very fitting that a waiver-wire pickup should somehow transcend his origin and joins the ranks of undrafted Andrew Hammond and drafted-multiple-times Craig Anderson on the Senators' weird as hell goaltending leaderboard all time. Don't look now, but if Forsberg finishes next season in Ottawa (and maybe he should?), he could crack Ottawa's all-time top five in wins, saves, and shutouts. I realize the list doesn't amount to much given the Sens' goaltending historically but life comes at you FAST around these parts.

On Thomas Chabot

Speaking of life coming at you fast, and I think I've always maintained my opposition to any Thomas Chabot slander around these parts pretty openly, can we maybe put a little bit of respect on Chaboi? I realize how easily we can take a player like Chabot for granted now that the Sens have Jake Sanderson to build around and with the whole Chychrun dilemma forthcoming (not to mention the imminent Erik Brännström dilemma (not to mention Tyler Kleven, Tomas Hamara, and Jorian Donovan waiting in the wings)) but our beautiful francophone son will in all likelihood slide past Chris Phillips this coming season into third all-time among Sens defender scoring. At his current pace, Chabot could very well leapfrog Wade Redden, given the Sens keep Chabot in the fold. I don't really think I'm giving you too much information here that you wouldn't already know but I think I really want to emphasize here how typical it would feel as a Sens fan to watch a player develop into an undeniable franchise cornerstone for the better part of a decade and then just decide *not* to build around them. As much as I can understand the concept of winning at all costs in professional sports, can we just try to show some loyalty to Chabot and recognize his commitment to this team as opposed to embracing the narrative of Chabot as a liability or expendable asset? I dunno, maybe it's just me? I feel like he deserves better at this point.

Thank you as always for your continued support through another rough one. I owe a debt of gratitude to every single person who continues to read these posts. Have a great summer, folks.

Not everyone can afford to pay for sports coverage right now, and that is why we will keep as much of the site's content free for as long as we can.

But if you are able to, please consider subscribing to help keep our articles free (and get a few extra perks).

Erik Condra
  • Ability to comment and participate in our community
  • Twice monthly newsletter available only to subscribers
  • Ad-free reading
  • Our undying love and appreciation
Brady Tkachuk
  • Everything from the Erik Condra tier
  • 10% discount on all merch
  • Access to any future paywalled content
  • A personal thank-you from the Silver Seven staff
Daniel Alfredsson
  • Everything from the Brady Tkachuk tier
  • Inner peace knowing you are supporting quality, independent coverage of your favourite sports team