Weekly Question: Best Forward Acquisition
Ottawa's top-six forward group has been dramatically transformed this season.
With the off-season departures of Daniel Alfredsson and Jakob Silfverberg, free agent Clarke MacArthur was signed and Bobby Ryan was acquired by trade to shore-up Ottawa's top-six. Ales Hemsky was recently added at the trade deadline to complete the transformation. All three have had immediate impact in Ottawa, but whose presence has been felt the most? What do you think of the changes?
Signed in the immediate aftermath of Alfredsson's departure for the Red Wings, MacArthur's acquisition went somewhat unnoticed. After an off year in Toronto, he's impressed with the Senators, achieving near-instantly chemistry with Bobby Ryan and Kyle Turris. On pace for a third 20-goal season, MacArthur also forms a powerful penalty-killing unit with Turris.
Like MacArthur, Ryan was also acquired on July 5, but as part of a blockbuster trade with the Anaheim Ducks. With the added weight of expectations from the trade and his higher salary, Ryan started scoring on Ottawa's early California trip. Playing with MacArthur and Turris, Ryan was red hot during the first half of the season. At the start of January, Ryan wasn't named to the US Olympic team, in a move that surprised the hockey world. In a candid story about the decision process, Ryan was called out for his lack of intensity. 2014 hasn't gone as well for the four-time 30-goal scorer, recording just nine points in 2014.
Acquired on trade deadline day (March 5) for two draft picks, Hemsky quickly settled into Ottawa's top-six after a decade in Edmonton. Playing with Sens captain Jason Spezza, the pair had immediate chemistry and Hemsky exploded for three points against the Jets and another three against the Predators. Hemsky's sample size with the Senators is considerably smaller than MacArthur's or Ryan's, yet his chemistry with Spezza is undeniable.
Best Forward Acquisition