Ottawa Senators Hockey Talk of course!
Zdeno Chara: The Sens did all they could to keep Chara, but there was no way they were going to offer 7.5 milllion per season. What is really maddening is where he ended up: with Boston. Now the Sens did well to make sure that new Bruins GM and former Sens assistant GM Chiarrelli could not go after Chara himself. Too much conflict of interest stuff involved. But Chiarreli did, in his interview witheh Bruins, give a detailed plan of what he would do as GM, and ther is no reason to think that did not include signing Chara. Is this tampering? Not strictly, since Chiarreli doubltess did not do any talking. Were the Bruins following Chiarrelli's plan? There is every reason to think so. It doesn't smell good at all.
Martin Gerber: At first, I thought this was an odd signing. Ray Emery proved himself capable of doing the #1 goalie job. Then again, if you look at the teams that made the final four of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, at least 3, and arguably all four, had goalies that were 1a and 1b. Anaheim, Buffalo, and Carolina all had two goalies that were starters. Edmonton, inlight of the way Markkannen picked it up after Rollie went down, made a case for himself in that role as well. It may well be the way of the future to have such depth in goal. On the whole, a good signing for a reasonable price and reasonable term.
Joe Corvo: This guy is NOT a replacement for Zdeno Chara. He is a replacement for Brian Pothier. On balance I think he is a better D-Man for the money than Pothier. Strictly speaking, we don't have a replacement for Chara. It isn't possible. Ottawa's defense will not be as good in the size and strength department, that's all. Corvo is a very good skater, with good offense. He is also locked in at a reasonable price for a long term. Good job Muckler.
Jason Spezza: I have already heard people complaining about Spezza gettgin too much on his new 2 year 9 mill deal. The comaprisons to Eric Staal are legion. But really the average salary for the two deals is identical. The fact that it is a year shorter is probably good. Granted it means that most of our bbest players will be up for signing in 2 years, we will have almost no salary commitments, and have a lot of felxibility. Muckler is thinking ahead.
Martin Havlat: It would be nice to be able to keep him, but we don't have the cap space. I am thinking that Havlat will be packaged with Smolinski, because we need to clear some space. We need to sign Peter Schaeffer yet, not to mention Ray Emery, Chris Neil, and Antoine Vermette. We just don't have the cap room for all of them. We need to fill out the roster on an average salary of $500,000. That isn't going to happen.
I am just not sure how we're going to get to the 22 man roster with only 5-7 mil to spend for 9 guys. At the moment we have 2 offensive lines (plus 1) and 5 defensemen signed, and one goalie, for 14 total. It may be that the Sens plan to only carry 12 forwards and 6 d and one guy who can do eiether, for 19 guys, plus two goalies (for 21 total) but even so, it will be tight. Assuming the roster number is kept to that, and we spend the 7 mil, that is still only 1 million per player. It doesn't seem likely we'll get to re-sign what we have for that much.
Bottom line, watch for trades.