If there was a Number One priority for Bryan Murray and co. this off-season, it was clearly to get a Top-Pairing Defenseman and Power Play QB, and thy name came in Sergei Gonchar. With Peter Regin and Chris Campoli close to re-signing, there may be one more move The Bryan has to make to get the Senators over that roadblock and deep into the playoffs.
[Click "Continue Reading" as we examine the possibility of Paul Kariya joining your own Ottawa Senators]
To me, what’s dearly needed is a third-liner. A guy who can step in a leadership role and can also be counted on for Top Six minutes in case of an injury. To me, the guy who would be the perfect solution is Paul Kariya. The 35-year old has gone through the ups and downs in the NHL, and last season recorded 43 points in 75 games. Not bad at all.
Nick Foligno and Ryan Shannon are for now the wingers on the third line. However, both of them are natural centres, especially Shannon who played centre last season on the fourth line. The problem is that Nick Foligno can only play Left Wing, and if Paul Kariya is signed to the team, he has to play o nthe left side as well. So keep Shannon on the right, and put Furby down the middle.
Can the Senators afford Kariya? According to NHL Numbers, they have $4.263 million left in cap room. Approximately $2.5 mil of that will be used on Regin and Campoli, therefore not leaving much on the table. This could all change if management is really keen on getting Paul, and therefore moves out a forward. But who to trade to save cap? The Jarkko Ruutu – Chris Kelly – Chris Neil line is untouchable, in my opinion. So unless the Japanese forward takes a huge pay-cut from the $6.5 mil he made last season, I can’t see it happening.
One man can dream though, and in my dreams, Paul Kariya scores 20 goals on the third line of the Ottawa Senators—and leads them to the Stanley Cup, of course!