This trade, even more than the Mike Fisher deal last week, clarifies the Senators’ strategy going forward. What I thought earlier would (and could) be a bathroom and kitchen remodeling of the proverbial Senators house, is evidently going to be dynamite laden demolition and rebuild from the ground up.
My initial reaction was one of disappointment, and I didn’t like it. Chris Kelly gives your team more than numbers, and he is one of the better 3rd line centres in the league. He is durable, having missed only 8 games in his almost 6 full seasons in Ottawa. You know exactly what you are going to get with him, 10-15 goals and 30-35 points, and a premier penalty killer. I’m not in the dressing room, but from what I can ascertain Kelly is a solid leader and popular among his teammates. Perhaps he is slightly overpaid for his slot in the lineup (by perhaps $500,000 or so), but his consistency makes up for it, in my opinion.
I can see Bryan Murray‘s point of view, but this is one deal I don’t think I would have made if I had been in his position. The second round pick that comes back will serve to stock the shelves in the minors, but I’m not sure the upcoming draft is deep enough to get them a legitimate prospect where they will be selecting.
By dealing the second member of the Senators’ core group, it appears that as long as there is a taker, nobody is safe from being dealt (unless you are Swedish). If an offer for a player comes across Murray’s desk, it will be considered, with the hammer cocked and the trigger halfway pulled.
It will oibviously be a very different Senators team that takes the ice in September than the one on the ice last night. And now it is apparent that this won’t be the quick 2007 Philadelphia rebuild as I suggested was possible. It now looks like it could be a early 2000′s Pittsburgh rebuild where they rode out the course of 4 straight terrible seasons (netting them the likes of Fleury, Malkin, Staal and Crosby in the draft) to become the perennial powerhouse they are now.
Buckle up its going to be a long, bumpy ride!
What do you think?
Check out what Tony’s take on the trade is here.
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