With the GM meeting set to get underway and the draft combine going on,the off-season has officially begun for the NHL universe. There will be lots of trade talk going on as the draft and free agency approach. In fact, rumors have already begun, as names have poped up around the league. Some will move, but most of the names mentioned will stay put.
One rumour making its rounds over the last couple of days involves Ottawa and their young goalies. Ottawa currently has unprecedented depth in net, with starter Craig Anderson being backed up by Ben Bishop and Robin Lehner. Whispers are circulating that Lehner could be available for the right price.
I ask you, Sens Fans, is would it be wise to tamper with what could be a winning formula in a spot that Ottawa bas had monumental struggles for pretty much it’s entire existence? Creating competition in the crease can only mean good things, even if it means having an unhappy Lehner in Binghamton for another season. After an off year, he needs to prove that the two month Calder Cup run in 2011 was the norm and not the exception for his standard of play.
On the other hand, goaltending is a hot commodity around the league right now, with a handful of clubs looking for a true starter. Teams that have high picks in the upcoming draft (Columbia and Edmonton spring to mind) have those picks because their goaltending was inept for much of. If not all of the season. Ditto Tampa Bay, who will likely need to say “adios” to Dwayne Roloson. Some teams have strength in the net but the goalies they might be willing to part with come with certain asterisks such as prohibitive contract (Roberto Luongo) or age (Tim Thomas). Lehner is young, still in his entry level contract and could grow with a young team such as the aforementioned Oilers or Blue Jackets.
If Bryan Murray could put the right package together to snag one of the top two picks in the draft by packaging Lehner with another top prospect (ie. Matt Puempel) and their first round pick to move up, or to snag a superstar like Rick Nash then by all means he should go for it.
But unless it is a home run shot, I think Murray should just sit tight and let the chips fall where they may. Because past history in this city dictates that whatever can possibly go wrong in the Senators net, inevitably will go wrong at some point and the Senators can always use the depth between the pipes.