With the announcement that Daniel Alfredsson will be returning (pending reaching a contract agreement), the attention turned to what the Senators would have to do to create a legitimate contender for a Stanley Cup championship in what could be his final season.
So, what would be required to build that instant contender? MONEY.
Would Eugene Melnyk open the wallet and bring in any of a number of players that are out there with one year remaining on their contract who could provide what the Senators need.
It would be a big gamble, but one that would create an exciting year. They could use a couple of scorers (ie David Perron, Danny Briere, Ales Hemsky) and a top 4 defenseman (Dion Phaneuf, Kris Letang) who are all in various states of contract committal. Most of the free agents will get long term deals for big money that the Senators might not want to commit to. But there are plenty of players out there
The Senators have the cap space to relieve other teams of their cap problems while gaining an asset that could help them in their quest to get Alfie a ring.
Obviously nothing is ever guaranteed (ask the Pittsburgh Penguins) and taking a chance would be a risk. The Senators are a budget team, but it might be the Senators best chance to get Alfie’s name on the Cup before he retires. The stars seem aligned to make some noise, but again, it would cost money.
The Senators as they stand right now, are a playoff team who have the potential to make some noise in the post-season. In order to put them into the realm of the Penguins and Bruins, they might need to open the vault a little bit for a dynamic player or two, even in the short term.
On the downside, if the gamble fails then a lot of the prospects might lose an important year of development in the system, playing lesser roles and being bumped down the depth chart (or traded away for a run).
Is it worth the risk to bring in a Kris Letang and let him walk as a UFA after one year? Does Danny Briere, a proven playoff performer, have enough left in the tank to get through a season in Ottawa?
I for one am ready for the Senators to make a run, even if it costs them a couple of the prospects they have built up. That is why they are there.
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