My fellow Senators fans, the question is not what Alfie could do for us; but what WE could do for Alfie. Our captain has done it all for us. He has shed blood, sweat and tears for us. He took us to the Promised Land. He has put up with fans and media in this fishbowl called Ottawa. And in due time, he will be our future mayor. I believe now is the time to reward him and help him bring Lord Stanley back to Ottawa. By bringing in help, Alfie will be able to ride off into the sunset a champion.
Throughout their history, the Senators roster is one that either underperformed or overachieves. The Senators roster from the early 2000’s to the 2006 roster underperformed. Last year’s roster can be argued that it overachieved and was not supposed to make the playoffs. However, in the Eastern Conference where the eighth place team that just squeaked into the playoffs took the mighty Hawks to six games in the Stanley Cup finals, Ottawa may have a chance to make a run. Ottawa has an opportunity this season to load up on star players and go for it all. This year’s cap is pretty tight with just over 4 million left and RFA’s Regin, Foligno and Campoli to be re-signed. But, with some clever moves, Ottawa may be in a position to bring in a star player to put this team over the top and make a move in the unpredictable Eastern Conference.
To get where we are going, we have to know where we stand. Last year’s Senators team did not give us a lot of insight to where our future is heading. Some players such as Michalek, Shannon, Campoli and Foligno regressed. While others took off like Karlsson, Regin and Elliott. While Elliott looked like we would not need Leclaire’s services anymore, he collapsed in the playoffs. Can Michalek, Shannon, Campoli and Foligno rebound? Were Karlsson’s and Regin’s performances aberrations? Can Alfie make it through an entire season injury free? And has Spezza finally matured into a dominant two-way centre?
So where do we stand? I think with a full year of coach Clouston’s system under their belt, next season’s Senators will have a solid base to work with. Clouston will have a better idea of where to slot players and what players’ limitations are. And with the addition of powerplay god Sergei Gonchar, Ottawa’s offense should put fear into other teams. But I still think we are missing something. Can this season be like 2007 when the stars aligned in Ottawa’s favour? Can Ottawa afford to land a big fish? Do we have the cap space? Can we get Alfie his championship?
I think Ottawa needs to go do some hunting…