In general, the Ottawa Senators didn’t make many drastic changes to their roster this offseason. Mike Hoffman and Cody Ceci got re-signed, and Chris Kelly was added presumably to help on the penalty kill unit and log some 4th line time.
The biggest difference on the roster is going to be the addition of Derick Brassard and the departure of Mika Zibanejad.
The two were swapped for each other back in July, and while losing a promising young center like Zibanejad was shocking at first, there’s probably more optimism surrounding the trade now than there was initially.
It also doesn’t hurt that he’s originally from the Ottawa area and very enthusiastic about returning home to play professional hockey.
One player who was expected to especially dread the news that Zibanejad was traded was Erik Karlsson.
The two were really good friends, but Karlsson sounds like he has a pretty healthy perspective on the business side of professional sports.
“That’s the business we live in,” said Karlsson. “As sad as it is for me to see somebody- and especially for me, it being Mika, who I have been with since Day 1 when he came here- it’s just as exciting to get (Brassard) here.”
The captain of the team has spoken, and acknowledged the sentiments that most of the team probably feels.
The best way to ingratiate yourself with a new team is to play well, and Brassard is poised to have a great season.
The sting of losing a player like Zibanejad will be alleviated if Brassard can be a solid locker room presence and offensive playmaker on the ice. He’s going to add a lot of positive qualities to this team.