With July 1st just around the corner, the Ottawa Senators need to be big players in free agency to help set their roster for the new season.
The Sens enter a crucial rebuilding period that will see a number of talented young prospects filtering into the NHL roster over the next two to three seasons.
With this in mind, general manager Pierre Dorion will need to bring in a number of veteran players to help fill out the roster and see the team reach the minimum cap spend required by the league.
A number of players are available in free agency that could be worth giving short-term deals to help the team through this transitional period.
Players with many years and games under their belt could be viewed as valuable mentor candidates, providing guidance to the likes of Erik Brannstrom, Vitaly Abramov, Drake Batherson, Lassi Thomson and Shane Pinto.
While the latter two aren’t likely to feature for the Senators until the 2020/21 season, having some veteran guys around for when they are ready to step up could have great benefits to the team in the long-run.
Corey Perry, recently bought out by the Anaheim Ducks, and former Sens captain Jason Spezza are both UFAs that could be worth giving low-cost, short-term deals to with the view of having them guide the organisation’s young stars.
Neither player is likely to be big-time producers on offence, but their experiences in the league make them perfect candidates to take on the responsibility of setting good examples for the young guys coming through.
On defence, Dion Phaneuf could be a wildcard target in free agency after the veteran blueliner was bought out by the LA Kings.
Phaneuf played an important role in the team’s run to the Eastern Conference Finals back in 2017 and could provide solid leadership and guidance with head coach D.J. Smith looking to build the team around the blueline, with Thomas Chabot, Dylan DeMelo and Christian Wolanin all key players moving forward.
While there are a number of names emerging in free agency, it is difficult to identify players that the Ottawa Senators will realistically target.
However, short-term deals that help plug gaps in the roster until the prospects are ready to take over is likely to be the route the team takes and some of the aforementioned players would do decent jobs in the Canadian capital.
What do you think Sens fans? Who would you like the team to realistically land in free agency? What are your thoughts on the players mentioned here? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!