Last week, Ottawa Senators Owner Eugene Melnyk had a lengthy appearance on the Bob McCown podcast.
Over the course of the interview, which took place on the sixth anniversary of Melnyk’s lifesaving liver transplant, McCown and John Shannon discussed many topics with the controversial owner. Some key topics discussed included future plans for the team’s arena and location, while also diving into the current state of the organization and expectations for next season after a positive end to the 2020-21 campaign.
While providing an overview of the Senators, Eugene Melnyk specifically mentioned two needs for the organization which will likely be addressed in the coming offseason. Those being the additions of a “defensive defenceman,” and a “veteran first-line centre.” This article will specifically examine the latter, and who the Senators could be looking at to fill this apparent void.
While the Senators already boast some quality and quantity at centre, there is a clear message coming from the top to accelerate this rebuild and provide some help to the many young players down the middle. The club already tried to address last offseason with the acquisition of Derek Stepan from the Arizona Coyotes, in exchange for a 2nd round pick. The veteran appeared in 20 forgettable games with the team scoring 1 goal and 6 points in that span.
The targets selected here are all a considerable improvement on a Stepan type player, as based on Eugene Melnyk’s comments it’s obvious that the Senators are likely seeking to make a bigger statement this summer, with the hopes of pushing for a playoff spot in 2021-22.