The NHL is and always has been a copycat league.
Typically when one style of play or roster-building method leads to Stanley Cup championships for certain franchises, most teams feel the need try and replicate their path to success.
The Ottawa Senators are no outsider to this trend. When the team announced its intention to rebuild in early 2018, management put a particular emphasis on speed and competitive nature, two standout traits of the then reigning champion Pittsburgh Penguins. Obviously, Ottawa is still short on Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin-type pieces, but the way their roster is developing is similar in style to what Pittsburgh was playing under Mike Sullivan when they won two straight Stanley Cups.
The Tampa Bay Lightning were crowned Stanley Cup Champions for the second consecutive year earlier this week, signaling the official beginning of the NHL off-season. There’s no doubt that most management teams in the NHL are sitting down and asking themselves how they too can reach the heights that the Lightning has in recent years.
While Tampa Bay is obviously blessed with some of the best high-end talent in the NHL, there are other elements to the way their roster was built that the Senators would be wise to take note of and consider when making moves this off-season.