In the days that have followed the Turris/Rundblad trade, much of the subsequent discussion has focused on player potential and whether the Senators paid too steep a price to bring Turris into the fold. Thanks to the polarizing nature of the trade, I feel as though much of the conversation has been dominated by the implications of what this means for the organization now rather than focus on what this organization does moving forward.
From a personal standpoint, I’m not as concerned about the assets lost as others. As I mentioned in a post over the weekend, from an asset management perspective, replacing the lost second round pick can be as easy as parlaying a veteran player at the trade deadline and a Rundblad could be substituted within the system by a first round selection in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. Furthermore, looking ahead to next offseason, Capgeek.com indicates that Ottawa has 13 players under contract for next season for a $35 million cap hit. Assuming that this year’s $64.3 million cap ceiling threshold remains close to where it is now, the Senators could even attempt to resolve by looking at the defensive free agent market this offseason for a top four blueliner.
Even though Erik Karlsson and Nick Foligno are lining themselves up for significant raises in salary next season, barring a self-imposed cap ceiling that seriously limits what they can spend, the organization should have some money to play around with this summer. God forbid that management uses this influx of cap space to chase a recognizable name like Alexander Semin. Looking at the defencemen however, a player like Ryan Suter looks intriguing but the market for his services is going to be competitive. Unless the money and the term are egregious, I cannot imagine any other scenario in which Suter would opt to sign in Ottawa. (Not a contender. Canadian market. Cold winters.) Suffice it to say, it might be more prudent to pursue talented but lesser known names like Florida’s Jason Garrison or the prodigal son, Tim Gleason.
From a big picture perspective, if Ottawa can land and can flip Filip Kuba for a 2nd rounder, you’re probably looking at a blueline of: Karlsson-Cowen; UFA-Gonchar; and Phillips-Lee/Borowiecki/Carkner. (Note: Carkner’s an impending UFA.)
Without any NHL-ready defensive prospects who could conceivably jump into the team’s top four, I believe this could be an avenue worth pursuing.
Regin Out Indefinitely
Today’s practice and subsequent media scrum with Paul MacLean revealed that Regin re-aggravated the injury to his surgically repaired shoulder during the team’s last game. This marks the third time this season that Regin has missed time with this injury. Regin’s season is at a bit of a crossroads now. In light of how recurring this injury seems to be, surgery is an option.
Michalek Back Skating
According to the beat writers covering practice via Twitter, Milan Michalek has resumed skating but has elected not to play in tonight’s game against Florida. Instead, he’ll take the extra few days off that the Christmas holidays allow for and return on December 27th against Montreal.
Gaustad Escapes Suspension
I haven’t heard anything pertaining as to whether or not Paul Gaustad was fined for his hit from behind that concussed Jesse Winchester, however he will not be suspended for his actions. Like Regin’s shoulder injury, illegal hits that don’t result in a suspension come in threes. How did Brendan Shanahan come by the Shanaban nickname anyways?