THE SNIPERS PERSPECTIVE
To all you Game Of Thrones fans out there, this may sound familiar. For Jon Snow to receive the reinforcements he needs to fight the White Walkers, Daenerys, Mother of Dragons asks him to bend the knee. Which originally he refuses, but in the end he realizes it must be done because its what’s best for his people, to protect them (Spoiler alert).
Well, Ottawa Senators fans, its time to ‘bend the knee’ to the rest of the National Hockey League. Last season the Senators finished second last place. Far from the team that was once 1 goal away from the Stanley Cup finals. They had the 27thplace powerplay, 26thworst Penalty Kill, 24thworst at shots for per game, and were 7thfor the most shots against per game. None of these stats say anywhere near a successful season.
Adding insult to injury, the Hoffman Karlsson drama led to the team trading one of their most consistent goal scorers.
So, Ottawa, its time to bend the knee and surrender the 18/19 season and start a full rebuild. Melnyk should be onboard, right? This means rookie contracts, minimal salary payments, and staying at the cap floor. He’s seeing dollar signs as we speak.
Only problem is will the fans appreciate a rebuild?
I think if the team truly shows they are trying to improve for the future, sens fans just “just” might. It’s time to trade Karlsson, he has requested a trade, and he truly does not want to be a Senator anymore. But do not worry; the haul Ottawa receives in return for Karlsson will be enormous! If this trade is done with Tampa Bay like formally believed to have been, the Senators are guaranteed some top 6 young talent and a possible grade A young talented defenceman coming back in return.
Now the next player that needs to be moved is Stone. With the one year contract he just signed, he becomes a UFA at seasons end if he has not resigned. He wants 9 million per season, and if Melnyk was only willing to pay Karlsson 8.5, there is no chance Stone will be receiving 9. So if we learned anything from this past offseason with the Tavares situation, its better to receive something for a player than nothing! While I do believe keeping stone around is the correct move, if the Senators cannot sign him to a multiple year extension by February he must be traded, or you risk having him walk in free agency. And as a trade deadline deal, if Tomas Tatar can bring in a return of a 1st, 2nd& 3rdround pick, you can guarantee Stone will be worst atleast 2 first rounder’s.
With White, Brown & Tkachuk developing, Chabot & Ceci on the backend, and the possible returns for Karlsson and Stone, this rebuild could be over and back to competitive before you know it!
Bend the Knee Ottawa, bend the knee!