The Ottawa Senators are in an odd spot. Their spirited playoff run suggested they weren’t far off from Stanley Cup contention.
Yet the franchise is in the midst of rebuilding with youth, a process that could accelerate should Daniel Alfredsson retire.
So what is general manager Bryan Murray to do? Experts have weighed in with plenty of ideas, including:
- Add offensive help in free agency. Some handy mid-level players like Bruins center (and former Senator) Chris Kelly and Islanders winger P-A Parenteau could hit the market.
- Trade veteran goaltender Craig Anderson for offensive help and let youngsters Robin Lehner and Ben Bishop fight out for the starting job. Both appear to be NHL-ready based on their brief trials this season.
- Decide whether veteran defenseman Filp Kuba, 35, merits further investment. He worked well with Erik Karlsson, but this IS a team that has been cycling in younger players.
- Add a defensive-minded defenseman to stabilize the blue line. The Ottawa Sun suggested Barret Jackman, Bryan Allen and Kent Huskins as viable options.
- Mix more youngsters into the lineup. Jakob Silfverberg and Mark Stone are two more prospects ready to get their shot.
- Decide whether to move defenseman Sergei Gonchar and the final $5.5 million on his contract.