As August winds down we would usually start turning our attention to the upcoming hockey season which at this times has 30 teams tied for first or last and every team (except the Leafs) have a shot at the Stanley Cup. Unfortunately this off-season has been more about how to share the 3.3 billion in revenue generated by the great game of hockey. Instead of talking about names like Crosby, Sedin, Stamkos, Ovechkin or Alfie - we are stuck with the names Bettman , Daly and Fehr. So as my initial posting I will look at some changes made by the Senators this off-season to see where we may sit when and if hockey gets going (my personal opinion is we will miss about 6 weeks of hockey before cooler heads prevail).
Two of the biggest moves of this off-season were not changes per say, but they still showed the fans where we may be going. First one is the signing of Erik Karlsson to a 7 year 45.5 million dollar contract and this just days before he would win the franchise's first ever Norris Trophy. This sends the message that ownership is serious about building for the future (and present) and that Karlsson will be one of the keys elements going forward. The second move was not done by the Senators directly but affects them in a huge way - Alfie deciding to come back for another season. This assures us of great leadership by the longest serving captain in team history. The youngsters, and we have many, will benefit from seeing a perfect role model on the effort and dedication needed at the NHL level. The likes of Silfverberg, Zibanejad, Karlsson, Bishop, Stone will see his work ethic up close and hopefully guide them towards a long successful NHL careers with the Senators. In the words of a Ottawa radio personality "PRAISE ALFIE !" will skate in his famous # 11 for one more year (another reason we don't want a lockout - to see him as much as possible in perhaps his swan song as a Senators player).