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Don’t re-sign the expiring contracts

14 Dec

A short sweet table of farewells:

Kovalev, Alexei » $5,000,000
Ruutu, Jarkko » $1,300,000
Shannon, Ryan » $625,000
Phillips, Chris » $3,500,000
Campoli, Chris » $1,400,000
Leclaire, Pascal » $3,800,000
Elliott, Brian » $850,000
Total: $16,475,000

 

Some of the players are inexpensive RFA’s (Shannon, Elliot).  Some are grinders and pests (Campoli, Ruutu), and one has a long history  with the team (Chris Phillips and arguably Brian Elliot). All one-way contracts must be on the table, including Brian Elliot.  Let’s give it a look after the jump:

Goal

The number 2 spot must become Robin Lehner’s to lose, and by lose, lose to Mike Brodeur, who is also a UFA, but likely a two-way contract signing.  One of those two should be the backup goalie next year.  But to whom?   Washington, perhaps, which needs a serviceable goalie that could transition into a backup. The price for him would be a roster player, preferably a forward.

An aging starter who can allow Robin Lehner to have a legitimate shot of taking over?  Jose Theodore, who is slowly improving in Minnesota, is not very expensive, certainly not much more expensive with a short contract than Brian Elliot will expect to be with a long contract,  and has a bit of experience that he could in theory pass on.  Dwayne Roloson is 41, but he’s been serviceable for the Islanders, which have a horribly weak defense.   Why those older players and not the much younger Bryan Elliot?   Because Brian Elliot is tradable, as he is an RFA, and as an RFA he will want a longer contract.  If Brian Elliot is not the future of this team,  and he isn’t, he’s expendable.  Long term contracts must be seen as strategic.   A cheap RFA goalie is a valuable item when you’re a seller at the trade deadline.  Oh, yes, the Ottawa Senators will be sellers, or sit-outers if they are on the bubble.

Brian Elliot is a valuable trade near the deadline for a pick, a prospect or a young roster forward.  Come playoff time he’d be much better served as a backup on a legitimate contender.

Defense

Chris Phillips is a valuable trade-deadline deal for a pick and a prospect.  Big rig is a good experienced player for a team making a cup run.  He’s our most valuable trade prospect and traded for real value.  If we’re selling Chris Phillips,  we’re selling.  Trading Chris, who is well-liked in Ottawa,  would be the signal from up high that the Senators are rebuilding. Columbus, St. Louis, or a host of young Western teams could take him. Campoli’s price will be an AHL‘er and 2nd round pick. Worth it.  Always take a pick.   Atlanta would do well with him.

Forwards

Kovalev is a perfect rental to a team that needs talent.  Ruutu is a perfect rental for any young team needing a pest.   Who knows what they are worth, Ruutu will be easier to trade, while Kovalev might be the one that a team overpays for.  I can see either in St. Louis or Columbus.

Shannon isn’t going anywhere unless as part of a bundle.

What should Ottawa want in return?  Prospect forwards, or young roster forwards, and picks, preferably for 2011 and 2012 due to a weak year.

This is

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Posted by on December 14, 2010 in Scouting, Senators

 

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