Could The Ottawa Senators Rebuild Actually Work?

Ottawa Senators

After a miraculous run to the 2016-2017 Stanley Cup Eastern Conference Finals run, the Ottawa Senators have traded their studs and have gone into a full-blown rebuild.

After trading star talent in Kyle Turris, Mike Hoffman, Erik Karlsson, Matt Duchene, Ryan Dzingel, Mark Stone and many other players, the Ottawa Senators look completely different from just over two years ago. The Senators have gone as far to fire the head coach that brought them one goal away from the Stanley Cup Finals. Now, the Sens are in a “full rebuild”. Many fans are skeptical that the rebuild will actually work, rightfully so. Will the rebuild even work?

Who Is Left? Did The Sens Lose The Turris/Duchene Trade?

The Ottawa Senators only have 3 players remaining from that deep playoff run on the active Senators roster, those 3 being: Craig Anderson, Mark Borowiecki, and Cody Ceci.

The Senators have completely spiraled down to the bottom of the NHL standings after trading for star center Matt Duchene, who was supposed to be an upgrade over fan-favorite Kyle Turris. Although Duchene has more points than Kyle Turris in the last two seasons combined, Kyle Turris has provided the Nashville Predators with much-needed center depth and has allowed the team to compete in the playoffs, whereas Matt Duchene and the Ottawa Senators finished that year, 30th in the standings.

Trading for Matt Duchene meant giving up a first-round pick, at the time it was either going to be the 2018 first round pick or the 2019 first round pick. Pierre Dorion ultimately chose to draft Brady Tkachuk with the 4th overall pick giving Colorado a potential top 3 pick in the 2019 Entry Draft. As much as Brady Tkachuk is a solid talent and will become a star in his own right, the Ottawa Senators could use a guy like Jack Hughes, Kaapo Kakko or Vasili Podkolzin.

Will Prospects Stay?

According to CapFriendly, Ottawa has one first round pick this year (from the Columbus Blue Jackets), two second-round picks, one-third round pick, one-fourth, fifth and seventh round picks. The Senators could have as much as three first round picks next year, 3 second round picks, 3 third round picks amongst others.

Ottawa could draft amazing talent with these picks. But, who says they will want to remain in Ottawa after their entry-level contracts have expired? The Senators reputation is at an all-time low and there is not much they can do about it. Owner Eugene Melnyk would have to sell the team, which he has stated multiple times that he does not want to do, Pierre Dorion would have to be out of the job as general manager, and there would have to be a good coach who players would actually want to play for. There are rumors that by this time next year, Melnyk will have sold the team, but again, those are only rumors. It will take a lot for the Senators to put out the dumpster fire. It took the Toronto Maple Leafs over a decade to be competitive again. Ottawa fans might not have the patience to deal with a decade of mediocrity.

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Can They Actually Rebuild?

Like mentioned above, the Ottawa Senators’ reputation is at an all time low, even fan favorite Daniel Alfredsson has admitted he would like the team to have a different owner. Kyle Turris has said in the past that he truly believes that the owner, Eugene Melnyk drove him out of Ottawa. Melnyk has become one of the most hated owners in the entire NHL. But, let’s see how things go. Nothing is impossible. Perhaps the Senators will successfully rebuild and become dominant once again. 

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featured image photo credit – Nikos Michals

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Author: Jacob Larivière