Monday, February 28, 2011

Can the Sens show the Leafs how to rebuild?

The Ottawa Senators have certainly not displayed the level of performance that they have achieved in recent years to date this season, but they are certainly a side that is well aware of the difficulties in building or rebuilding a hockey franchise so that it is capable of competing to a high enough level to at least stay in contention for the play-offs.

At the moment, the Sens are so far seeing very little of any quality from their players on the ice, but they are very sensibly rebuilding their side off the ice and are doing something that shows they have a very firm understanding not only of the development of rookies and prospects, but also of where you need to start when beginning to rebuild a side by focusing every effort on defence and those who place ice hockey bets will know this.

With the Sens likely to have Spezza and Alfredsson with the franchise for at least the next year or two, GM Bryan Murray will know all too well that he is likely to be granted some time to get his offence settled and strong enough to compete with the very best in the NHL. With this in mind, the Sens now have a stellar opportunity to look at free agents and use up the $20 million that they have not used so far in their salary cap.

However, although the offence is the headline-grabbing part of a hockey team more often than not, it is the defence that takes time to get right. Once the defence is settled and firing on all cylinders, though, it can be crucial if a franchise wishes to have a realistic chance of ending up winning the magnificent Stanley Cup. For this reason, Senators fans must be delighted with the fact that the franchise has already started to find out exactly how best to draft and cultivate the defence so that it can start to consistently provide a firm foundation upon which future success can be achieved.

If they can do this in the space of the next two years, then the Senators will really have shown the long-suffering and misled Toronto Maple Leafs precisely how you rebuild a franchise.

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