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Retooled Senators better off without Alfredsson

Aug 4, 2013, 11:30 AM EDT

Bobby Ryan AP

Daniel Alfredsson‘s departure from Ottawa for Detroit stung fans and team executives alike in Canada’s capital city. Everyone from GM Bryan Murray to Kyle Turris have said and made their peace with his choice, but one thing they should realize is they’re better off now without him.

Sure, Alfredsson’s leadership and veteran know-how will be missed in a locker room that’s decidedly young, but from a purely offensive standpoint, the Senators are a better team.

Take a look at what their forward lines could shape up to be now with Bobby Ryan taking Alfredsson’s place and Clark MacArthur replacing Jakob Silfverberg.

Milan MichalekJason Spezza – Bobby Ryan
Clarke MacArthur – Kyle Turris – Mika Zibanejad
Colin GreeningZack SmithCory Conacher
Erik CondraJim O’BrienChris Neil

What you have there is a team with scoring talent on three lines and a fourth line that will be annoying and grinding. Pesky, if you will.

Ryan is a four-time 30-goal guy and more than young enough (26) to do it again. Alfredsson at 41 was generally good for 20 goals per season. It doesn’t take a mathematician to tell you 30 is more than 20.

MacArthur’s offensive work in Toronto was often hampered by how coach Randy Carlyle used him but he was always productive. That kind of added scoring “oomph” to the second line helps give them balance.

With the defensive group they’ve got in front of a goalie tandem of Craig Anderson and Robin Lehner, it sure looks like Ottawa has a great team.

As long as they don’t get scorched by injuries the way they did last year (Spezza, Karlsson, Michalek) they’re a contender potentially worthy of making Alfredsson regret his decision to leave.

  1. hooockey - Aug 4, 2013 at 11:53 AM

    Jim O’Brien won’t be back with the Sens this year. He lost his spot to rookie JG Pageau last year. The team is trying to trade O’Brien.

    • hadiharli - Aug 4, 2013 at 2:52 PM

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      • jl9830 - Aug 4, 2013 at 8:00 PM

        I know, right?!

  2. mrpinkca - Aug 4, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    I don’t know why, but I’m still not a believer.

    • ctblue796 - Aug 4, 2013 at 1:11 PM

      That’s because your a belieber.

    • polegojim - Aug 4, 2013 at 5:20 PM

      Disagree Joe… they’ll be ok… but no way they’re ‘better-off’ in the short-term.

      Alfie brought experience and presence, even with advancing years, the guy has game left in him.

  3. johnwwt1976 - Aug 4, 2013 at 1:33 PM

    MacArthur still productive? He had 20 points in 40 games, I’d hate to say what you think of a 30 point guy

    • jl9830 - Aug 4, 2013 at 8:01 PM

      That’s a 40 point pace. That is productive.

  4. phillyphanatic77 - Aug 4, 2013 at 2:09 PM

    The Sens will be a good team but IMO they’re a bubble team in the new playoff seeding format. If they get in it will probably be as one of the ‘wildcard’ clubs. It may difficult for them to finish above Boston, Detroit, Montreal, and Toronto. And even with Ryan and a healthy roster they could struggle to score.

    • ctblue796 - Aug 4, 2013 at 3:33 PM

      Judging by your comments, you don’t know what happened to the sens last season. They had trouble scoring because they lost all of there top scoring guys to injuries. They still made the playoffs with there injuries. I am pretty sure that with a healthy squad, they can muster up the ability to make the playoffs. Or are you just to ignorant?

      • phillyphanatic77 - Aug 4, 2013 at 3:58 PM

        I’m neither ignorant nor unaware of their injury troubles. I understand what they lost without Karlsson, Spezza, and Michalek for extended periods, but I’m sorry, even with Bobby Ryan, their forwards (as a whole) aren’t very intimidating. When Clarke MacArthur is in your top-6 you don’t have a top unit. Zibanejed is a good young player but still unproven. Turris has yet to produce over a full season. They’re gonna be relying heavily on their top line and Karlsson for most of their goals. And with the parity across the league you need consistent secondary scoring. Their goaltending is excellent but their defense and offense are middle of the pack.

        I never said they weren’t a playoff team but with the way things are set up now (bc of realignment) it becomes much more difficult to make the playoffs in the East. If they don’t finish top-3 in their new division they’ll be competing with 9 other teams for 2 playoff spots. It’s much more difficult than the old format where you had the 3 division winners and then 5 spots for the 12 remaining teams to battle for. And that’s why I say they’re a bubble team, bc, most likely, they’ll be one of the 10 teams fighting for the 2 wildcards.

      • President Charles Logan - Aug 5, 2013 at 12:31 AM

        I’ve had my differences and debates with phillyphanatic77 over alot of different topics but this guy knows his hockey and probably knows more about your team in Ottawa the you yourself does ctblue

  5. Brian - Aug 4, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    How does this blog in any way support that headline that they’re better off without Alfredsson? Bryan Murray is on record as saying he was going to make the Ryan trade whether Alfredsson was there or not. If you had Alfredsson in Zibanejad’s spot, bumped him to 3rd line C, and Smith to 4th line C that looks like a better lineup to me.

    • tdrusher225 - Aug 5, 2013 at 10:04 AM

      Well said, he’s trying to frame the argument as a ‘Ryan or Alfredsson’ situation. Which, based on the words of Bryan Murray, we know not to be the case. The overall loss of depth and the ability to slot other players into easier roles, as well as Alfredsson’s leadership and character is still an big loss. Despite the fact that Bobby Ryan is a quality pickup.

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