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Sens assistant GM is ‘confident we are a playoff team’

Jul 31, 2014, 3:54 PM EDT

lehnerandygetty Getty Images

The Ottawa Senators locked up an important part of their goaltending future by signing Robin Lehner to an extension on Thursday, yet the future seems cloudy for that team … even at that position.

Even so, Senators assistant GM Pierre Dorion appears confident about the outlook for both his goaltending tandem and team overall after what’s already been a challenging offseason for the franchise. Critics of this summer’s transactions might be a bit surprised about the optimistic outlook he shared with the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch.

Getting Lehner, 23, signed for the near-future was key, yet the franchise still has some big moves to make, as key forwards Bobby Ryan and Clarke MacArthur will see their contracts expire after the 2014-15 season. Dorion told Garrioch that he’s had “productive talks” with both, although it doesn’t sound like a deal is imminent for either.

Again, the Lehner signing doesn’t answer every question in net, either; the Senators also employ a prominent goalie in veteran Craig Anderson, who only has one year left on his contract. The signs seem to point to the No. 1 gig being transferred to Lehner, yet the team doesn’t seem like its totally shut the door on keeping Anderson, 33, around as well. Dorion said that extension talks might increase over the next few weeks now that the Lehner contract is settled.

” … It only helps us having a quality tandem of Craig and Robin moving forward and if it stays like that for one year it stays like that for one year,” Dorion said. “If it stays like that for more than one year we’ll see where we go with it.”

Lehner didn’t deny the notion that he wants to increase his workload next season after notching 36 games played in 2013-14, yet he seems aware that he’ll face competition from Anderson.

“I’m not in a place where I think I should play every game even if it goes really well, I think we have a strong tandem and we have a good team,” Lehner said. “I’ll just be happy with competing every day and getting a chance to get a fair battle.”

Much like the Senators team as a whole, Lehner still has some work to do. It’s clear that the organization will give him every chance to prove that he can pull it off, too.

It remains to be seen if the Swede has what it takes to back up Dorion’s claims of boasting a playoff-level team, though.

  1. President Charles Logan - Jul 31, 2014 at 4:06 PM

    not a living, breathing chance that they are a playoff team ..

  2. lowenni - Jul 31, 2014 at 4:10 PM

    Right, he may feel confident about that, but he’s wrong. At least they aren’t on paper. If they can return to being the “pesky Sens” who were great when faced with injuries during the lockout season, then maybe–but “The Bug Eyed Walrus” coach hardly worked that magic last season, and they lost their leader in Alfie. After struggling with leadership last year because of that, and now losing Spezza, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if they’re a bottom-5 team next year.

    • blomfeld - Aug 1, 2014 at 2:38 AM

      DREAM ON LOSER !!!

      ‘for you I give ‘special’ price !” … :) :) :)

  3. spezzdispenser - Jul 31, 2014 at 4:43 PM

    we have a great sense of humour here in Ottawa

  4. lowenni - Jul 31, 2014 at 4:52 PM

    Spezzdispenser is one of my favorite commenters on here. Always tells it like it is, haha.

    • spezzdispenser - Jul 31, 2014 at 4:58 PM

      thanks! I like what you have to say too #friends

  5. phtjoey - Jul 31, 2014 at 5:06 PM

    the other 29 teams also feel they are a playoff team, and by definition have a chance to win the SC. welcome to the off season.

  6. 2qswing - Jul 31, 2014 at 5:14 PM

    Florida and the Islanders passed you this off season.

  7. billiam55 - Jul 31, 2014 at 5:16 PM

    i feel really confident sens assistant GM is on crack. if he thinks a team like the sens are a playoff team right now compared to the teams who actually make the playoffs and win the cup, he shouldnt be working as a GM.

  8. President Charles Logan - Jul 31, 2014 at 5:34 PM

    I think Buffalo ( a team I constantly poke fun at light heatedly of course) are going to be better then Ottawa this year.

  9. endusersolutions2013 - Jul 31, 2014 at 7:25 PM

    Were there any improvements this summer that we missed?

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