Bryan Murray is ready to shake up the Ottawa Senators and has opened up possible trade talk with the Minnesota Wild. It’s clear that he’s hoping to shock the team into action, possibly improving their play, but for all the big talk going on, I think it’s the team’s management that should acknowledge a tad bit of responsibility in this case.
Take the 2010 draft for example: it was UNFORGIVEABLE for the Ottawa Senators to waste their prime 16th place position and NOT make a pick. There were still some prime choices left too: Emerson Etem, Jeffrey Skinner and Riley Sheahan were all still on the market. Skinner’s already up and playing for Carolina this year and not doing a bad job of it, either. The 2010 draft class was a deep draft, steeped in young talent. When you factor in age for the main players on the Sens roster, it’s pretty clear that a fresh young face would have added a lot to the team.
Let’s make it clear- Ottawa is not Detroit. It can’t rely on its veteran players to go out there and crank out wins. That’s not to say that age is the factor- it clearly is not, since Detroit’s main players are even older than Ottawa’s. It’s the compete level that’s different and the attitude. Detroit is a warhorse. It doesn’t let up. It’s a slick oiled machine in their own end and a battering ram in the other. Ottawa does not have that level of compete on their bench, and when it does, it comes too late in the game to make any difference.
They say that youth is the wave of the future, but even that’s not a clear answer. Chicago is touted as THE example of the young team that can do it all, but a proper mix of youth and experience are necessary for a winning formula.
Ottawa should not try to be Detroit and should not try to be Chicago. They should actually look a little closer at Pittsburgh, their familiar playoff rival. It seems that Murray was trying to rip a page out of their playbook by having Gonchar join the squad, but that was clearly not enough. Poaching a player is not going to be the difference maker.
Pittsburgh had a good mix of old and young players at the time that Sidney won the Cup, becoming the youngest Captain to take home Stanley. But the clear difference was in attitude. The motto of the locker room that year was ‘Sacrifice.’ The willingness to do whatever it takes to win- and this is what’s missing.
Punishing skates and trade rumours aren’t the answer- it’s time to rally the troops and make a real team. Scrap the attitude- play as a team.
About the Author
Written by Mika Oehling
Office worker and sports nerd. Cannot play a professional sport to save my life, but love to write. Prone to rants, raves, snarky humour and caustic commentary. My team's the Ottawa Senators. Author of Armchair Hockey, a work of humourous fiction released this year and available for sale online at Chapters and Amazon.