**Rating system for “Plus/Minus” Series**
+3 = Major Upgrade
+2 = Upgrade
+1 = Slight Upgrade
0 = Same as prior year
-1 = Slight Dowgrade
-2 = Downgrade
-3 = Major Downgrade
Team: Ottawa Senators
2010-11: 74 points, #13 in Eastern Conference
Returning: Craig Anderson
Arrivals: Alex Auld
Departures: Curtis McElhinney, Pascal Leclaire
The Senators get a slight upgrade rating because they will be getting a full season out of Anderson as their #1 goaltender, and have stabilized the backup position with Alex Auld.
Returning: Sergei Gonchar, Chris Phillips, Erik Karlsson, Filip Kuba, Matt Carkner, Brian Lee
Arrivals: David Rundblad, Jared Cowen
Top prospects Rundblad and Cowen are fully expected to make the Senators opening night roster, but that will come at the expense of another blueliner. Filip Kuba has been rumored to be on the trading block for a long time now, and he could be the guy that gets dealt in order to make room for the 2 rookies.
Returning: Jason Spezza, Daniel Alfredsson, Milan Michalek, Nick Foligno, Peter Regin, Bobby Butler, Jesse Winchester, Chris Neil, Colin Greening, Zack Smith, Erik Condra
Arrivals: Nikita Filatov, Zenon Konopka, Stephane Da Costa
Departures: Ryan Shannon, Marek Svatos, Francis Lessard
The Senators will not be a high-end offensive team, but they will be improved. They have a ton of young forwards who will get better, they have added Nikita Filatov to their top 6 and one of the best fourth line centers in the league in Konopka.
OVERALL RATING: +5
2011-12 prediction: #13-#15 in Eastern Conference
Despite significant improvements in all areas, the Senators are still at least a few seasons away from being a competitive team. The upgrades are a positive, but its going to take some time to see results.
About the Author
Written by Corey Krakower
I am the Director of NHL Content & Habs writer for ProSportsBlogging.com; I have spent 8 seasons behind the bench as a minor hockey coach; and I am the future GM of the Montreal Canadiens (according to my mom). I spend my days managing the Harrow Sports brand in my hometown of Montreal and I moonlight as a Hockey Advisor for Pi Athlete Management. Most importantly, I'll throw anyone under the bus for a laugh.