The Peter Principle.


Ok, I know I’m harping on this…but I simply can’t help myself.

After watching a recap of the old Sens vs. Flyers series, in which the Sens dismantled the Flyers in 6, I found myself pining for a LW in the mold of Martin Havlat.  To be sure Havlat had his shortcomings, but his dynamic offensive ability, and shifty speed, are sorely lacking down the left wing (although Havlat was a RW’er, I know).

I truly believe this team is a dynamic, scoring, left winger away from legitimate Cup contention.  Unfortunately, like a franchise goaltender, this has long been an issue for the Sens.  That being said, I still believe Leclaire is going to show himself to be an all star stopper.

This makes top 6 scoring depth the teams Achilles heal.

I believe Regin has the makings to help mitigate this deficiency, but, after Peter, there’s nothing.  Injuries happen, and will happen, and, as can be evidenced by last seasons round one exit, this team does not have the depth to overcome injuries within the top six.  And it remains to be seen if Peter can elevate his game over the long term, or if the Peter Principle will apply.

Going into the off season, these were Murrays deficiencies;

Puck movement, PP QB and experience at D – Gonchar acquired – resolved.

Scoring winger for Spezza – TBD

I have little doubt that a large part of Spezza’s malaise comes as a result of not having sufficient offensive options to maximize his play-making abilities.  If I’m responsible for defending against the Sens top line, I know I’m covering Spezza and Alfie, no disrespect to Mich.  I steadfastly believe Mitch, playing alongside Fisher and Kovy, will be more appropriately tasked.

I see the Sens NHL ready forward depth like this;

Top 3 – Spezza, Alfie.

Top 6 – Kovy, Regin, Michalek, Fisher

Top 9 – Neil, Kelly, Foligno, Ruutu, Shannon

Top 12 – Winchester, Smith, Bass (RFA).

TBD – Roman Wick, Bobby Butler.

As you can see, the bottom 6 is flush with talent.  In fact, this represents the teams strength, and I do not say this lightly, bottom six depth is very important.  What is sorely lacking is top 6 depth.  I, for one, with the possible exception of Butler and Wick, do not believe the Sens have the ability to plug holes if (when) injuries occur within the top 6.  I’ve given up on Foligno as a top 6 guy, he is a solid bottom six player, and no doubt a legit NHL’er, but not top 6.  The same goes for Shannon.  He is a reliable 3rd line guy, but without sufficient size to play a physical game, or the proven touch to be an offensive contributor, he is a player ready made to plug a roster spot on a re-building team (NYI?).

So the question is; With the lack of impending top 6 prospects, should Murray move some salary in an effort to secure a legit scoring winger?

I say yes.  I believe this team cannot afford to pay both Kelly and Regin.  I see these two players, at this point, as synonymous.  Both play centre, and both play solid 2-way games.  However, Kelly has proven to be an all star 3rd liner, while Regin is likely to graduate to a top 6 role.  I contend Regin will benefit more playing a 3rd line centre position, with injury replacement duty in the top 6, than being force fed into a top 6 position.  Let’s be honest, between Regin, Kelly and Fisher, this team is too deep in non elite centres.

I say move a package of Kelly and Shannon for a legit top 3 winger…like say Gagne?

Kelly, Lee – 3.0M

for

Gagne – 5.25M

Then either trade Shannon (0.625M) for a pick or prospect or, worst case, waive him.  Same goes for Campoli.

These trades (purely fictitious) would result in a net increase to the Sens of 1.625M.  Obviously, this would require further salary dumping by Murray in order to sign both Foligno and, more importantly, Regin.

Nothing will be done until Regin signs however.

Here’s my arm-chair GM forward line-up;

Gagne – Spezza – Alfie

Michalek – Fisher – Kovalev

Foligno/Butler – Regin – Wick

Ruutu – Winchester/Bass/Smith – Neil

Here’s my arm-chair GM defensive line-up;

Phillips/Gonchar

Kuba/Karlsson

Carkner/Cowen/Wiercioch/Smith

In order for this to work, Regin has to sign for 1.2M, and Foligno for <1.0M, and Big Mel to o.k. Murray to leverage any accumulated LTIR cap space for use in pursuing a deadline deal.

Do-able?  Sure.

Likely?   Absolutely not.

But hey, if not from dreaming up rosters, what is the off season good for?

GN

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4 Responses to “The Peter Principle.”

  1. The “Paul Axium”

    GN: Ya dont cut off your nose to spite your face…Kelly was your best forward last year and he produced…stop trying to low ball Petr (he gets his $3mill/2years)…start giving away CAP Space “guzzlers”…Lee/Campy/Shannon/Winni move ’em on/turn ’em over, there is no room for ’em anyways…now wait till the Trade Dealine!

    Note: Foligno is his “Old Man” and he’s comin’…Top 9 with “Hands!”

  2. Lee Zamparo Says:

    I agree with Canucnik. Winchy has already been outplayed by Z Smith for a position on this team, and BM should move him. SImilarly, I feel that Shannon’s spot on the roster would be better served by one of Butler / Wick. The same goes for B. Lee. If he’s outplayed at camp by Eric Gryba, then get thee to Minnesota.

  3. Nik, Lee,
    Here’s the thing, I like Kelly, a lot. But, moving a few scraps (Winnie, Lee, Shannon, total salaries of 2.250M) isn’t going to land a top 3 winger, not even by signing a UFA.
    You can net the same savings by moving just Kelly, a player another team would actually trade for.
    The fact is Winnie provides cheap depth, and yes, Smith has played equally well (or better), but at 0.750M Winnie is the type of player/salary ratio you need to win. Kelly, at 2.250M, when Regin can do the same for less, is dead cap space for the Sens, a team lacking a top 3 winger.
    Would you rather have Regin, Winnie and Gagne, or Regin, Winnie, Kelly and 2.5M in cap space?
    I’ll take the player, but to each their own.
    p.s. I’d argue, at @1M, Foligno should be gone ahead of Winnie at 0.750M.
    I like all of the above, no grudge or slights intended, but business is business.
    GN

  4. Gagné at $5 mil, are you nuts? Kariya & Frolov are UFAs would likely be a lot cheaper & would cost us no assets. IMO Frolov would be the better player of the three, even Stemniack is available & would be cheaper. Murray would have to move some assets to fit in another UFA but IMO that would be better because Ottawa would be upgrading their top 6 & acquiring assets for the expendable players they trade.

    Savard is also an option that is cheaper than Gagné but would also cost us some assets & he would have to be thorougly checked by doctors to assure that he is cleared to play. He’s a little risky but so is Gagné after his injuries the past two seasons. Personally I’d go with one of the UFAs & move some of our multitude of bottom six players. I think Ruutu will be moved before Kelly especially since he only has one yr left on his contract & is coming off his best season. Next season however, when Leclaire, Ruutu, Shannon & Kovalev ($10.5 mil) are off the books then I think Murray can go out & sign the best forward available on the UFA market.

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