Hard To Say Good-bye.
If I were to bring up this line combo;
Daugavins – Smith – Condra
What would be your reaction?
Most (I presume) would laud its former glory, and wonder why it hasn’t been seen more of in recent days, particularly when the Sens seemed to be lacking ooomph during this four game skid.
Well, there are two reasons.
Jessie Winchester and Chris Neil.
In the formers case, he has been injured, and his loss from the line-up has resulted in a bit of a mash-up 4th line, composed of Daugavins, Konopka and Butler. Despite its best efforts this line has been in-effective, being neither beast nor fowl.
As for Neil, here’s a guy, if he played on a more talented roster, would be an impact 3rd liner, but on the Sens lacks the complimentary talent to really shine. Currently playing with Smith and Condra, who has not been all that he can be.
So what will happen once Winnie comes back?
The easy answer is Butler comes out, but that may not be where it ends, and a lot will depend on how this team performs between now and the deadline as to what will happen long-term for this roster.
The fact is Chris Neil represents a very marketable commodity to a team looking to make a deep post season run. He has a tonne of experience, is a very versatile player (albeit not a scorer in the true sense of the word), reliable on both sides of the puck, and brings a tremendous amount of grit, without going over the edge.
Is he available…not that I’ve heard, but I would suspect that, should the Sens not be in the thick of the battle come Feb. 27th, he will be.
At 32 years of age, and a 2M cap hit through next season…now might be the time to capitalize on the teams veterans, with an eye to the future.
What do you think, should the Senators find themselves outside of the post season come deadline day, would you make Neil available, or is he a key member of this teams rebuild plans?