NHL Season Recap – Ottawa Senators

Ottawa Senators

2016-17 season: 44-28-10, 98 points

Beat Boston 4-2 in the First Round

Beat the Rangers 4-2  in the

Conference Semifinals

Lost to Pittsburgh 4-3 in the Conference Finals

Head Coach: Guy Boucher (2016)
2nd Place Atlantic Division General Manager: Pierre Dorion (2016)
6th Place Eastern Conference AHL Affiliate: Belleville Senators

ECHL Affiliate: Wichita Thunder

Draft Position: 28th

Top Forwards

POS Age Name GP Points Goals Assists +/- CF%
LW 27 Mike Hoffman 74 61 26 35 17 51.2
C 27 Kyle Turris 78 55 27 28 -3 48.4
RW 24 Mark Stone 71 54 22 32 12 54.4
C 29 Derick Brassard 81 39 14 25 12 53.9
C 24 Jean-Gabriel Pageau 82 33 12 21 13 45.8
C 28 Zack Smith 74 32 16 16 6 50.1
LW 24 Ryan Dzingel 81 32 14 18 7 49.1
RW 29 Bobby Ryan 62 25 13 12 -3 49.8
LW 29 Tom Pyatt 82 23 9 14 9 43.6
C 36 Chris Kelly 82 12 5 7 -17 41.3

Top Defensemen

POS Age Name GP Points Goals Assists +/- CF%
D 26 Erik Karlsson 77 71 17 54 10 50.1
D 31 Dion Phaneuf 81 30 9 21 -6 46.8
D 27 Chris Wideman 76 17 5 12 7 52.5
D 23 Cody Ceci 79 17 2 15 -11 45.0
D 31 Marc Methot 68 12 0 12 13 47.6

Top Goaltenders

POS Age Name Games Started W/L Record Shutouts GAA Save %
G 35 Craig Anderson 40 40-25-11 5 2.28 .926
G 38 Mike Condon 38 19-14-6 5 2.50 .914
G 28 Andrew Hammond 4 0-2-0 0 4.08 .837

Trades Made During the Season

What They Acquired Team They Traded With In Exchange For
D Jyrki Jokipakka

2017 2nd RD Pick

Calgary Flames C Curtis Lazar

D Mike Kostka

LW Viktor Stalberg Carolina Hurricanes 2017 3rd RD Pick
LW Alex Burrows Vancouver Canucks C jonathan Dahlen
F Marc Hagel Minnesota Wild Future Considerations
C Tommy Wingels San Jose Sharks F Zack Stortini

F Buddy Robinson

2017 7th RD Pick

G Mike Condon Pittsburgh Penguins 2017 5th RD Pick

Impending Free Agents

POS Age Name 2016-17 Cap Hit
C 29 Tommy Wingels $2,475,000
RW 37 Chris Neil $1,500,000
LW 31 Viktor Stalberg $1,500,000
C 36 Chris Kelly $900,000
RW 25 Casey Bailey $874,125
C 30 Tom Pyatt $800,000
C 26 Phil Varone $700,000
D 25 Brandon Gormley $650,000
LW 25 Max McCormick $650,000
C 29 Marc Hagel $605,000
C 29 Chad Nehring $600,000
G 27 Mike Condon $575,000

Draft Needs

  • The Senators have just four picks in this year’s draft, but do have picks in the first two rounds. Ottawa currently has one of the best farm systems in the league and should begin calling prospects up from the minors as early as next season.  The one area the team is lacking at in the NHL is center but they currently have Colin White, Logan Brown, and Filip Chlapik, who all had very good seasons for their minor league clubs this year.  They also have one of the best defense prospects in all of hockey, Thomas Chabot, who was better than a point-per-game player for the Saint John Sea Dogs of the QMJHL during both the regular season and playoffs and was also excellent for Canada at the U20 tournament.  He should see playing time with the Senators next season.  When they draft in the first round at 28, they should have the opportunity to make a selection from all positions and I believe they should select the best available player. They couldn’t go wrong by further adding strength to their center depth, they could use scoring wingers, and they wouldn’t be hindered by drafting a replacement for Thomas Chabot as he will probably be in the NHL next season.  I also think that they should take a goaltender at somepoint in this draft, since Craig Anderson is already 36 years old and I don’t know if they have Anderson’s replacement in their system already or not.  They do have Swedish netminder Marcus Hogberg, who was very good in two full seasons in Sweden but struggled in three games in the NHL.  

What I Said About Them Before the Season

  • My preseason preview for the Senators was very negative, and even scathing at times.  I wasn’t a fan of any of their offseason roster moves and thought that the roster wasn’t talented enough to even be competitive this season.  I didn’t have much to say regarding the hiring of Guy Boucher as head coach, but just wanted to see him implement a more successful system than what they have been playing in recent seasons.  I also thought that the team’s goaltending options of Craig Anderson and Andrew Hammond weren’t very good and thought that they needed something better to be competitive.  My prediction for the team was that they weren’t going to be better than any of Boston, Montreal, Tampa Bay, Florida, or Buffalo, and that there was basically no chance for them to be a playoff team this season.

Success/Failure

  • Success – The Senators were definitely the most positively surprising team this season as pretty much every hockey writer or analyst had written them off before the season began.  Instead, they managed to finish second in the Atlantic Division and went all the way to a third overtime of game seven of the Conference Finals.  There is definitely something to be said that they were somewhat of a lucky team and had a great problem scoring goals all season long.  They actually had a negative goal differential during the regular season and scored the ninth fewest goals in the league.  They were also not very good on special teams, ranking in the bottom ten in both powerplay and penalty kill success rates.  The only area where they were good was in save percentage as both Craig Anderson and Mike Condon looked amazing during the regular season. This is generally in line with a Guy Boucher-coached team, as his system is very good at playing defense and mostly requires an above average to elite goaltender to be successful. Perhaps most shocking is that they had just the 25th highest Corsi For Percentage this season, under 49%, which doesn’t seem indicative of a playoff team.  The way that the Senators won this season was by getting a little, no matter how small, and then relying on their elite defense and solid goaltending to shutdown opposing threats. Watching the Senators in the playoffs was quite impressive, especially their defense, as they seemed to always no where their partners were on the ice and were quick to get the puck out of the defensive zone.  Anyone familiar with Ottawa probably isn’t surprised by the quality of their defense as they have Erik Karlsson on their roster, who is already a future hall-of-famer and, by far, the best defenseman in the league currently.  Karlsson was the team’s best player once again and led them in scoring for the fourth consecutive season.  The only other defensemen who have led their teams in scoring four consecutive seasons was Denis Potvin with the Islanders.  That’s quite nice company to keep for Karlsson and indicative of how good he is.  It’s also indicative of the scoring woes faced by the team as Mike Hoffman was the team’s second highest scorer, and was still 10 points behind Karlsson.  The Senators had no 30 goal scorers and just three skaters who scored more than 20 goals.  This is an area the team will need to improve upon in order to return to the playoffs next season.

Offseason Needs

  • The first thing the Senators will need to do this offseason is determine who they are going to expose in the Expansion Draft.  I think that there is a good chance they dangle Bobby Ryan out there as he has regressed significantly from the 30 goal scorer he was early in his career with Anaheim.  The problem is that he has the highest cap hit ($7.25 million) of any Senators player. I also think that they may ask Dion Phaneuf to waive his NMC with the hope of trying to convince Vegas to take either he or Ryan.  Beyond that, they need to re-sign RFAs JG Pageau and Ryan Dzingel plus make decisions on veterans Tom Pyatt, Viktor Stalberg, and Tommy Wingels.  They also have to figure out who is going to be their backup goaltender behind Craig Anderson as Mike Condon is a free agent this offseason.  I think that they should re-sign Condon as he was very good in a relief role and could help take some of the workload off of Anderson. The biggest need that the Senators need to try and address this offseason is to increase their offensive production.  They may get some help by calling up prospects Colin White and Logan Brown, both of whom have proven track records.  On the free agent market, I could see the Senators pursuing Patrick Eaves, Kris Versteeg, or Chris Kunitz.  The team won’t be able to be in on the expensive free agents at this moment, and won’t have the cap space available if they don’t trade one of their bigger contracts.  They will also look to be careful with the length of contracts they offer to free agents because Mark Stone, Kyle Turris, Cody Ceci, and Craig Anderson are all free agents after next season, with Derick Brassard, Erik Karlsson, and Marc Methot the following year.  All of these players with the exception of Brassard and Methot could command sizable raises and the Senators don’t want to find themselves in a position where they are unable to extend their core players.

*All stats and information came from hockey-reference.com, rosterresource.com, spotrac.com, NHL.com, hockeydb.com, capfriendly.com, tsn.ca, and eliteprospects.com*

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