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The Ottawa Senators followed up an impressive showing 2012-2013 -- a season in which they finished with their highest points percentage since 2008 -- with something of a collapse in 2013-2014, ultimately missing the playoffs by five points, but it wasnt really that close for most of the season. Houston Texans Jerseys . Off-Season Game Plan examines a team facing some challenging times as GM Bryan Murray tries to put together a roster for next season. Perhaps the first challenge facing Murray is that its expected he will be moving out Jason Spezza, a premier point producer who is about to enter the final year of his contract. Its not as if the Senators shouldnt consider moving a player who, while immensely talented, also turns 31 this summer, but the return for such a deal is going to be crucial to determining just how soon the Senators are going to be competitive. Maybe they wont miss a beat; theyll find some good value on the free agent market and prospects will step into bigger roles, but no team can operate on the assumption that everything will be just fine after subtracting a point-per-game centre. The underlying concern for Murray, while building a roster, and the Senators franchise in general is that there have been increasing questions about owner Eugene Melnyks finances. Questions started when Daniel Alfredsson departed last summer and in interviews following the season, Melnyk preached a prudent fiscal approach. If this summer sees Spezza go, and unrestricted free agents Ales Hemsky and Milan Michalek also head out the door, that would leave the Sens with three over-30 players -- D Chris Phillips, RW Chris Neil and G Craig Anderson. Otherwise, the roster would largely be comprised of players either in or approaching their peak years, which could make for a relatively quick rebuilding effort, though that may be dependent on whether the budget allows the Senators to keep other veteran talent. Following the 2014-2015 season, RW Bobby Ryan, D Marc Methot and goaltender Anderson are all heading towards unrestricted free agency. If the Senators arent contending next season, and those three are still approaching UFA status, will there be an inclination to sign them to long-term deals or will they be trade chips at next years trade deadline? These are the types of questions that hover over any team in the NHL as they make roster decisions, but the decisions have less room for error on teams that are operating on an internal budget and that appears to be the world in which the Senators are now operating. The TSN.ca Rating is an efficiency rating based on per-game statistics including goals and assists -- weighted for strength (ie. power play, even, shorthanded) -- Corsi, adjusted for zone starts, quality of competition and quality of teammates, hits, blocked shots, penalty differential and faceoffs. Generally, a replacement-level player is around a 60, a top six forward and top four defenceman will be around 70, stars will be over 80 and MVP candidates could go over 90. Sidney Crosby finished at the top of the 2013-2014 regular season ratings at 87.12. Salary cap information all comes from the indispensable www.capgeek.com. CF% = Corsi percentage (ie. percentage of 5-on-5 shot attempts), via www.extraskater.com. GM/COACHBryan Murray/Paul MacLean Returning Forwards Player Rating GP G A PTS CF% Cap Hit Jason Spezza 75.70 75 23 43 66 52.3% $7.0M Kyle Turris 73.77 82 26 32 58 52.8% $3.5M Clarke MacArthur 73.22 79 24 31 55 54.1% $3.25M Bobby Ryan 72.78 70 23 25 48 51.1% $5.1M Mika Zibanejad 67.53 69 16 17 33 53.8% $894K Colin Greening 60.78 76 6 11 17 50.9% $2.65M Chris Neil 60.13 76 8 6 14 50.7% $1.9M Erik Condra 59.79 76 6 10 16 53.7% $1.25M Zack Smith 57.37 82 13 9 22 50.2% $1.888M Free Agent Forwards Player Rating GP G A PTS CF% Class 13-14 Cap Hit Ales Hemsky 67.84 75 13 30 43 49.6% UFA $5.5M Milan Michalek 66.03 82 17 22 39 51.9% UFA $4.333M Matt Kassian 53.73 33 1 1 2 47.3% UFA $575K Since 2005-2006 five players -- Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Alex Ovechkin, Joe Thornton and Pavel Datsyuk -- have scored more than Jason Spezzas 1.06 points per game (minimum 300 games played), so its not surprising that he will be in demand on the trade market. He turns 31 this summer and will be going into the final year of his current contract, but its just not easy to acquire a centre with Spezzas scoring pedigree. But, as a trade chip, hes valuable and if the Senators are trying to save money, getting out from under that $7-million while receiving young talent in return, then thats going to change the Senators window to win. One reason that the Senators can afford to shop Spezza is that Kyle Turris took a big step forward last season, doubling his previous career-best, scoring 58 points and he did it while generating positive possession numbers and playing hard minutes. Turris also had a career-best on-ice shooting percentage, which is likely to regress, but the 24-year-old has established that he can play in all situations and, with Spezza likely moving on, Turris will have to carry a heavy load. Playing a career-high 17:38 per game, Clarke MacArthur scored a career-high 24 goals and, as usual, delivered strong possession stats while skating on Turris wing. A three-time 20-goal scorer, MacArthur is consistently an above-average finisher (in terms of shooting percentage). Bobby Ryan was the Senators marquee acquisition last summer and while his production was okay, and he was part of a strong line with Turris and MacArthur, he did so while battling a sports hernia injury for much of the year. A four-time 30-goal scorer who just turned 27, Ryan is a rare talent and one that could be a cornerstone piece for the Sens going forward, but hes also heading into the final year of his contract, which leaves open the possibility that he could be moved out. At the very least, expect teams to inquire about Ryans availability until a decision is made on a new contract. Absurdly demoted to the AHL at the start of last season, as though he wasnt good enough to stay with the NHL team, Mika Zibanejad was quickly recalled and played well. Hes not yet entrusted with difficult minutes, but generates strong possession stats, so that could be the next step for a 21-year-old that plays both ends of the rink and offers a size/speed combination that is difficult to contain. A big-bodied forward whose production was inflated by playing with Jason Spezza a couple of years ago, Colin Greening hasnt scored so much since and has a contract extension kicking in next season that doesnt quite fit with a depth forward. If he can handle a regular spot in the top nine, that would be fine, but theres some risk that he wont be at that level for the next three years. Far and away the leader among active players in penalty minutes, Chris Neil saw his ice time drop by a couple minutes from the 2012-2013 season, yet hes still taking up too much ice time given his relative lack of production. Hes turning 35 this summer, so its not likely to get better either. A puck possession beast who cant finish a lick, Erik Condra is reliable and safe, but offers very little upside due to a lack of offensive production. While not charged with the toughest assignments, Condra still provides strong defensive work. Zack Smith is a gritty checking centre, who can chip in offensively, but he gets a lot of ice time for relatively minimal production. Smith takes some tough checking assignments, which undoubtedly increases his usage but if, for example, Zibanejad emerges in a bigger role, that might knock Smiths ice time down by a few minutes and that wouldnt be the worst scenario for this team. This summer could provide some serious change in Ottawa. If Spezza is traded, and Milan Michalek and Ales Hemsky leave via free agency, that would remove three of their top scoring options. There will be prospects battling for some of those openings and the return on a Spezza trade would have to include some young talent, but its safe to say that the Senators forward group is going to look significantly different next year. Returning Defence Player Rating GP G A PTS CF% Cap Hit Erik Karlsson 84.47 82 20 54 74 54.8% $6.5M Patrick Wiercioch 67.72 53 4 19 23 53.1% $2.0M Marc Methot 66.22 75 6 17 23 52.3% $3.0M Jared Cowen 63.42 68 6 9 15 50.9% $3.1M Chris Phillips 62.59 70 1 14 15 51.7% $2.5M Cody Ceci 61.98 49 3 6 9 51.0% $894K Free Agent Defence Player Rating GP G A PTS CF% Class 13-14 Cap Hit Joe Corvo 69.07 25 3 7 10 52.1% UFA $900K Eric Gryba 62.61 57 2 9 11 50.9% RFA $563K One of the games most electrifying players, Erik Karlsson generates offence like no other blueliner and, at a $6.5-million cap hit, is a relative bargain through 2019. He is criticized for not being a lockdown defender, in addition to being a brilliant skater and puckhandler, but Karlsson keeps the puck in the opponents end so consistently, thats it is hard to get too worked up about what hes not doing. Patrick Wiercioch entered last season with expectations that he might take over some of the minutes that left town with veteran Sergei Gonchar, and Wiercioch did play more early in the year, putting up 10 points in his first 20 games, but couldnt hold a spot in the lineup through the middle portion of the season. He played relatively soft minutes, but was effective in those minutes, so its not unreasonable to think that the 23-year-old will be able to handle more responsibility next year. Marc Methot spent most of the year paired with Karlsson, providing a defensive anchor to Karlssons freewheeling ways. He finished with a career-high 23 points last season, including the first three power play points of his career, but Methot isnt going to make waves with his puck skills. Hes big, strong and has logged nearly 22 minutes a night in two seasons for the Senators, often against quality opposition. He is also entering the final year of his contract. A 23-year-old who already has a spotty history of injuries, Jared Cowen struggled in 2013-2014, but the Senators are operating with expectations that he can be better in the future, as he gets further removed from hip surgery. That may be the case, but it would be risky to go into next season expecting Cowen to handle a top-four role if it turns out that time itself doesnt make him better. After making his presence felt as a rookie in 2012-2013, Eric Grybas role was reduced last season. He dressed in 57 games and logged nearly three minutes less per game than the year before. He doesnt do anything special, particularly offensively, but he can do a reasonable job in a depth defensive role. The first overall pick in 1996, Chris Phillips is still grinding for the Senators, and while hes still utilized in a defensive role, hes obviously declined from the days in which he was charged with shutting down the oppositions best lines on a nightly basis. He has a reasonable enough contract for the next couple seasons. Pressed into action sooner than expected as a first-year pro, Cody Ceci started well, but went through some tough times as well; nothing unusual for a 20-year-old rookie defenceman. He was sheltered in his usage, but has good size and the 15th pick in the 2012 draft has offensive upside that he didnt have a chance to display as a rookie. This unit might be okay if Cowen is as good as the Senators expect, but that is the risk going forward. If Cowen isnt up to handling top-four minutes, then thats a hole that is a situation that will need to be addressed. Its possible help could come via a Spezza trade, but the Senators could also look for value on the free agent market. Returning Goaltender Player Rating GP W L OTL GAA SV% Cap Hit Craig Anderson 72.34 53 25 16 8 3.00 .911 $3.188M Free Agent Goaltender Player Rating GP W L OTL GAA SV% Class 13-14 Cap Hit Robin Lehner 66.98 36 12 15 6 3.06 .913 RFA $870K After leading the league in goals against average and save percentage in 2012-2013, Craig Anderson found out how regression works, especially as it applies to goalies. Andersons .941 save percentage crashed to .911 last season which isnt terrible, but is below average. Anderson also had to finish strong to get there. His struggles in October and November opened up the possibility that Robin Lehner could take over the starting job. 22-year-old Lehner had a .938 save percentage through the first couple months of the season, picking up where he left off the year before, and seemed like a capable replacement for a struggling Anderson, but Lehner couldnt handle it, posting an .891 save percentage in 21 games from December through March. The Senators can bring this tandem back next season, hoping that they bounce back, and that Lehner will be better positioned to take over from Anderson, who will be a free agent next summer. Top Prospects Player Pos. Team/League Stats Curtis Lazar C Edmonton (WHL) 41-35-76, +41, 58 GP Mark Stone RW Binghamton (AHL) 15-26-41, +5, 37 GP Matt Puempel LW Binghamton (AHL) 30-18-48, -11, 74 GP Jean-Gabriel Pageau C Binghamton (AHL) 20-24-44, +15, 46 GP Mikael Wikstrand D Frolunda (SHL) 4-7-11, +4, 19 GP Mike Hoffman LW Binghamton (AHL) 30-37-67, +11, 51 GP Stephane Da Costa C Binghamton (AHL) 18-40-58, +19, 56 GP Ryan Dzingel C Ohio State (Big 10) 22-24-46, +17, 37 GP Mark Borowiecki D Binghamton (AHL) 2-6-8, +14, 50 GP GP Shane Prince LW Binghamton (AHL) 21-27-48, +23, 69 GP Chris Driedger G Calgary (WHL) 2.64 GAA, .918 SV%, 50 GP Fredrik Claesson D Binghamton (AHL) 3-26-29, +37, 75 GP Drafted 17th overall last summer, Curtis Lazar isnt considered a gifted offensive player, even though hes scored 79 goals in 130 WHL games over the past two seasons. He is considered a gamer, though, who continues to get better and that makes him a safe prospect who might be able to challenge for a spot as soon as next year. A sixth-round pick in 2010, Mark Stone has been knocking on the door for an NHL job and, after a productive showing in the AHL last season, he also picked up eight points and had strong possession stats, in 19 games with Ottawa. Hes ready for a full-time chance next season. There were seven 30-goal scorers in the AHL in 2013-2014 and only one was younger than Matt Puempel, the 24th pick in 2011, who has done decidedly more finishing than playmaking the past couple seasons. Jean-Gabriel Pageau had some late-season and playoff success with Ottawa in 2013, but managed two goals and no assists in 28 games last season, resulting in more AHL time. To his credit, Pageaus AHL scoring rate improved dramatically, which is promising, but hell be in a battle for a roster spot again next year. A mobile defenceman picked in the seventh round in 2011, Mikael Wikstrand may be a few years away, but hes already been productive in limited time in the Swedish Hockey League. A couple of years down the road, could be a gem. Could be. A late-bloomer who laid the AHL to waste last season, 24-year-old Mike Hoffman, played 25 games in Ottawa, contributing six points (3 G, 3 A) and didnt look out of place. Could be interesting if the speedster can carry some of that AHL production to the next level. Stephane Da Costa has been up and down from the AHL over the past couple seasons, but may have finally hit his stride last year, scoring better than a point-per-game in the AHL as well as putting up strong possession stats in a dozen games with Ottawa. Will it be enough to land a spot next season? Drafted in the seventh round in 2011, Ryan Dzingel had 84 points in 77 games over his last two seasons at Ohio State and made a smooth pro transition, scoring seven points in nine games with Binghamton at seasons end. A fifth-round pick in 2008, Mark Borowiecki is a tough, stay-at-home defenceman, and while hes made it into 21 NHL games over the past three seasons, hes effectively been passed by Gryba in that role. Drafted in the second round in 2011, Shane Prince has some skill, though hes in a depth chart battle with a bunch of other forward prospects in the organization. If Prince had a big productive season in 2013-2014, then he might be closer, but he is still just 21. Picked in the third round in 2012, Chris Driedger has been solid in two WHL seasons since, putting up a .916 save percentage in 104 games. Goaltenders are unpredictable and take time, so theres no urgency, but Driedger is worth keeping on the radar. Defenceman Fredrik Claesson plays a steady game and showed improvement in his second season in North America. He was a fifth-round pick in 2011. Senators advanced stats and player usage chart from Extra Skater DRAFTNo first-round pick FREE AGENCYAccording to www.capgeek.com, the Senators have approximately $37.1M committed to the 2014-2015 salary cap for 13 players. Check out my possible Senators lineup for next season on Cap Geek here. Needs: One top six forward, two top nine forwards, one top four defenceman.What I said the Senators needed last year: One top six forward, one top four defenceman.They added: Bobby Ryan, Clarke MacArthur. TRADE MARKETJason Spezza, Bobby Ryan, Colin Greening, Jared Cowen, Patrick Wiercioch. Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook. Sammie Coates Jersey . Listen to the Raptors vs. Jazz live tonight on TSN Radio 1050 at 9pm et/6pm pt. The Raptors are 1-1 so far on the five-game junket after defeating Denver and losing to Portland. Keke Coutee Jersey . You can catch all of the action LIVE on TSN2 at 6pm et/3pm pt. The Heat reached that mark Saturday night when they ruined the Philadelphia 76ers home opener. http://www.texansrookiestore.com/Texans-Justin-Reid-Jersey/ . Monta Ellis had 30 points and nine assists, Nowitzki was another of seven Dallas players in double figures with 11 points and the Mavericks beat the Los Angeles Lakers 123-104 Tuesday night.ST. MORITZ, Switzerland -- Max Franz of Austria edged Bode Miller by three hundredths of a second in Thursdays first training run in tough conditions for the last World Cup downhill before the Sochi Olympics. A lot of snow fell on the course overnight and organizers were forced to lower the start. Saturdays downhill and Sundays giant slalom replace the races originally slated for Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, which were cancelled because of a lack of snow. Jordan Akins Jersey. Here, the opposite may be the problem, with more snow forecast into the weekend. Franz covered the 2,274-meter (2,487-yard) long Corviglia course in one minute, 37.72 seconds, with Miller .03 seconds behind. Matthias Mayer of Austria was third, .16 back, with Manuel Osborne-Paradis of Canada in fourth, .23 adrift. Cheap Nuggets Jerseys Cheap Timberwolves Jerseys Cheap Thunder Jerseys Cheap Blazers Jerseys Cheap Jazz Jerseys Cheap Warriors Jerseys Cheap Clippers Jerseys Cheap Lakers Jerseys Cheap Suns Jerseys Cheap Kings Jerseys Cheap Mavericks Jerseys Cheap Rockets Jerseys Cheap Grizzlies Jerseys Cheap Pelicans Jerseys Cheap Spurs Jerseys ' ' '