There are plenty of question marks on Ottawa’s blueline heading into next season.
Patrick Wiercioch is gone, having not been tendered a qualifying offer. There’s hope AHLer Chris Wideman can become a full-time NHLer, and that Mark Borowiecki can play more than 63 games for the first time in his career.
There’s also hope the team can add a fifth, sixth or seventh defenseman.
“We can use some of that money trying to get another [blueliner], to complement (Chris) Wideman and (Mark Borowiecki),” GM Pierre Dorion said, per the Ottawa Citizen. “There’s no doubt we would like to add another guy, through trades or free agency.”
This is Dorion’s first free agency period as GM, and it’ll be interesting to see what he comes out of it with. The team was a tire fire defensively and on special teams last season, something Dorion alluded to upon firing head coach Dave Cameron.
The reasons Cameron was let go were simple and Dorion listed them:
* The Senators special teams were amongst the NHL’s worst. The power play, which features top defenceman Erik Karlsson, was ranked No. 26 overall at a pathetic 15.8%. The penalty killing, which somehow had 17 shorthanded goals, was ranked No. 29 at 17.8%.
* The Senators gave up the most shots in the league at 32.8 per game and the club was also outshot 51 times.
* Fifty-one times, the Senators surrendered the first goal in 82 games.
The Sens are also hoping that Thomas Chabot, the 18th overall pick at the 2015 draft, could make a push for some minutes at the NHL level.