Yesterday, the Ottawa Senators officially said their good byes for the summer.
Because of the lockout and some lengthy second round series, there will barely be an off season this year. The Stanley Cup will likely end sometime in late June and then all attention will turn towards the NHL Entry Draft, to be held in New Jersey on June 30th, 2013.
As expected, several interesting storylines emerged from yesterday’s team locker cleanout day. This is when you find out about injuries players were dealing with during the season as well as hints about what players expect in the future.
A quick summary of the highlights.
- First off the news about Jason Spezza. As I hinted at times during his rehab, there was more than just his back bugging him. Spezza suffered a torn meniscus in his knee during an on ice session and had to have that knee looked at. He’ll have minor surgery on that knee this off season. Having Spezza back and at 100% is crucial if this team wants to contend next season.
As expected, Daniel Alfredsson is going to take some time before making up his mind on next season. Alfie will take the next week or so and then start to weigh the pros and cons of another year as this team’s Captain. I would bet good money Alfredsson returns next season. Although I won’t because we all know what happens when I bet on things. Regardless, you can guarantee Alfie’s future includes ping pong.
Sergei Gonchar wants to stay. The unrestricted free agent spoke highly of his time in Ottawa and indicated that he’d love to be back in a Senators uniform next season. The tricky part here is Gonchar is apparently looking for a two year deal. Will be interesting to see how Bryan Murray handles this one.
Anybody who watched the Eastern Semi-final series knows that Erik Karlsson was not at 100%. The defending Norris Trophy winner admitted as much yesterday, suggesting that he was nowhere near top form. Karlsson is a player that relies heavily on that quick first step and it just wasn’t there for him during the playoffs. He’s got a couple months of rehab ahead of him and should return to his old self in time for the 2013/2014 season.
Not sure we can say the same about Milan Michalek. The Sens sniper will visit with a knee specialist in Germany this summer to see if there is anything they can do to address what have become chronic knee problems. I’ve heard people suggest the Sens could try to trade Michalek this off season but that will be tricky. Along with his $4,333,333 cap hit, Michalek will earn a team high $6 million this season.
Paul MacLean (10:00 AM) and Bryan Murray (10:30 AM) will both do their season ending media availabilities this morning.
Updates will be added to this post.