That is the question many Ottawa Senators are asking themselves. There is no doubt that Craig Anderson remains the no.1 goaltender in Ottawa – at this time. The Ottawa senators have recently resigned Andrew ‘the Hamburglar” Hammond to a three-year extension worth 4.05 million dollars, which leaves 23 year-olds Robin Lehner out in the cold. Lehner is young and has a lot of upside while Anderson solid in the playoff against Montreal has proven he can keep his team in the game and even steal a few games here and there.
General Manager Bryan Murray is not intending to start the next season with three NHL goalies in his roster. So what will he do? The obvious will be to trade goaltender Robin Lehner a team in need of goalie at a reasonable price. Murray may have a market out there but come the next draft in June, he will have some competition from other teams wishing to part with their no.2 goaltenders. Could Anderson be in play? Of course he could, and Murray could pull the trigger on a deal for Andreson if the return is well worth it and improving his team.
Some of the teams in need of a solid goalie are few but there are some. The Buffalo sabres, the Edmonton Oilers and possibly the San Jose Sharks could be looking at a no.1 goalie this summer. add to the mix, the Toronto Maple Leafs who haven’t found that no.1 netminder even with Jonathan Bernier in their lineup. Murray must keep in mind that other goalies will be offered to Buffalo, Edmonton, San Jose or Toronto. Cam Talbot who did an excellent job replacing Henrik Lundqvist for 25 games will be a hot commodity on the market. he will seek more work and potentially a no.1 position. Cam Ward is also available and has been for a while. His salary is the negative point and the carolina Hurricanes willbe forced to take some of his salary, if they trade him. Brian Elliott in St-Louis is another goalie that can help. The Blues following their playoff loss, have basically decided to look elsewhere towards their prospect Jake Allen. Keeping Elliott at his current salary is not an economical reason, if he relgated to the no.2 spot.
In Vancouver, the Canucks will likely dangle eddie Lack as a trade bait. With Ryan Miller as the starter and prospect Jacob Markstrom pushing up, the odd man out is set to be Lack. If Jim Benning can fetch a second round draft pick at the NHL Entry Draft, Benning will pull the trigger. In Toronto, James Reimer could also be on the move and give the net once and for all to Jonathan Bernier.
Bottom line, Bryan Murray will need to be swift and trade either Lehner or Anderson soon. That is why Murray is already having talks with other general managers about his goalies.
Editor’s Opinion: I anticipate Murray will make a move either just before the draft or at the draft. He can’t afford to sit on this one because it may mean that Buffalo or Edmonton will already have their goalie comes July – August.
John Hynes to be introduced as the New Jersey Head Coach
Today, the New Jersey Devils are expected to introduce to the media their new head coach John Hynes. Hynes who was the head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Hynes was a logical choice for general manager Ray Shero who knew Hynes from his time in Pittsburgh. John Hynes was the head coach in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for the last five seasons. he was selected as the AHL coach of the year in 2010-2011. Hynes will replace Lou Lamoriello behind the bench who fill the position on an interim basis after head coach Peter Deboer was fired back in December 2014. When the season ended, Lamoriello stepped aside from the general manager position and stayed on as the President of Hockey Operations and hired the longtime Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Ray Shero, who was fired in 2014.
For Hynes, it will be a challenge to turn around a franchise who has failed to make the playoff last year with several veterans on the roster. With Hynes as the head coach, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins qualified for the playoffs in all five seasons, reaching the conference finals twice.
Toronto’s next GM
The search for a GM in Toronto is still ongoing but the selection will be carefully done by the Leafs management. What that could mean or result into is Toronto not having a general manager by the NHL Entry Draft in Sunrise Florida in June. The general manager in Toronto will be more an enabler stuck in between two powerful figure in hockey, Brendan Shanahan and head coach Mike Babcock. Shanahan is the one that hired Mike Babcock for a long term deal and needless to say Babcock is there to stay. Shanahan is regarded as one of the powerful man of in the NHL especially since occupying the position as head of safety and discipline in the NHL executive office.
The next general manager will be first of all an enabler. Someone who has the power to easily engage with other general managers and who is known already. There are a few figure possible but at this time, with Peter Chiarelli in Edmonton. Elliott Friedman noted this weekend, someone like a Georges McPhee could be the answer. Other names mentioned are: Mike Futa who has been rumored in many general manager’s vacancy position in the last two years and Mark Hunter, for which Mike Babcock likes. Jeff Gorton is also another candidate but is likely to stay in New York as a possible successor to Glen Sather.
Friedman was quoted saying in his post: “What the GM is going to do is have a voice, then take the plan and find ways to implement it. Dave Nonis did a lot of this last season, using his connections and knowledge to lay the groundwork for trades.”
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