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Filip Kuba. Erik Karlsson. Matt Carkner. Brian Lee. Chris Campoli. Chris Phillips.

These are your other defencemen as of today. Feel confident? Yeah, I know. Me too.

I know what the rumour mill is churning out, and I find it exceedingly hard to believe. If the Senators are to be taken seriously by their fans, they need to not only make the playoffs, but at least make their presence known in the first round, win or lose. After that, they're likely playing with house money.

1) How does anyone expect them to do that without one of their best stay-at-home defencemen and 2)How do you expect the Senators to get back fair value for a UFA? It never works that way, kids.

Bryan Murray is going to be forced to hash this out until July 1st. Not doing so hurts his team too much, both in the short and long term. He said he's not going to do it -- we'll have to take him at his word for the next 25 hours and change.

More later.

P.S.: You can now add Andy Sutton to the list, as he was traded to Ottawa for a second-round pick (previously owned by the Sharks). Ooh, I'm tingling.

3 responses to "Anton Volchenkov: Why now and how?"

  1. No matter how badly Sens fans want this guy to stay, there are two important factors to keep in mind.

    Firstly, overpaying for purely defensive defencemen is a mistake in the cap era, as it handcuffs you later when trying to spend on guys with offensive punch. The harsh truth is that it is easier to find guys like Volchenkov, Willie Mitchell, etc., than it is to find guys like Gonchar, Mike Green, etc. who can run your power play.

    Secondly, you have to consider that Volchenkov is 28 and increasingly injury prone. The reality is that as guys get older, the physical game is the first thing to go - they start playing more of a finesse game in order to prolong their careers. You won't see Ovechkin charging around in five years like he does now, and you will see the physical side to Volchenkov's game subside slowly as well. Bryan Murray wants to re-sign him, I'm sure, but overpaying Volchenkov would be a mistake, which to his credit Murray appears to realize.

    Dennis Prouse

  2. You're absolutely right (and as for Ovechkin I tweeted something exactly like that during the Olympics, and the same could be said for a guy like Mike Fisher).

    Later on seems like almost a sure thing. The Sens are still searching for more offensive-minded D -- it's been stated multiple times. But as of right now, Murray is handcuffed, and he knows it.

    The Universal Cynic

  3. To be fair, Volchenkov may be on the young side for Murray. He likes his guys 31-37, plodding and primarily from the area. Is Sutton a "good character guy"? That should be the first warning sign that Ottawa has acquired a glorified pylon.

    It's hard to see what Murray is trying to do here. It's unlikely this defensive corps can reach a finals, maybe a Conference finals it gets some bounces. The "D" is slow to average speed-wise, decent offensively...the forward corps has a lot of pluggers. This isn't a contender by any means.

    Still, it's win-win for Ottawa fans. IF the team does well in the playoffs, then all the stink from previous debacles goes away. If they suffer, then Murray has to look beyond the "Captain Caveman, P.O. Box Rockland Ontario" blueprint and add some zest and skill to the blueline and forward corps.

    All the best against the Rags.