With pressures mounting on the Senators to re-sign one prominent and impending unrestricted free agent (UFA), the Senators made a splash today by inking… Nathan Lawson to a one-year, two-way contract.
I suppose under normal circumstances, it would be reassuring to see the organization retain a goaltender who not only has NHL experience but some familiarity with the organization and a level of comfort playing in Binghamton. But this is Ottawa, and when the Senators’ long-time captain has not signed an extension and other teams are allowed to express interest and talk shop with Daniel Alfredsson and his representation, things get a little disconcerting and questions start to get asked.
Why hasn’t the organization aggressively tried to get Alfredsson signed? Is this simply the net result of a contract negotiation? Are the Senators really adhering to the $50M budget that Ken Warren referred to the other day? If so, does that strict financial budget mean that the organization and Eugene Melnyk have fallen on hard financial times? Will Melnyk have to sell the team or at least a minority share? If Alfie leaves, will Melnyk have to give us another Eagles concert? If he can’t afford it, will we have to settle for a Jon Secada performance instead? I thought this team was on the upswing!!! How are we going to retain everyone when it comes time to re-up our prospects when their entry-level deals expire!??!! If we can’t re-sign Alfie, what does this mean when Spezza hits UFA at the end of the 2014/15 season??!? (Hyperventilating. Gasp. Breath. Gasp.)
Whatever the root of the problem is, little is being said to allay the worst fears of this fan base. It’s like we’re stuck in a state of purgatory in which we can’t control anything and have await the fate of our beloved captain while the various worst-case scenarios run through our head like we’re Joe Corvo with the puck behind the net, ready to run a breakout.
We’re helpless while opportunists take advantage of the situation by going to the ‘Daniel Alfredsson probably isn’t going anywhere, but if he does…’ well.
And who can blame them?
The topic drives traffic and considering the context of the situation, we’re all going to read it.
Numerous teams are already calling Alfie’s representatives and at the forefront are the Bruins and GM Peter Chiarelli.
If it weren’t for the fact that their recent track record of enticing long-time captains of Canadian franchises to play for their team wasn’t very good, I’d probably be more concerned...on the other hand Zdeno Chara.
But even if Alfie decides to sign elsewhere, I cannot hold that against him. If he wants an opportunity to contend for a Cup and thinks he has better odds elsewhere, so be it. He deserves it and it will not affect his legacy here in Ottawa. The only legacy it will affect is Melnyk’s.
Melnyk is pretty much fucked if he lets Alfie walk away because of some internal cap. He'll instantly become public enemy #1, whether it's deserved or not, and will likely end up selling the team (or minority stock, as you suggested)
Personally, I don't see The Alfather going anywhere. I think Chiarelli is just stirring the pot. Besides, he wouldn't be doing HIS job if he didn't at least give Alfie's agent a call to determine his interest.