The Ottawa Senators are right where they should be for the current season. Last. But recently, the Ottawa Senators roster moves are what’s making noise in the capital of Canada. The demotion of Drake Batherson and Filip Chlapik has left fans scratching their heads.
For a team that was so focused on letting young guys play in the big club, it’s been a tough look so far. Let us dive into the recent Senators moves and what they could mean for a depleted team in the midst of a rebuild.
Recent Ottawa Senators Roster Moves
Heading into training camp, there were plenty of spots open for rookies to jump into and create a spark of some sort. As camp went along though, it was evident that not enough was being done from the Senator’s prospects to secure themselves a spot on opening night. There were plenty of prospects at camp. However, only three made the opening night roster. These were Drake Batherson, Filip Chlapik and Erik Brannstrom.
Fans were and still are puzzled at the fact that not enough rookies made the line-up, but there was a silver lining that two of their best prospects had done enough to make the team. Except even that silver lining disappeared in two games. The concept of Batherson and Chlapik being sent down makes the Senator’s path to success unsettling. It also backfires on comments from the organization that they’d be willing to inject youth into the line-up for this season. When you look at the Senators roster on paper, how good are the likes of veterans compared to Drake Batherson? Let’s leave it at this, if you’re in Las Vegas, take the under on this one.
To make matters worse, head coach D.J. Smith gave both Batherson and Chlapik limited ice-time in their short stint with the club. Granted, Batherson and Chlapik only played a combined three games before they were sent off. We acknowledged that it’s still super early, but the beginning of “The Kids Are Alright” era has gotten off to a jellylike start for the Sens.
Behind the Meaning
The recent flurry of roster moves shows that this team is not ready to move on. Signing players like Scott Sabourin seems more critical right now than giving ice-time to youngsters. That sentence is wild in of itself to say, let alone believe. Clearly the meaning here is that General Manager Pierre Dorion doesn’t see enough in his group of youngsters. He and D.J. Smith share the opinion that time in Belleville would cause a great benefit. Whether it’s not being ready, or sending down rookies for financial reasons, it’s not a hot start. For a team that has looked not great in the first two games, you would hope they would wanna change things up. Except they’re taking a step backwards.
Devil’s advocate, maybe the meaning behind these roster moves is in good heart. Even though fans don’t have trust in the organization, Pierre Dorion should hopefully know better than them. If Dorion believes Belleville is the proper place, then Senators fans should get ready for another long year ahead. The team was not going to be competitive anyway, but it would be welcoming to see fresh faces in the line-up that show a glimpse of the future.
However the Ottawa Senators roster shapes up to be, the trade deadline is what fans should have their eyes set on now. Barring any major injury, it seems that the notion is Batherson along with others will work better down in the minors. Come to the trade deadline, the likes of Mikkel Boedker, Chris Tierney and Tyler Ennis could be on the move. If any of those three move, expect the Senators to call-up a few players from Belleville to play the last half of the season. The newly acquired Vladislav Namestnikov could also be another name to move.
Final Thoughts on the Senators Shuffling
To wrap this up, the shuffling is something the Senators organization jumped the gun on. You cannot sit there and say you’ve seen enough after a total of three games. One of which included a total of 5 minutes in ice-time for Chlapik. It’s shocking how they were so hopeful for Batherson, but also so cutthroat in a short amount of time.
As we said earlier, the trade deadline will most likely bring some younger players up. In a best-case scenario, poor play from veterans may result in a few young guys coming up too. Fingers crossed. D.J. Smith was very vocal about sending the message of spots being earned and not given. In addition to saying that, it would be nice to see him take that same approach for veterans too.
However the Senators continue with this matter, they should give their heads a shake as the season chugs on. This team was never going to be a winner this year, but steps need to be taken to solidify a winning future. And right now, they’re failing to do that.