The Ottawa Senators were one of the most surprising teams of the 2016-17 season. The plucky, underrated team got themselves to within a goal of reaching the Stanley Cup Final, but now, may be ripped apart due to the NHL Expansion Draft.
Among the players left unprotected by general manager Pierre Dorion are big name and big price tag forward Bobby Ryan, fan favorite Clarke MacArthur and top pairing defenseman Marc Methot. While the Vegas Golden Knights are only allowed to take one player from the Sens as part of the NHL Expansion Draft, a selection of any of the above mentioned players would have a ripple effect throughout the Sens lineup.
Ryan, the most skilled of any player left exposed, carries a hefty price tag which might scare off the expansion franchise. His seven year, $50+ million contract runs through 2021-22 and carries an annual cap hit of $7.25 million. While he’s a good player, he’s an inconsistent player and his salary may be too prohibitive for a budget team like Vegas.
MacArthur also carries a big price tag, but with only three years left on a deal that pays him $4.65 million annually, he’s a much more likely option for Vegas. Because of his injury history however, multiple concussions over the past 2 seasons, Vegas may look elsewhere.
Methot it perhaps the most intriguing option for the Golden Knights. The 31 year old blue liner is signed for two more seasons at $4.9 million per and has cemented himself as a top pairing blue liner. While he’ll never put up points the way his defense partner Erik Karlsson does (but really…who can!?), Methot provides his team with steady play and the ability to start the breakout and rush up the ice.
What do you think Sens fans? With Phaneuf refusing to move, it looks like the team will lose a really good player for nothing. For a team that appeared to be on the brink of something special, this setback has to be disheartening.