Friday, December 3, 2010


Want a crazy thought? Dany Heatley did the Senators a favor by screwing them on his way out of town.

Now while you are casting around for your torches and pitchforks, hear me out.

Put aside your Senators-red colored glasses and take a look at this year's team. I mean, really look at them. Look at the effort put in on the ice on most nights.

Last night they fired more shots at Niemi than were directed back at LeClair. Niemi may be commonly considered one of the more porous goalies on the circuit this year, but for all this artillery... nothing goes in.

Monday they played host to Edmonton, and got owned. The worst team in the west came to visit and beat them. The only goal that the Senators could muster would be a single fluky marker that bounces off of Foligno's stick then off an Oiler skate and in.

All those other efforts?


And this was Darth Gerber they were shelling, allegedly the single handed cause of Ottawa's now legendary collapse in 2008. A man shielded by the worst defense corps in the west. Being attacked by a team who's owner believes are destined for the finals; a team which most fans think will get to the playoffs, even if not very far.

And? At risk of repeating myself:


So. Let's review. This year we have:
  • no primary scoring;
  • no defensive discipline; and
  • at least one goalie (you pick) playing over his head without any support from the guys ahead of them.
Gut check time, folks:

How much better would this be if Heatley was still here?

It would be better, sure. But how much better? Is Dany Heatley that god among men who can make the difference between a trip to the finals, and... well, this?

Well then San Jose is sure getting screwed, aren't they?

When Heatley devalued himself so that Brian Murray was forced to take a salary dump in the form of Cheechoo just for the privilege of handing over a multi-time 50-goal-scorer, he not only deprived the Senators of his services, but weakened them further by tying up resources that would prevent the Senators from even contemplating a reasonable effort at replacing even a part of it.

(No disrespect to Michalek, but he's no Dany Heatley.)

Leading us more or less inevitably to where we are today.

The Ottawa Senators are going to have to take a long, hard look in the roster. The fact of the matter is that as the team is currently on average the oldest on the ice, they will not be getting, on average, better.

While we locked up the core of the team that got us to the playoffs, we discarded for varying reasons some of the wildcards that were the difference between trying and succeeding. And it was that whole team, together, all playing well, many playing above their heads, that got to the final in 2007.

By trying to hold on to that history, hold on to the memory that we came so close to holding that parade, we have let the possibility of that dream coming true in the near future slip through our fingers.

The time has passed on tweaking this team.

The time has come, frankly, to rebuild this team.

I'd rather wander the wilderness of no-playoffs for a couple of years knowing that we were in the process of building a youth movement that could actually carry us somewhere. It would be far better to do that than to carry on as we are, staggering around in the fringes of the wilderness, hoping against hope that some miracle tweak will make everything better.

I think that Dany Heatley got us to this point sooner than we would have otherwise.

Sorry, guys.

Bring on the torches and pitchforks.