Well, my Ottawa Senators have carried their post-All Star slump straight down the Playoff toilet. At least nobody can accuse them of choking this year - choking implies they were breathing well prior to the playoffs. They were lucky to make it to the post-season dance at all this year.
Still, they did better than Toronto AGAIN and that's always comforting. Also nice to note is that they'll have lots of salary room next year, as pricey defenceman Wade Redden (the highest-paid defenseman whose contract expires this year) will probably not be re-signed and high-highfalutin' goaltender Ray Emery will find a home somewhere that's big enough for his ego (maybe he can play with Alexei Yashin in Russia). The trades made this season offloading some of the smaller-salary players like Joe Corvo, Patrick Eaves, and Peter Shaeffer for rental players up for unrestricted free agency this summer also help in that regard. Those trades and the UFA happenings will save the Sens about $16 million, but about $10 million of that is already eaten up by Spezza, Heatley, Alfredsson, and Fisher's increases next season. Assuming they can't get rid of Emery, they'll have about $6 million to spend signing some Phillips or Volchenkov level defensemen, and that's the direction in which they've got to go.
So while this season ended poorly, the core is still intact and shouldn't be touched. The young talent is developing nicely, they have solid goaltending in Martin Gerber, and are well-positioned financially for the summer trading frenzy.
For now, dear chums in Red & White, enjoy your golfing. We'll root for you next year! Go Sens Go!