Detroit Red Wings: Predicting how the Atlantic Division will Shape Up

DETROIT, MI - APRIL 07: Detroit Red Wings forward Dylan Larkin (71) is congratulated by his teammates on the bench after scoring a goal during the third period of a regular season NHL hockey game between the New York Islanders and the Detroit Red Wings on April 7, 2018, at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan. New York defeated Detroit 4-3 in overtime. (Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - APRIL 07: Detroit Red Wings forward Dylan Larkin (71) is congratulated by his teammates on the bench after scoring a goal during the third period of a regular season NHL hockey game between the New York Islanders and the Detroit Red Wings on April 7, 2018, at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan. New York defeated Detroit 4-3 in overtime. (Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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Ottawa Senators
(Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

The Ottawa Senators: 8th

I don’t know how else to describe the current state of the Ottawa Senators other than a complete disaster of a franchise.  The Sens dumped their franchise player Erik Karlsson to the San Jose Sharks, which is good for the rest of the Atlantic Division teams.

The return from the Sharks is laughable.  Erik Karlsson is a premium defenseman.  A perennial Norris Trophy Candidate.  The slick-skating, fleet-footed right-handed shot now joins a stacked Sharks team.  Karlsson along with Brent Burns and Marc-Edward Vlasic becomes one of the deepest defense cores in the entire NHL.

The Sens fetched Dylan DeMelo and Chris Tierney both NHLers but with limited upside.  The also received prospects Josh Norris and Rudolfs Balcers along with a first and second-round pick.  The draft choices will, of course, be very late choices in their respected rounds.

Before the team decided to move on from Erik Karlsson they had dealt a top-six forward in Mike Hoffman to the Sharks, who flipped him immediately to the Florida Panthers.  There was some snickering around the league; many folks considered the Sharks return for Hoffman much higher than what they gave up for him.  Then the Sens still made another deal with the Sharks for Karlsson.

Hoffman and Karlsson had a bunch of off-ice issues last season.  It was highly reported that Erik Karlsson’s wife had the misfortune of a stillborn child.  A heartbreaking, devastating situation.  After that terrible incident, it was said Mike Hoffman’s girlfriend “allegedly” created a false social media account to express very adverse actions towards the Karlsson’s.

The whole situation is a complete disaster for the franchise.  Then there is this, Craig Anderson, the starting goaltender for the Sens, has requested a trade.  He remains in Ottawa but is expected to be dealt at some point.

The owner of the Ottawa Senators has also threatened publically to move the franchise due to poor attendance.  Just when you think it couldn’t get any more dysfunctional the Ottawa Senators assistant General Manager Randy Lee was accused of and charged with second-degree harassment.

When you see how bad it is in Ottawa, it makes things look so bright for the Detroit Red Wings.  Ottawa will be right in the mix for the first overall selection in the 2019 Entry Level Draft.

Key Players;

Matt Duchene is still an outstanding top center in the NHL.  Duchene along with Mark Stone will pace the Ottawa Senators offense this season.  Stone will be a trade candidate at some point this season.  Stone is in the final year of his contract and is set to become an unrestricted free agent July.1, 2019.  Surely Mark Stone can’t wait to get out of dodge.

Future Stars;

Brady Tkachuk who is the son of former NHLer Keith is a rising star already as a rookie.  The Sens selected Brady with the fourth overall pick in this past NHL draft.  Tkachuk will skate as a top 6 forward this season from the get-go for the Sens.  Cody Ceci, and Thomas Chabot are good defenders who have yet reached their full potential.  The pair will serve as the top pairing this season for the franchise.

The ugly;

Bobby Ryan makes 7.25 million per season and is under contract until 2022.  Craig Anderson is under contract obligations until 2020 at 4.75 million per season.  The Sens also have Marian Gaborik‘s 4.875 million buried.  Gaborik is under contract until 2021.  Zack Smith was placed on waivers recently and went unclaimed; he makes 3.25 per. So the Detroit Red Wings are not the only team with terrible contracts on the books.

I expect the Ottawa Senators to be the odds-on favorite to win the draft lottery.