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What does Senators Success look like in 2019-20?

September 21, 2019, 12:13 PM ET [1 Comments]
Michael Stuart
Ottawa Senators Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
One of the things that is sometimes difficult to gauge with weaker teams is what success actually looks like at the NHL level in a given season. While we would all love to see the Ottawa Senators surprise and go on a magical Cup run this season, reality tells us that is unlikely to be the case. So, what does success look like for the 2019-20 Senators then? Here are some things I’ll be looking for throughout the campaign:

1) Commitment from Young Players

The Senators have already checked this box, which is fantastic to see. Commitment doesn’t mean ‘commitment’ in traditional hockey-men speak. Rather, it’s about seeing young players commit to the long-term vision of the Senators by putting pen to paper. With the Thomas Chabot and Colin White deals done, this is already happening. One breeds two, two breeds three, and three breeds more. With star young players signing on for the long-term, more players will see Ottawa as a destination.

2) American Hockey League Success
Having covered the Tampa Bay Lightning during some very rough years, it became clear that success was on the horizon when the Norfolk Admirals and Syracuse Crunch started having sustained success. The players that led those teams now lead the Lightning, and are having ample success while doing it. Belleville was… okay last year. There’s nothing that says an ‘okay’ farm team can’t lead to big league success, but it would be nice to see a playoff run for the first time in a while.

3) Staying the Course

One of the major missteps that rebuilding teams can make is trying to take shortcuts to success. The Vancouver Canucks, now perennially a contender for the second wildcard spot and nothing more, are a perfect example of what happens when shortcuts are attempted. The Senators need to stay the course in their rebuild. There should be an opportunity to add to an already strong crop of picks for the 2020 draft, and Pierre Dorion should look to take it if available. The goal isn’t to compete for a playoff spot next year. The goal is to win a Cup within the next five to seven years. It’s imperative that management and ownership not lose sight of that.

4) Alexis Lafreniere
This would just make the whole rebuild a lot easier...

What will you be looking for from the Senators this season? What does success look like in your mind? Let me know in the comments section.

On another note: The Senators take to the ice against the Montreal Canadiens in just under eight hours time. Craig Anderson is expected to get the start in net. Having already established complete, total, and eternal supremacy over the Toronto Maple Leafs earlier in the week, an opportunity to do the same to the Canadiens exists tonight.

As always, thanks for reading.
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