After the NHL Draft, free agency and other offseason moves, NHL.com is examining where each team stands in preparation for the 2022-23 regular season, which starts Oct. 7 Today, the Ottawa Senators:
2021-22 season: 33-42-7; seventh in Atlantic Division; did not qualify for Stanley Cup Playoffs
Alex DeBrincat, F: The 24-year-old was acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks on July 7 for Ottawa’s first- and second-round picks in the 2022 NHL Draft and a third-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft. He had 78 points in 82 games last season, including a team-high 41 goals and instantly boosts the Senators top-six forward group and power-play unit. … Cam Talbot, G: The 35-year-old was acquired from the Minnesota Wild for goalie Filip Gustavsson on July 12 and becomes the Senators No. 1 goalie. Talbot was 32-12-4 with a 2.77 goals-against average, .911 save percentage and three shutouts in 49 regular-season games last season (48 starts) and 0-1 in one Stanley Cup Playoff game. … Claude Giroux, F: The 34-year-old, who grew up in Ottawa, signed a three-year contract on July 13. He had 65 points (21 goals, 44 assists) in 75 games for the Florida Panthers and Philadelphia Flyers last season, including 23 points (three goals, 20 assists) in 18 games after he was acquired in a trade with the Flyers on March 19. Giroux had eight points (three goals, five assists) in 10 postseason games.
Matt Murray, G: Traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs on July 11 with a third-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft and a seventh-round selection in the 2024 NHL Draft for future considerations. Murray was 5-12-2 with a 3.05 GAA and .906 save percentage in 20 games last season. He was 15-25-3 in 47 games during two seasons with the Senators. … Colin White, F: Signed a one-year contract with the Panthers on July 13 after he had the final three seasons of his six-year contract bought out on July 6. He had 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in 24 games last season … Connor Brown, F: Traded to the Washington Capitals on July 13 for a second-round pick in the 2024 draft after scoring 39 points (10 goals, 29 assists) in 64 games last season. … Filip Gustavsson, F: He was 5-12-1 with a 3.55 GAA and .892 save percentage in 18 games (16 starts) last season. … Michael Del Zotto, D: Signed a one-year contract with the Panthers on July 17 after scoring 13 points (three goals, 10 assists) in 26 games last season … Tyler Ennis, F: The unrestricted free agent had 24 points (eight goals, 16 assists) in 57 games last season. … Victor Mete, D: Signed a one-year contract with the Maple Leafs on July 14 after he had seven assists in 37 games last season … Chris Tierney, F: Signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Panthers on July 19 after he had 18 points (six goals, 12 assists) in 70 games last season.
On the cusp
Shane Pinto, F: The 21-year-old, who was the No. 32 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, missed the majority of the season after he had shoulder surgery in November and was limited to one assist in five games. Pinto, a finalist for the 2021 Hobey Baker Award voted as the top men’s player in NCAA Division I ice hockey after scoring 32 points (15 goals, 17 assists) with the University of North Dakota, is expected to receive third-line minutes and get time on the second power-play unit … Jake Sanderson, D: The 20-year-old, who was the No. 5 pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, said he hopes his nagging right hand injury will be completely healed for training camp in September after he was unable to take part in on-ice sessions during development camp, which was held July 11-14. He’s had two surgeries on the hand this year. Sanderson had 26 points (eight goals, 18 assists) in 23 games with the University of North Dakota last season. Health permitting, he’ll be given every opportunity to start the season in the NHL.
What they still need
The Senators brought in a No. 1 goalie in Talbot and have a strong top-six with Giroux, DeBrincat, Brady Tkachuk, Tim Stutzle, Josh Norris and Drake Batherson. Where they are lacking is on the blue line. Thomas Chabot has proven to be a No. 1 defenseman, but it drops off after that with Travis Hamonic, Erik Brannstrom and Artem Zub. Sanderson has a bright future, but Ottawa needs help at that position.
They said it
“Are we going to win the Cup next year? Probably not. I’m not saying we won’t, but probably not. But it’s something we have a full year to build on, to work on, to build an identity. And I think when we do that, that’s when we’ll start being dangerous. You don’t get an identity 10 games into the season. But when you start getting one and you know how to play and what kind of team you want to be, that’s when you start winning hockey games.” — Claude Giroux
Norris gains significant fantasy appeal after the restricted free agent signed an eight-year contract with Ottawa, arguably the most-improved team this offseason. Norris, who led the Senators in goals (35; T-25th in NHL) and had seven multigoal games (T-14th) last season, should benefit from the additions of DeBrincat and Giroux. Norris, who was tied for third in the NHL in power-play goals (16) last season, should play on the first power play with one or both of his new teammates and appears poised to join the upper echelon of his position in fantasy this season. — Anna Dua
Brady Tkachuk — Josh Norris — Drake Batherson
Alex DeBrincat — Tim Stutzle — Claude Giroux
Alex Formenton — Shane Pinto — Mathieu Joseph
Parker Kelly — Dylan Gambrell — Austin Watson
Thomas Chabot –Travis Hamonic
Eric Brannstrom — Artem Zub
Jake Sanderson — Nikita Zaitsev
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