By Stephen Bierbrier (IG: @bytownboy)
2016–17 record: 44-28-10 (2nd in Atlantic Division)
2016–17 playoffs: 1st round win vs. Bruins. 2nd round win vs Rangers. 3rd round loss vs Penguins in game 7 double overtime. Let us not talk of this again.
2016–17 average attendance: 16,744 (capacity in 2016-17: 18,500)
2017–18 seating capacity at Canadian Tire Centre: 17,000
Your Ottawa Senators start the 2017–18 campaign at home on October 5 versus Ovi8 and the Washington Capitals. Before they hit the ice, Apt613 wants to get you all caught up with the team, and what to expect this season.
Where were you when the Penguins Chris Kunitz’s flutter ball at 5:08 of 2OT went past Craig Anderson and ended a pretty amazing playoff run for the 1st season of the Guy Boucher-coached team? As far as milestones in Sens history, it’s a big one. Time heals, but the memory remains. What if. What could have been. A moment … please. Ok, I’m better.
As always, the Sens’ off-season has been made up of trying to improve the team through free agency, trades and re-signing key players all with one eye on the NHL’s hard salary cap ($75 mil) and one eye on Eugene Melnyk’s self-imposed salary ceiling. Then there’s the bonus issues like the Vegas expansion draft plucking a player off the Sens roster, as well as the unforeseen like, say, Erik Karlsson going under the knife to repair tendons in his left foot or Clarke MacArthur not passing his physical. Put it all together and GM Pierre Dorion probably didn’t sleep a lot this off season.
Are the Sens a better unit today than at the end of last season? TBD. Have other teams in the Atlantic Division improved significantly to leapfrog the Sens in the standings? TBD. Are the Sens another year long in the tooth or on a full-fledged youth movement? TBD. Are you seeing a trend?
EK65 is the engine to this NHL machine.
Tomorrow: watch this space for Part 2 of our Senators season preview. Ottawa starts the 2017–18 campaign at home versus the Washington Capitals on October 5. Tickets cost $32–211 online.