February 09 2011 10:05AM
(Note - Thanks to the great work Pat puts into his FGD posts, we plan to phase out the gameday preview moving forward. However, I wanted to add a few notes on the Senators today because they're an interesting squad for a couple of reasons)
The last time the two clubs met, we considered them near mirror images of each other. A month and change since and it's clear that the rot is further along in Ottawa than in Calgary. The Flames, for all their various faults and their dubious future, still have a number of functional money players, adequate depth and a shot to compete most nights. Ottawa, ignoring Spezza, really doesn't. Alfredsson has given in to the ravages of time, Heatley caught the bullet train out of town and Murray has pissed away the rest of the heavy lifters the organization once boasted in spades. He's also the guy who signed 36-year old Alexei Kovalev to a two-year, $5M per deal and decided that a doddering Sergei Gonchar was worth $5.5M for the next three seasons this past summer. Might be the worst GM in the league right now.
Speaking of Murray, he's also a dead man walking. Ditto Clouston. Both guys contracts are up this year and it would take a Flamesian reversal to see either one of the save their jobs. A bunch of Senators will likely be up for auction come the deadline in a couple weeks as well - Chris Philips, Jarko Ruutu (puke), Alexei Kovalev, and Mike Fisher will probably go on the block, although the return for most of them will likely be minimal.
Peter Regin, another potential trade target, is a guy who interests me personally. A sophomore who has good possession numbers over his first couple of seasons, he has been a healthy scratch more than once this season, mostly because the bounces haven't gone his way. If he can be pried out of OTT for a later-round draft pick or something, he'd be worth a look.
The Sens are legitimately bad. They've bled talent and made spectcularly bad bets in the face of their failing fortunes since peaking back in 2007. Hopefully this is a future the Flames can avoid.