All hope quickly faded due to injuries and substandard goaltending and GM Brian Murry began a fire sale, moving out Mike Fisher, Chris Kelly, Alex Kovalev, Brian Elliot, and Chris Campoli.
Filling the roster out for the final part of the season the Sen's gave auditions to youngsters Bobby Butler, Eric Condra, Colin Greening and NCAA free agent signing Stephane Da Costa.
In the off Season, Murray had his contract surprisingly renewed, and not too surprisingly head coach Cory Clouston was replaced with Paul MacLean.
The Sens had a lottery pick for the 2011 draft but fell all the way to sixth and selected Mika Zibanejad. They also came out of the draft with highly skilled prospect and enigma Nikita Filatov after Columbus felt the need to purge them selves.
In free agency Murray's most significant addition was the signing of the big Z. (No not Chara) Zenon Konopka will make the Sens one of the biggest and toughest teams this season in the NHL with Konopka (leading the NHL in PIM's the last two seasons) Chris Neil and Matt Carkner all in the fold the Sens may lead the league in PIM's this season.
||Stephane Da Costa
Top Breakout Candidates: Nikita Filatov will be given every chance and a lot of leash to finally realize his enormous potential.
Top Rookies: Plenty of candidates to make the team and make an impact. Da Costa, Butler, and Zibanejad will be given chances, but the top rookie for the Sens and a potential Calder candidate is David Rundblad.
Hidden Gem: Last year was supposed to be a break out season for Peter Regin. It wasn't. If the kids don't steal the second line center spot it is all Regins.
Don't Draft: Sergei Gonchar. Perhaps Clouston insisting to play Gonchar on his off point on the powerplay last season led to his drop in points. Perhaps it is simply his age and he is declining. Either way Karlsson and Rundblad are the future.
Best Fantasy Value: Not many sure things to choose from but Erik Karlsson is a franchise player, and if healthy Jason Spezza can pile up points.
Expectations going into the 2011-2012 season are much lower than this time last year. It will be a long season for the Sens, full of growing pains.
The Sens are a much younger team with new faces and just beginning what looks to be like a quick rebuild phase. There is so much uncertainty at every position going into the 2011-2012 season. What rookies will make the team? Will veterans Spezza and Alfredsson be relatively healthy? Is Anderson the goalie the Sens have been searching for since coming back into the NHL? Will Filatov flame out like he did in Columbus or replace Dany Heatley on Spezza's wing.
Pete Harling is and always has been passionate about hockey. He loves to watch it, play it but what he loves the most is fantasy hockey. Email Coach Harling at [email protected].