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Will The Sens Keep Drinking The Chara-Redden Kool-Aid?
posted Jun 4, 2006 at 02:41PM

Some of the numbers being thrown around for signing Redden and Chara are nothing short of preposterous. According to Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun, Redden is asking for six million plus to stay in Ottawa. The zeitgeist around the league is that Chara can demand even more. So we are talking about 12-13 million dollars for two defenceman. Given that the team will most likely be under a self-imposed salary cap of $40 million, that would mean 30% of that cap would go to only two defencemen.

What really gets to me is that supposedly both Redden and Chara are asking, nay demanding, what changes or steps the GM is going to make to help bring a Cup to the city. Well if I was the GM, I would respond by stating that we are jettisoning playoff underperformers who are asking for gigantic and undeserved pay raises.

Even in the surreal world of NHL player salaries 6 million dollars is reserved for that rare defenceman that has proven that they can lead a team to multiple Stanley Cup Championships. Redden and Chara are certainly not in that category. Chara is not Scott Stevens and Redden is certainly no Lindstrum. Indeed their playoff performances over the past five years have been completely underwhelming in nature. Redden has been an active participant in way too many season ending goals and Chara has had way too many games where he has been ineffectual, if not a liability.

Indeed if you look at the list of available players through free agency you have to figure you can get a lot more bang for 12 million dollars than two good but vastly overrated defencemen.

Now as I have mentioned I do not have a detailed encyclopedic knowledge of players outside of Ottawa. However I suggest that for 12 million dollars you could get the following: Jovanoski for 5-5.5 million, Jay McKee for 3-3.5 million, Anson Carter 3-3.5 million and still have some change to spare.

Jovanoski can do everything Redden can do plus he adds physicality and in my limited viewing of the Canucks is a much better player in pressure situations. Jay McKee may not have the potential to squish opposing players like Chara, but he is a premier shot-blocker in the league and he certainly did not spend these past playoffs coughing up the puck the way Chara did. The big bonus is getting a forward like Anson Carter, a robust physical player who scored 30 plus goals, and whose play does not falter when up against the stiffer competition of the better teams.

Throwing Carter into our current mix of forwards gives all kinds of promising line combination possibilities.

Now those names are just examples. But in the end 12-13 million dollars should be able to get you two rock solid defenceman and a physical rugged forward that has proven goal scoring capabilities. With a little tough bargaining you may even have enough left over to get a good role player whose stock is down, like say Yanic Perreault, who is always in the top five in face-off winning percentages.

(Note: The "alternate" Senators logo is copyrighted 2006 and is used here with permission.)

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