Thomas
DeChastelain
Memorial Archives

The Missing Impact Forward
posted Jul 10, 2006 at 09:21PM

Anyone who has done any line juggling in their heads can tell you that the departures of Smolinski and Havlat has left the Senators pretty lean up front. I don't think you will get much debate by saying that our top priority is to sign a top six impact forward. Not a prospect, not a project, not a young player with promise or potential, but a no shit player that we know will contribute from game one.

Now some of the low hanging fruit has been picked but below are three names that I think should be on our short list. (You can clik the names to get thier stats)

Anson Carter

Yanic Perreault

Sergei Samsonov
(Thanks for the reminder DesRock)

I like Anson Carter. He showed that when placed with good linemates he can be a productive goal scorer. But more than that is he brings a robust physicality to his game. The combination of the two bring a premium when it comes to playoff hockey. He is supposedly asking for $3 million. That is steep but I would hate to see him go to a Detroit, or worse, Toronto.

It would give us a theoretical line up of

Alfredson-Spezza-Heatley
Schaefer-Fisher-Carter
Kelly-Vermette-Eaves
Hamel/Schubert-Kaigorodov-Neil

Certainly a line-up that could do some damage, especially if Vermette and Eaves do what I think they can do.

I can't say too much about Perreault as I haven't seen much of his play. His stats are reasonable. The big thing with Perreault is that he is consistently the best face-off man in the NHL. Along with Vermette we would have two of the top five in the league. Nothing like winning 60% of face-offs in giving your team their "fair advantage"

In this case our line up would go as follows

Alfredson-Spezza-Heatley
Schaefer-Perreault-Fisher
Kelly-Vermette-Eaves
Hamel/Schubert-Kaigorodov-Neil

Again I am not familiar enough to really get a warm and fuzzy about considering him our number two center, but he filled that role in Nashville, so the concept can't be a complete laugher.

Before last season's playoffs I probably would have shied away from Samsonov. He reminded me too much of Havlat, big on high light reel goals in the regular season, but lacking the physical robustness needed in the playoffs.

But he looked very strong and dedicated on Edmonton's Cup run and he would bring back some of the "wizardry" and razzle-dazzle that we had in Havlat.

Samsonov is listed as LW, so it does bring up some interesting possibilities as far as line combinations goes. One example is:

Samsonov-Spezza-Heatley
Schaeffer-Fisher-Alfredson
Kelly-Vermette-Eaves
Hamel/Schubert-Kaigorodov-Neil

Well I have to tell you... I could get really excited if we fielded the team above. We would score a ton!

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