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Steve Staios and The Ottawa Senators Offseason Summer Chore List

As the President of Hockey Operations and General Manager of an NHL hockey club, even in the summer, there’s not much rest. That’s the story for the Ottawa Senators Steve Staios and the rest of his staff, including one very important decision, the hiring of Head Coach Travis Green. Therefore, this gives the management staff about a month and a half to prepare for the 2024 NHL Entry Draft. After that, they need to really narrow their focus on free agency and rounding out their 2024-25 player roster.

Steve Staios Hires Travis Green to Coach the Ottawa Senators

The hiring of Travis Green as head coach was a huge decision. With the flux of turnover at the NHL head coach position, with 10 head coaches having been fired since October 2023, the Ottawa Senators and Steve Staios had plenty of options. There were several variables to consider, including whether the prospective coaches even wanted to come to Ottawa. Green appears to be adaptable in his approach. He has high expectations of his players, like being prepared for training camp. In return, he plans to show the individual players why his accountability is a strength and that he cares through communication and establishing a personal relationship.

The Time is Now for Everyone to Come Together

Ottawa has gone seven years without a playoff berth, and there is understandably frustration throughout the organization. So, even though Travis Green and Steve Staios should have a year or two to establish themselves, once that time is up, anything short of playoff contenders will be unacceptable. It will be unacceptable to the fans and the owner Michael Andlauer, but even more important, the players. Guys like Brady Tkachuk and Thomas Chabot will not want to stick around for a rebuild if it ends up coming to that. In contrast, given the groups young core and talent, it shouldn’t come to that.

It seems at this point; the Senators roster needs to add a couple of strong pieces to upgrade the overall lineup’s skill. We have heard it before, but they need physicality. They need a big, bulking, right-shot defenceman, one who is still mobile enough to make strong breakout passes. Additionally, they need a middle-six, two-way veteran, who can bring a calm to the middle of the order. We have discussed many options for both in the past, but if they could somehow add for instance, Matt Dumba and Anthony Duclair, without any major subtraction, it would catapult the team to 2024-25 playoff contenders, not pretenders.

The trick is how do you without subtraction. Well first you need to free up cap space. This can be achieved by not re-signing a couple of current players, whether that is Erik Brannstrom or Dominik Kubalik. But then you need a bit of finesse to land players that fit your requirements. One problem with this is, of course, not everyone you want is a free agent. Alternatively, you could try adding through the trade route, but you would tend to give up more assets than desired to land specific targets.

Looking Back at Green’s Career Accomplishments

If we discuss Green himself and what makes him an ideal head coach, there are plenty of reasons. First of all, he has NHL head coaching experience. He was head coach for the Vancouver Canucks for five years. If you can manage the drama of Vancouver, you’re definitely stronger for it. Even though Green only made the post-season once, he was successful in that one trip. It seems based on sample, once there is a good team in place, Green will be a good coach. It goes back to Green as a player going on a couple deep playoff runs with strong rosters, such as the 1993 New York Islanders or the 2002 Toronto Maple Leafs. The problem is invariably whether or not Green can convince the players that they are a good team.

It’s tough to tell if Steve Staios will add enough to the roster this offseason to make the Ottawa Senators a playoff team. The 2023-24 season did expose some problems with the roster makeup. Whether it was personnel related or team defensive structure caused, but goaltending needs to be addressed. It was flat out ridiculous how many times teams scored within the first few minutes and shots in periods or games against the Sens. Joonas Korpisalo shouldered a lot of the load, and ultimately it does fall on the players. In contrast, the coach needs to be accountable and make sure his players are better prepared. Between Staios building the roster for 2024-25 and Green’s gameplans, this will be their collective challenge.

Travis Green, Steve Staios & The Ottawa Senators Offseason

In some other news and notes, the Sens decided to keep 2024 first round pick. Rather than taking the hit this year, they defer relinquishing a first round pick until 2025 or 2026. If you are wondering, this is over the Evgenii Dadonov trade debauchery. It also goes back to the 2023 draft, that the Senators had projected the first round stronger in 2024 than 2023. Hence, why the Jakob Chychrun trade Pierre Dorion gave up the 2023 first round.

The Next Top Priority is the 2024 NHL Entry Draft

Of course, the Senators have had their sights on a future draft like this years back even further. The original Alex DeBrincat acquisition when the Senators gave up the 2022 first round pick 7th overall which turned out to be Kevin Korchinski. Fast forward to today, and the Sens have about a month and half to watch playoff hockey and prepare for the 2024 draft. Furthermore, it is an interesting draft for them as they have seven picks in the first four rounds and none in the third round. The key part is the two picks in the first round, including the seventh overall pick which was recently determined by the 2024 NHL draft lottery.

Artyom Levshunov Scouting Report: 2024 NHL Draft #7

A couple possible seventh overall selections are Tij Iginla and Artyom Levshunov. Levshunov is a strong, right-hand shot defenceman. The Belarussian will be a physical presence to his game, to go along with his offensive upside.

Tij Iginla Scouting Report: 2024 NHL Draft #12

Tij Iginla recently shot up many’s draft board. His outstanding performance at the U18 World Hockey Championships helping Canada to gold. He proved, that if there are any weaknesses in his game, he more than makes up for it in leadership qualities.

Of course there are many questions Steve Staios will have to face on the fate of various aspects for the Ottawa Senators throughout the rest of the offseason, it is inevitable. Will he find a General Manager or can he do both jobs along with the President of Hockey Operations? Being new could make such a task difficult.

Main photo credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports


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