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Today, we have another SensNews mailbag article where readers can send in questions and hot takes. If you would like to participate in one of these articles in the future, be sure to follow the SensNews social media accounts.
Should the Senators Waive Mathieu Joseph
From Reddit User: Hotlunch4011
First, we have a question that I had not considered until now. It’s no secret that the Senators are in dire need of some cap flexibility, and it seems like Mathieu Joseph is the most likely candidate to be moved out. With Shane Pinto unsigned, Pierre Dorion has to be feeling the pressure to make some sort of move to clear cap.
The popular opinion among fans is that the team needs to find some trade partner to which they could unload Joseph’s contract. But given how long this process has gone on, the trade market must be very quiet for Joseph. However, I don’t believe the solution is to bury Mathieu Joseph in the minors. While it would give the Senators some cap flexibility, it likely wouldn’t be enough for a Pinto contract.
Mathieu Joseph is signed to a contract that pays him $2.95 million annually. If the Senators were to bury him in the minors, they would only gain $1.15 million in cap flexibility. Not to mention tarnishing any sort of trade value for Joseph. Elliot Friedman recently reported that Pinto is looking for a contract in the $2.5 million range. If the Sens give him this contract, and Joseph is waived, the Sens are still $1.32 million over the cap without Egor Sokolov signed.
While I like the creative thinking involved, the cap relief wouldn’t be enough to justify the move. Unless Pinto agrees to take a big pay cut, which it doesn’t sound like he will.
Who Will Be The Next Senator To Win A Major Award
From Reddit User: homicidal_penguin
This is a hard question to predict. There are several players on the Senators that I could see winning a major award in the future. The most likely one in my mind, which is probably a surprising answer, is Jake Sanderson winning the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy.
The Lady Byng Memorial Trophy is an annual award given “to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability” (NHL.com).
Sanderson actually received a 3rd place vote for the Lady Byng last season as a rookie. In 77 games last season, Sanderson only racked up 12 PIMs while playing a very difficult role. He is the type of player cut out for this award. If he can take his overall game to another level while still being an extremely disciplined player, I could see him winning the Lady Byng as soon as next year.
Korpisalo Wins 30 Games
From Reddit User: Fickle-Dill-Pickle
I would be surprised to see this happen next season, but I would also be ecstatic. I don’t believe that Korpisalo is incapable of winning 30 games, but I don’t think he will have enough of an opportunity to do so. The tandem of Forsberg/Korpisalo will hopefully remain healthy for most of this season, and they should have a fairly close split on games. If healthy, I expect the game split to be somewhere around 47-35 for Korpisalo.
If this is close to how the team decides to roll out the tandem, I think Korpisalo finishes in the 25-28 win range. This would be a great season for Korpisalo and should hopefully be enough to get Ottawa to the playoffs. With how difficult it is to predict health for the team, I am going to be conservative in my guess that Korpisalo will likely have to miss time at some point with injuries. If he is fully healthy, 30 wins becomes a realistic goal for him.
DJ Smith Stays Longer Than Pierre Dorion
From Reddit User: Canknucklehead
This is quite a hot take in my opinion, but if the team gets off to a good start, I could see a world where it happens. It’s no secret that DJ Smith and Pierre Dorion are both on short leashes with the Senators’ organization. If the team struggles out of the gate once again, it seems inevitable that Smith will be the first to go.
What I expect to happen is that both Dorion and Smith will be relieved around the same time by Michael Andlauer. If Andlauer continues cleaning house and bringing in his people, I would be shocked if either Smith or Dorion stayed long-term. While it may not be this season, I think the next offseason is where we will see Smith and Dorion relieved. Unless, of course, the wheels fall off early in the season once again.
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