Hearing Ryan talks are heating up. Sens one of the teams. Look for two parts going. Z Bad, Lehner, DeCosta, and Ceci mix.
— Shawn Simpson (@SSimpsonHockey) July 31, 2012
While Simpson later admitted to spitballing the names of the prospects that the Senators would likely have to throw in to make a move on Bobby Ryan, I’m not sure how much stock I want to put into news that the Sens are still interested in the Ducks’ forward.
Part of it is wishful thinking on my part.
In offering up a package featuring two to four young and controllable assets for a player who only has three years left before he qualifies for unrestricted free agency, the Senators would essentially be emptying the coffers for a three-year window to win.
While Simpson later conveyed the point that the new CBA could protect the Senators and keep Ryan under team control longer because within the league’s first CBA proposal to the NHLPA, one of its publicized tenets put harsher restrictions on when players become free agents: entry-level contracts would go from three years in length to five and players would need ten years of NHL service (regardless of age) before they would qualify for unrestricted free agency.
It’s true that the new CBA could provide this restrictive terms, that’s an awfully big risk for the Senators to assume; not to mention an even bigger concession by the NHLPA. Hell, there’s not an even a guarantee that such parameters, if agreed upon, would not be grandfathered into the league.
Of course there is a certain sentimental aspect to ‘going all in’. Being able to watch Alfie lift the Cup before his playing days are over would be the greatest experience that this franchise has ever known. But as much as it pains me to say it, sports franchises should be managed devoid of emotion. As much as I love Alfie as a player, I still cheer for the logo on the front of the jersey more than I do the name on the back.
I’ll take the cold and calculated decisions that shelve any short-term gains if it means that the organization has a bigger window of opportunity to contend in the future.