Pierre Dorion took to the podium today in Ottawa to hold his year-end media availability, and answered questions about the direction of the franchise and evaluation of its core group. One of the biggest topics was the coaching vacancy, which is currently held by Marc Crawford on an interim basis. Dorion told reporters including Bruce Garrioch of Postmedia that while Crawford will be interviewed for the job at some point, the team is also looking at a list of five to six other candidates.
The organization made it clear what they were looking for in a new head coach when they announced the firing of Guy Boucher, listing key attributes that would be needed. At the very top of that list was “teacher,” as the team must bring in someone who can develop their young players and get the best out of them quickly.
- Thomas Chabot will play for Team Canada at the upcoming IIHF World Championship, another step in his development path. The 22-year old defenseman may be the most important player on the Senators roster after putting together an outstanding season, and a chance to experience some more high-level hockey will only help his growth. Chabot recorded 55 points in 70 games this season and will be eligible for an extension on July 1. Dorion told reporters today that there had been preliminary talks and that they will try to sign him to a long-term deal.
- Garrioch also notes on Twitter that Dorion said he may try to add a veteran as free agency opens, something that wouldn’t be surprising given the salary cap situation the team is in. The Senators project to have just over $45MM committed to next season according to CapFriendly, though that covers just 14 roster players. The team will have to add a fair amount to reach the salary cap floor, though new deals for restricted free agents Cody Ceci, Colin White and Anthony Duclair should get them a good chunk of the way there. The team isn’t expecting to compete next season, but bringing in a veteran presence for the locker room in order to help the young players develop their professional habits is a route often taken by rebuilding clubs.