Ottawa, ON, Canada
The Ottawa Senators are rebuilding after a monumental collapse from fifth to 13th in the Eastern Conference during the 2010-11 season that forced them to trade away their veterans and start over.
Mike Fisher was traded to Nashville, Chris Kelly went to Boston, Jarkko Ruutu Anaheim and Alexei Kovalev Pittsburgh, all for draft picks. Struggling keeper Brian Elliot was traded to the Colorado Avalanche for Craig Anderson.
The Sens also dumped coach Cory Clouston after three seasons, hiring former Detroit assistant Paul MacLean to take over behind the bench with a new three-year contract extension. .
Under MacLean, Ottawa has a lot of ground to make up both sides of the ice. The team finished last season with the lowest goal total in the entire NHL and 24th in goals against.
The Sens finished last season with their lowest point total (74) since the 1995-96 season, missing the playoffs for the second time in three years after qualifying for the previous 11-straight seasons.
Players like Colin Greening, Erik Condra and Bobby Butler, who found themselves thrust into the spotlight after the trade deadline last season, still have yet to prove themselves.
Veterans Erik Karlsson and Daniel Alfredsson are expected to provide guidance. Meanwhile, the Sens will look to develop draft picks David Runblad and Mika Zibanejad.
Ottawa plays its first exhibition game Monday Sept. 9 against the Maple Leafs and celebrates the start of its 20th season Oct. 7 at Detroit.
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