Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 04/21/06 at 09:57 AM ET
Good teams get a certain window in which to succeed. Ask Markus Naslund, Todd Bertuzzi and the Vancouver Canucks. You can't mess around for long before that window slams shut. Ottawa has been a good team for a long time, yet have only reached the third round of the playoffs once. Jacques Martin was already sacrificed as the coach, and now contracts are coming up. There's a salary cap in place, and if this edition doesn't accomplish something, the inevitable talk about bad chemistry will arise. "We planned our team around acquiring young guys in their early 20s and hanging on to them until they were in their early 30s," Senators COO Cyril Leeder told the Ottawa Citizen earlier this season. "Now suddenly we have a big problem in that guys like [Zdeno] Chara and [Wade] Redden are both unrestricted free agents this year. How are we going to keep all these guys? "We're always going to have a good team, we hope. But it's hard to see how we'll have a better team in two, three or four years. Our time has to be now."more
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