4 Big Questions for the Ottawa Senators in 2020-21

Brady Tkachuk #7 of the Ottawa Senators. (Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)
Brady Tkachuk #7 of the Ottawa Senators. (Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images) /
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Derek Stepan (21)
Arizona Coyotes center Derek Stepan (21). Mandatory Credit: Gerry Thomas-USA TODAY Sports /

3. Will the veterans help in 2020-21?

With a young roster and a new wave of prospects on the way up, Ottawa Senators General Manager Pierre Dorion felt it important to bring in some veteran leadership.

He did that by sending a 2021 Second-Round pick to the Arizona Coyotes for center Derek Stepan, before acquiring defenseman Braydon Coburn and forward Cedric Paquette from the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Dorion also signed proven goalscorer Evgeni Dadonov to a three-year, $15 million contract in Free Agency, in addition to also acquiring gritty defenseman Erik Gudbranson, giving this team more of a tough underbelly.

But will the veterans help or hinder this young core in 2020-21?

Well, it seems clear that the front office are hellbent on trying to get this team to the postseason this year, and it does make sense given that even a small taste of the Stanley Cup Playoffs could be beneficial to the young players.

Erik Gudbranson (44)
Erik Gudbranson #44 of the Vancouver Canucks. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images) /

Having proven veterans on the team will certainly help the Senators be more competitive in the North Division, and they should be a much tougher-out against the big-hitters such as the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens.

However, you don’t want key young players and prospects having their ice time cut short because there are too many veterans on the roster, so that is a fine line Head Coach D.J. Smith will have to try and walk throughout the year.

But, in saying that, Stepan has already taken elite talent Tim Stuetzle on his wing and the two could be on a line together to start the season, while the likes of Gudbranson and Coborn will be good mentors for young defensemen in the ilk of Erik Brannstrom and Thomas Chabot.

Overall, this added veteran presence will only make the Ottawa Senators more competitive in 2020-21, which is a good thing, while it should also help to aid the development of some of the franchises’ bright young hopes.