Dave Cameron canned

Neil Parker


Dave Cameron - USA TODAY Sports Images


With Dave Cameron out as bench boss, what does it mean for Erik Karlsson and the Ottawa Senators?


The Ottawa Senators fired head coach Dave Cameron and the rest of the coaching staff Tuesday.

After overachieving down the stretch and clinching a playoff berth last year, expectations were too high heading into the 2015-16 season, and Ottawa stumbled to 38-35-9 with a fifth-worst 2.95 goals allowed per game. Additionally, the Senators allowed a league-worst 3.32 goals per road game with a 17-21-3 record.

Injuries were an issue for Ottawa, as Kyle Turris left a huge gap up the middle, and he was likely playing hurt through his final 32 games given his two-goal, six-helper return with a minus-22 rating during the stretch.

Andrew Hammond's late-season run (20-1-2 with a .941 save percentage and 1.79 goals-against average) during the 14-15 season saved the campaign, or at the very least buoyed the Senators enough to clinch a playoff berth. He couldn't last a playoff series as the No. 1, though, and Craig Anderson is nothing more than a middle-tier starter, so the the success last season should have been seen as a mirage and not a sign of things to come.

The real issue in Ottawa is the core after Erik Karlsson. Bobby Ryan, Kyle Turris, Dion Phaneuf and Marc Methot aren't good enough hockey players to build around. Mark Stone is excellent, but he isn't a top-tier offensive contributor, either. Turris likely could be grouped with Stone, but the pivot will enter his age-27 season next year, which has him likely in the last stages of his offensive prime.

We'll just leave Mike Hoffman alone for now. This says enough.

Karlsson's possession numbers are otherworldly, and every Senators regular had a significant CorsiFor percentage drop when apart from him. Add Karlsson's point-per-game season, and finding a way to win before his contract is up following the 2018-19 campaign should be priority No. 1 for the Seantors. Given the current state of the club, it is difficult envisioning him reupping with another contract.

Unfortunately, the weak supporting cast behind the Karlsson engine will make a playoff berth the likely best-case scenario for the next bench boss, too.

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