The rebuilding of the Senators is already in full swing with Mike Fisher being dealt to the Predators on Thursday.
That was just the beginning.
The NHL trade deadline is Feb. 28 and Senators GM Bryan Murray got a jump start on things by trading away the teamís most popular player for a first-round pick in June and a conditional pick in 2012 (a pick that dissolves to nothing if Nashville doesnít win one round in the playoffs).
If Murray was capable of dealing the Senatorsí heartthrob and all-around good guy, then there canít be a single player who isnít feeling at least at little bit uneasy.
Out with the old and in with the new.
As Murray prepares to turn around a franchise that has hit rock bottom, thereís plenty of anticipation about whoís going where and whatís coming back.
Veterans like Chris Phillips, Jarrko Ruutu and Chris Neil will likely follow Fisher out the door.
If Murray is going to set the course for the future, itís going to involve a lot of young players and saving cash.
As pending unrestricted free agents, Phillips and Ruutu are as good as gone.
Defenceman Filip Kuba, centre Chris Kelly and Neil are also drawing interest.
It would be hard to believe anybody would touch veteran winger Alex Kovalev, but stranger things have happened.
Murray has met with all the players who have no-movement clauses who heís considering dealing.
There is going to be plenty of interest in Phillips. The Canadiens, Bruins, Sharks and Ducks all want help on the blue line.
A better fit for Anaheim might be Chris Campoli, who can become a restricted free agent this summer.
Phillips will be allowed to pick his destination because of his status with the Senators and within the community.
Montreal makes sense because itís close to Ottawa and Phillips has a relationship with former Senators and current Habs coach Jacques Martin.
And donít forget it was Habs GM Pierre Gauthier who used the No. 1 overall selection in the 1996 draft to take Phillips.
If the Senators make a trade with Montreal, Ottawa would like to acquire forward Max Pacioretty as part of the deal.
Dealing with the Habs would be difficult for the Senators because theyíre a Northeast Division rival. A lot of Ottawa hockey fans will be keeping a close eye on the Habs in the playoffs.
The Bruins could be a good fit as well. It would be an easy transition because Phillips has played with captain Zdeno Chara in the past.
Boston, however, is likely more interested in adding a puck-mover and Phillips isnít going to fill that role.
So, what can Murray expect to get in a trade?
ďYouíre probably talking about draft picks,Ē a league executive said before the Fisher deal was made. ďIíd try to get a player for Phillips just because heís been with the franchise for so long, but people shouldnít expect a lot back.Ē
This is the new reality of the salary-cap world, folks.
If youíre a team close to the cap, then you canít afford to keep players who arenít getting the job done and a lot of GMs still have a strong belief in the fresh start.
Of course, the Senators are getting a lot of calls on their young players, but guys like blueliner Erik Karlsson or winger Nick Foligno arenít going anywhere.
Moving money off the books will give the Senators financial flexibility next season.
The $4.2-million US cap hit for Fisher is gone. The contracts of Pascal Leclaire, Kovalev, Phillips and Ruutu will follow suit in the off-season.