I am of the opinion that you don't need to have 6 top 6 forwards to ice a good team. But you should have 4 top 6 forwards and two of them should be centers. Having two top quality centers makes it tougher to shutdown two lines. Just look at the Stanley Cup champions since 2000.
09 - Malkin-Crosby
08 - Datsyuk-Zetterberg (Listed as a winger but he essentially plays C)
07 - Getzlaf-McDonald - Getzlaf was an emerging star and McDonald put up 78 points.
06 - Brind'Amour-Staal
04 - Richards-Lecavlier
03 - The exception to the rule
02 - Fedorov-Yzerman
01 - Sakic-Forsberg
00 - Modano-Nieuwendyk
That list has at least a bakers dozen worth of Hall of Famers. How many Cups did Gretzky win without Messier? How many did Lemieux win without Francais?
Just look at the list below of the second line center point leaders from every team and you'll see of the 11 teams that had a 50 point player from the center position only one of those teams did not make the playoffs.
1. Penguins - Crosby - 103 / Staal 49 2. Flyers - Richards - 80 3. Bruins - Krejci - 73
1. Devils Travis Zajac - 62 2. Sharks - Pavelski - 59 3. Canucks - Kessler - 59 4. Red Wings - Hudler - 57 5. Capitals - Laich - 53 6. Hurricanes - Brind'Amour 51 7. Thrashers - Little - 51 8. Blues - Perron - 50
1. Stars - Richards - 48 2. Flames - Conroy - 48 3. Sabers - Connolly - 47 4. Leafs - Grabovski - 47 5. Lightning - Stamkos - 46 6. Panthers - Horton - 45 7. Hawks - 8. Sharp - 44
1. Kings - Handzus - 42 2. Predators - Legwand - 42 3. Oilers - Gagner - 41 4. Rangers - Dubinsky - 41 5. Coyotes - Reinprecht - 41 6. Canadiens - Plekanec - 39
7. Wild - Belanger - 36 8. Jackets - Malhotra - 35 9. Islanders - Neilsson - 33 10. Ducks - Ebbett - 32 11. Senators - Fisher - 32 12. Avalance - Arnason - 22
Last year the Senators had the 2nd worst production from their 2nd line center. Fisher is capable of being an average second line center capable of 45 - 50 points, in the two previous seasons he got 48 & 47 points, but don't expect more than 50 points cause it's likely not going to happen. If Ottawa had a 2nd line center then Fisher would be able to play his 3rd line role, which he is better suited too and he would likely be one of the best at his position for that role, instead of dissapointing on the 2nd line. It's easier to put a 3rd line player on the wing with two top line players than a 3rd line player at center and expect the wingers to carry the line.
I'm not saying that for the Senators to win they need a Hall of Famer, but wouldn't it help to get a quality second line center? One that could put up say 50 - 55 points and could have good chemistry with either Heatley or Alfredsson. But wait what if the Senators already had this type of player one that averaged .63 PPG good for 51 points in an 82 game schedule. And what if this player has since averaged .66 PPG since leaving the Senators good for 54 points in an 82 game schedule. And what if this players salary was a manageable 2.375 and he'd likely take a home town discount since he was born and raised in Kanata. Hmm .. what if the Senators just kept Todd White, would their secondary scoring issue be solved?