Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sundin Retires

Sens Town gives Matts Sundin the respect he deserves.

I have nothing else.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Preseason Jitters

Random, disconnected thoughts about the pre-season:

First, I'm not too excited about the results. With the exception of the second loss to the Panthers, I think the results on the scoreboard have more to do with the preseason rosters being iced against the Senators, and the preseason roster the Senators are icing. So while the win against Montreal was fun, it doesn't mean anything except maybe that Carey Price is still not back on top of his game.

Second. I like the look of Peter Regin. His solid, diciplined play would definitely be an asset on the team. Besides, thanks to his work Mike Fisher now has more goals in this season than he did in all of last season. (I jest. But not by much.) Anything that boosts Fisher's production can only be a good thing.

Third. I would like to see Erik Karlsson sent to Bingo for this year. While he's shown some flashes of skill, I think his game needs another year in the somewhat easier environment of the AHL. Right now the Senators are choking in mediocre blue-liners, and I think we will get a better look at Karlsson's potential either later in the year as an injury-replacement call up, or next year in camp again. The last thing we want to do is try to bring Karlsson along too quickly and ruin him.

Fourth. The top line of Michalek, Spezza and Alfredsson was disturbingly quiet when we've seen them go. While it will be nice to get three lines with scoring potential, the top line has to get it done.

Fifth: I don't buy that Leclaire is all that and a bag of chips. Why? I can't really say, it's just a feeling. Right now I'd take him over Brian Elliot, but I'm a bit worried about the goaltending at this point.

Finally: Thank god we don't have to play the Leafs six million times this pre-season.

Overall, though, as I have said -- nothing to get excited about. We'll have a much better picture as November rolls around.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Heatley Drama Finally Over

I would have posted about this sooner, but really, you don't talk hockey when Ferraris are racing at Monza.

So: Heatly to the San Jose Sharks, in exchange for a couple of top-six forwards.

In Jonathan Cheechoo, the Senators seem to have picked up another Mike Fisher -- a second- or third- line player who is not playing to his salary. Michalek seems to be considered a potential elite player in need of some development time.

On a strictly parts-for-parts perspective, I like this deal. Yes, Heatly scored more points than Cheechoo and Michalek combined last year. However, if both these players pan out we should end up with more of a scoring threat than just one top line. If not, then we've got more Mike Fisher.

But overall I liked the Edmonton deal more, because it included a defense man. Maybe not an elite "puck-moving" defense man, but still one was included.

Someone pointed out last night that a potential fourth line of Kelly, Neil, and Rutuu for the Senators would result in the highest-paid fourth line for the year. Now while that's not a bad thing (spreading your cap space around), it's only OK if you are getting value for money. Kelly, I don't think is playing to his salary. Neil and Rutuu, well I don't understand that part of the game.

I still think that defense is the biggest question mark for the season going forward. If we get some heroes this year, and if Leclare turns out to be the "franchise goalie" that we've been hunting for... this could work.

Count me as cautiously optimistic, and more than a little relieved that we can stop talking about this.

As for Heatley -- well I've long been on the record as wanting to move him. I'd prefer a little more upside to the trade, but at this point getting him out of Ottawa was the most important thing, and I think Murray did the best he could under the circumstances.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Your Dressing Room Forcast: Chilly

Senator's Captain Daniel Alfredsson hints that Dany Heatly may not be entirely welcome:
The best resolution to the Dany Heatley saga would be to see the disgruntled left wing traded before the start of training camp on Sept. 12, captain Daniel Alfredsson said on Friday.
Honestly this surprises me more than a little bit. The latest smoke signals suggest that Murray is about to give up on the idea of trying to trade Heatley and resign himself to sticking him back in the team come training camp.

All signs today point to Heatley reporting to training camp.

Given that, you would expect the on-ice leader to be making supportive noises, saying things like "we'll welcome him and his work ethic back on the team", "make the best of a difficult situation", positive things like that.

This is a signal to Murray that a dressing room under Alfredsson's leadership might not welcome Heatley back with open arms.

This never was the best way to be looking at starting a season, and this only makes things worse.