Today’s instalment of Sens news [I’ve added the just-released Chicago roster to the Rookie Tournament post, eyeonthesens.wordpress.com/2011/08/30/ottawa-senators-rookie-tournament]:
-The biggest news is the tragic plane crash in Russian carrying the KHL’s Yaroslavl Lokomotiv hockey team (www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=375297). Former Sens Pavol Demitra and Karel Rachunek are believed to be onboard, as is Sens draft pick Vitali Anikeyenko (3-70 2005).
-Rob Brodie interviewed Paul MacLean for the Sens website (senators.nhl.com/ club/news.htm?id=587748). Beyond the usual comments, I was intrigued by the following, “And if our team isn’t elite in its fitness level, we’re going to be behind 29 other teams in the league and that message was sent out shortly after I got the job, about my expectations that the players will be at elite (fitness) level. A lot of the players are — I’m not saying that was an issue here in the past.” It’s an interesting statement–why make it unless there was an issue that needed addressing? Given that MacLean has said he only made a point of talking to veterans after he was hired, I wonder whose fitness he was thinking about when he made the comment. I might be making too much out of the quote, but it’s interesting.
-Mike Brophy wrote for Sportsnet looking at all the Canadian teams (www.sportsnet.ca/ hockey/2011/09/05/brophy_canadian_teams/) including Ottawa. He had this to say, “The Senators are also in rebuilding mode, but do not have the benefit, like the Oilers, of having the top pick in the draft in back-to-back years. Nevertheless, Ottawa does believe youngsters such as Bobby Butler, Colin Greening and Erik Condra have the potential to be solid NHLers. If the Senators are to be viable this season they will definitely need massive contributions from the likes of forwards Jason Spezza, Daniel Alfredsson, defenceman Sergei Gonchar and goalie Craig Anderson. Really, though, it could be a long season during which they’ll probably challenge more for the first pick in the 2012 draft than anything else.” There isn’t much analysis to this, as Brophy simply echoes comments others have made.
-Ken Warren wrote for Senators Extra about which rookies to watch in Sens camp (senatorsextra.com/main/three-or-four-rookies-to-watch). Most of the selections are what you’d expect, but he has one surprise, “If there’s one wildcard, it might be Andre Petersson, who has big league hands, if not big league size (5-9, 173 pounds). Petersson is expected to start the season with Binghamton, but for a team which will struggle to score, he could open some eyes.” For more on Petersson: eyeonthesens.wordpress.com/2011/08/11/senators-player-profile-andre-petersson.
-Travis Yost posted Sportsbook odds for the NHL (www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Travis-Yost/Tuesday-Thoughts-Cowens-Weight-Gain-Vokouns-Other-Offer-and-Odds/134/37932):
Vancouver Canucks +275
San Jose Sharks+450
Detroit Red Wings+450
Los Angeles Kings+550
Tampa Bay Lightning+1000
New Jersey Devils+1500
St Louis Blues+2000
New York Rangers+2000
Toronto Maple Leafs+2000
Winnipeg Jets +2500
Columbus Blue Jackets+2500
New York Islanders+5000
The bookies, or at least those at Sportsbook, aren’t envisioning a Stanley Cup in Ottawa’s future this year.