-The Sens re-signed Colin Greening, something rumoured to be in the offing for quite some time. It’s a three-year deal with a 2.65 cap hit. It’s not a bad deal, especially considering that the cap is going to rise over that time. Many folks are predicting this indicates the Milan Michalek era will be over soon and I honestly think that’s the case irrespective of Greening‘s new contract.
-Danny Hobbs confirms he has an AHL contract with Binghamton (along with Daniel New).
-The Sens finished the rookie tournament with a clean sweep (3-0), beating Toronto’s rookies 6-2 in a game I sadly missed (Amelia L offers a great recap). Ken Warren wisely suggests not to take the results of the tourney too seriously. Ken also says:
Andre Petersson, on the verge of being gone from the organization for good only a few months ago
Which is the premise of his next article where he reports:
the Senators were prepared to cut him loose altogether – he has one year remaining on his entry level contract – before Petersson made an impassioned plea for the organization to give him another chance to showcase himself
Petersson talked about his approach:
I’ve got to be more professional. I’ve got to do all the right things and all that. I have to be 100 per cent focussed on hockey. Not anything else come first. Hockey is number one priority right now. As I see it now, it’s a fresh start for me and I want to look forward, starting from square one this year. I have to have my best year as a player and show all the people that are interested in the Ottawa Senators and the guys upstairs (the coaches and management) that I’m ready to go. I know the situation [competition at camp]. I feel like it’s all up to me. I’ve got to show what I can do. If that’s good enough, hopefully, they’ll give me an opportunity
The idea that the organisation would cut him loose surprises me, but I’ll take Warren at his word.
Amelia offers her top performers as: Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Mark Stone, Shane Prince, Cody Ceci, Chris Wideman, and gives Andre Petersson, Curtis Lazar, and Fredrik Claesson honourable mentions. She thought both Andrew Hammond and Chris Driedger played well in goal. Jason Menard doesn’t dwell too much on individual performances, but specifically praised Shane Prince (from the way the article is written I get the sense Jason only saw the third game).
For my own part, here are some random observations in no particular order:
Buddy Robinson – reminds me a lot of Colin Greening–great size, good north-south speed, decent hands, but not a lot of finish and not as physical as his size would suggest
Andre Petersson – showed his usual offensive flair, but struggled defensively and was guilty of some brutal turnovers
Mark Stone/Jean-Gabriel Pageau – excellent
Cody Ceci – a bit of a mixed bag; an adventure defensively
Vincent Dunn – a great third game; invisible otherwise
Derek Grant – some good and bad in the only game he played–too small a sample size to say much about his play
Wacey Hamilton – wore the “C” and must be bloody amazing in the room because he accomplished nothing on the ice
Ludwig Karlsson – didn’t accomplish much, but showed some chemistry with Petersson
Danny Hobbs - played hard, but the ECHL seems like the place for him
Darren Kramer – any hopes we’d see anything other than fighting were dashed
Curtis Lazar – some great flashes and lot’s of hard work
Shane Prince – was strong in the game he played
Jakub Culek – did not play
Matt Puempel – was largely invisible in limited sample
Cole Schneider – created a number of chances, but could not finish
Daniel New - ECHLer didn’t stand out
Ben Blood – hasn’t taken that step forward
Michael Sdao – the sample size is too small for me to assess him
Ben Harpur – very rough around the edges–lot’s of room for improvement
Troy Rutkowski – I liked his play on the point
Chris Wideman – strong play; was very poised
Fredrik Claesson – excellent defensively; very intense
Francois Brassard/Chris Driedger/Andrew Hammond – nothing really stood out, although Brassard was the weakest of the three
-Milan Michalek says he’s 100%, but given his past I think we have to take that diagnosis with a grain of salt.
-John Allemang writes a superb article about David Dziurzynski. It addresses his fight with Frazer McLaren (whose career will likely only be remembered for it) along with his journey as a hockey player and who he is as a person. Articles of this quality and style are very rare and I encourage you all to check it out.
-I like Sylvain St-Laurent but he can do better than this:
Sdao n’a pourtant pas le profil du bagarreur type. Il n’a pas passé son adolescence à peaufiner son art dans les arénas du hockey junior canadien. Il a choisi la voie des collèges américains, où les joueurs portent des protecteurs faciaux complets et où il est formellement interdit de jeter les gants.
Yes, Michael Sdao didn’t fight while he played at Princeton, but he fought a lot previously in the USHL and when drafted was considered the best fighter available. It wouldn’t take much for Sylvain to look that up or get that information from Pierre Dorion (who he quotes in the piece).
-Speaking of not doing his home work, Dave Lozo illustrates how unimportant that is in sports journalism with a trip through his biggest errors covering hockey.
-Paul McCann offers his predictions for the Atlantic Division and picks Ottawa to finish first, saying:
Losing your captain can be a difficult thing, especially when you consider the ham-handed way it was handled, but this is a deep team that added some really strong pieces in the offseason. Paul MacLean is an excellent coach and this team has gotten better every season under him. The addition of Bobby Ryan is an upgrade talent wise and helps ease the loss of Alfredsson. They have solid role players to fill out the roster, excellent goaltending in Craig Anderson and a good blueline, led by former Norris winner Erik Karlsson, who did not have a good year last season. This team is one I put in the same category as Detroit, I wouldn’t be surprised if they win the division… or if they were on the outside looking in come mid-April.
Not a very bold prediction if in the same breath he says they could miss the playoffs, but take it for what it’s worth.
-Stu Hackel looks at the KHL as competition with the NHL and illustrates that, as it stands, the business model used by the Russian league isn’t effective enough to truly trouble the NHL. What the KHL does do is limit the flow of Russians across the Atlantic and denude the other European leagues of their best talent.
-Miikka Kiprusoff retired and Calgary Flames fans can begin to sweat the fact that Karri Ramo (of all people) will be their starting goaltender.
This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)