Senators News: October 6th

Today’s Sens news:

-Rob Brodie writes about Paul MacLean for the Sens website (link), where the coach (among other things) talks about his approach, “Mike [Babcock] is very prepared. He empowers his players by talking to them and finding out how he can help them or how they feel the coaching staff can help them. Communication with your players nowadays is a really important thing. It doesn’t have to be on a daily, everyday basis with every player, but I think it’s important that players know where they stand and what the expectations are for them as players. Then it’s way easier to demand it if they know it.

The Hockey Writers’ Andrew Sykes looks at rookies to watch this year (link) and two Senators make his top ten: David Rundblad at #10, “While his teammate and felow rookie Jared Cowen arguably had the better training camp of the two, Rundblad’s offensive ability gives him the nod at #10. The soon to be 21-year-old is coming off a season in which he was the leading scorer among defenseman in the Swedish Elite League winning the Borje Salming award as the league’s best defenseman. An offensively gifted blue-liner with good size and mobility, Rundblad will look to follow in Erik Karlsson’s footsteps as an all-star rear-guard for the Sens. He did however struggle at times in his own zone in the pre-season so whether or not he is able to adjust to the defensive side of the game will likely be the biggest factor in determining if he is able to remain in the line-up.”  Mika Zibanejad is #7, “The 6th overall pick in the 2011 NHL Draft, Zibanejad made it almost impossible for the Senators not to keep him around for at least the start of the regular season. The rangy Swedish center had an excellent training camp and was the club’s most consistently dangerous threat throughout the pre-season. The 18-year-old is an exceptionally skilled player who already has NHL size and strength; something that was noticeable in the pre-season games and should help him to have continued success in the regular season. Depending on how he is utilized through the first 10 games of the season, Zibanejad has a good shot at remaining with the club and could become a a darkhorse contender for the Calder Trophy.

Sports Illustrated‘s Darren Eliot looks at the Northeast division (link) and says this about the Ottawa Senators: “The Senators are in full rebuild mode. New head coach Paul MacLean will have some long nights with a young group that includes enigmatic forward Nikita  Filatov  and defensemen David Rundblad and Jared Cowen. MacLean gets his first opportunity behind an NHL bench after nearly a decade as an assistant in Detroit, where kids go to the AHL before they ever see the ice at the top level.  The Sens don’t have that luxury, so this season is all about learning for all involved.”  He picks Craig Anderson as the team’s MVP, says Jared Cowen is the kid to watch, says we should keep an eye on how Daniel Alfredsson performs coming off surgery, and ends with “The Senators know their plight. They’ve restocked draft picks and prospects.  Some are here now. Others are a few years away. Ottawa is at least that far from playoff contention again. Patience will be paramount — in the moment and in the  longer view.

Sport’s Illustrated also has an article with 30 questions–one for each team (link).  Ottawa’s is: “With questionable depth among their scoring forwards, can Nikita Filatov really be the steal of the offseason and will 18-year-old Mika Zibanejad not be overwhelmed? Can both provide the Senators with the weaponry to worry opponents? And can Sergei Gonchar bounce back from a terrible season and spark the Sens’ rushes and power play?

-The Sens announced that CKOI 104,7 will be broadcasting all the Sens game in French (link). Prior to this year the station covered all the team’s home games and about half the road contests, so it’s a great step forward for fans in the area who either want to listen in French or want the occasional break from The Team 1200.

-Allen Panzeri writes down some memorable Sens quotes for Senators Extra (link).  The collection is a mixed bag, but here are my two favourites:
“Look, if I’d known Mullen was open, I never would’ve passed it to Stevens.” – Defenceman Ken Hammond analyzes a play during a Jan. 16, 1993 game that saw his pass out of the Ottawa zone intercepted by Penguin Kevin Stevens. Stevens then passed to Joey Mullen for a goal in what would be a 6-1 Pittsburgh win.
Do you want me to stop the ones that are going wide, too?” – Tom Barrasso

-Joy Lindsay reports that Binghamton practised special teams today (link), with the following combinations: Daugavins-Locke-Parrish with Wiercioch-Hoffman, O’Brien-Grant-Petersson with Raymond-Borowiecki; Cowick, Dziurzynski, Hamilton, Gryba, Conboy and Schira were on the PK.

The Silver Seven‘s Bobby Kelly has a preview of the Binghamton Senators (link).  It’s mostly a look at the roster changes since they won the Calder Cup.  The most interesting comment is “Tim Murray commented that the only player in Binghamton he believed had the tools necessary to play on an NHL top-six, if he worked hard, was Mike Hoffman. It’s doubtful TM would repeat that sentiment now…”  I’m not sure what Kelly means, since Randy Lee echoed the sentiments on The Team 1200 on Tuesday, so I assume Kelly himself doesn’t believe it.

-The Elmira Jackals added two more players to their training camp (link):Tim Marks (AHL 45-4-1-5), who signed a contract, and Stephen Mallaro (NCAA 26-4-13-17) to a tryout.  Elmira also announced an affiliate agreement with the FHL’s Danbury Whalers.