Senators News: November 17th

-the speculation about Nikita Filatov continues (this became public when his agent gave an interview to a Russian newspaper).  Both Bryan Murray and Daniel Alfredsson were asked about him yesterday (the former on Sportsnet the latter on The Team 1200) and were sympathetic (Bruce Garrioch has framed the situation as more hostile (link), but that framing is not connected to reality).  Murray has asked Filatov to wait a little longer, “Basically, what I told him, ‘We’re going on a road trip for two weeks. Go  down and play in Binghamton, and play hard. If we feel, at the end of our trip,  that we’d like to give an opportunity to you again, (coach) Paul (MacLean) has  said we’d be moving you up and down a few times — if you’re playing well, we  will give you an opportunity to again show your wares here. And then, by the end  of November, if you’re not in the NHL, I will sit down and talk with you  again.’ It may happen before then, one way or the other, but from what I understand,  and I believe it to be true, the KHL honours our contracts, and we honour  theirs. So the option is not Filatov’s, it’s the Ottawa Senators’” (link). In Garrioch’s article he quotes Murray saying, “Lots of young players, whether they’re named Filatov or not, get wrapped up in being an offensive player. We all recognize that guys get points. We don’t recognize the guys that hit the post in overtime with an empty net. They don’t get recognized and we know that.  So, he thinks that he has to be a point-getter, an offensive threat to be in the NHL. We’ve repeatedly told him since he has come here, and I don’t know what was said to him in Columbus and I really don’t care, all I know is we’ve asked him to be a little more grounded so that he’s a contributor.”  Paul  MacLean added, “We want him to be an NHL player. We want his skills and abilities here in Ottawa. The problem we have is when he comes here and plays, he doesn’t do the things that he does down there. If you come on the ice and actually do something, and play, the coach is probably going to give you the chance to do something again.”

The Silver Seven‘s Darren M makes an unfortunate comparison (link) between Nikita Filatov and Kaspars Daugavins, apparently unaware that Daugavins has an “out” clause in his contract that would have allowed him to go to the KHL if he didn’t play 10 NHL games by (I believe) the end of December–hardly “toughing it out”.  Daugavins is also an older player and not a high draft pick, so their circumstances aren’t comparable.

The Team 1200‘s Steve Lloyd is guilty of an even worse comparison (link), saying Bobby Butler and Filatov‘s situations are the same.  The 24-year old signed to a one-way contract for the next two seasons is the same as a 21-year old on the last year of his ELC?

The Ottawa Citizen‘s Wayne Scanlan talks about the science of road trips (link)

-Joy Lindsay interviewed Tim Murray and Randy Lee (link), with Murray saying in part, “We don’t shoot the puck, at all — ever, and I think that shows, certainly on the shot clock. I just know that we don’t get many shots on goal, for the most part, and I think that was one of my complaints last year, with the good team, even.  Oh, yeah, I was expecting growing pains. I think we were probably a game over .500 or so when we were healthy … It was a huge turnover, and I thought we’d be young. My hope was that we’d just stay in the mix and be competitive, and then see what happened at the end. But when you have Corey Locke out and have a couple of guys out, especially with a young team, it’s a lot harder for young guys to step up than it is for veteran guys to step up, there’s no question. We’ll see where it goes from there. There are a couple reasons that they’re [veterans] hard to get. Sometimes it’s money, but we did put the money out for Sweatt, and for his reasons, he retired. It was just bad timing. It was August, and there wasn’t anybody that we felt that was out there that could replace that type of player. When you get that complete exodus out the door — and it was their choice, not ours; they all wanted to leave — you just can’t, in my opinion, replace that in one year. We knew that this would be a down year, I think, as far as experience goes and that.”  Randy Lee said, “I’ve seen lots of games. You can tell they’re young, and you can tell they’re struggling to score goals, but at least some of the guys are accepting the challenges. As an organization, we’re happy about that, but we also need to be competive every game. And we think some guys can definitely look at this as opportunity. If they do take on the opportunity, we’ll be in good shape. Then we also have to get through this time without Corey Locke, and Daugavins is up here, so that really hurts your lineup. Any time you have young players, you have inconsistencies. The highs are higher than they should be, and the lows are lower than they should be. Every game I’ve seen, Jimmy O’Brien‘s been one of the hardest-working guys out there every night. Of the first-year guys, I think Pat Cannone‘s played some really strong games. You see the competitiveness in guys like Wacey Hamilton and guys like that. Mike Hoffman‘s got so much skill that he’s just got to get it packaged right, and if he does that, he’s — to me — a real talented guy that could play at this (NHL) level when he figures it out. I know the pressure’s on Robin, because you have to be on top of your game every game when you’re getting outshot most games. That’s the pressure for him, so if he can handle that, that’s great.”

-Ottawa traded Binghamton Senators Shaun Heshka to Peoria for future considerations.  Heshka never fit in with the team, but his departure does put more pressure on ECHLers Josh Godfrey and Bobby Raymond

-Binghamton has recalled Maxime Gratchev and brought up Riley Armstrong (from Elmira)