Senators News: January 30th

-There are many stories summing up the all-star game, but the best is ESPN‘s Pierre LeBrun’s.  Daniel Alfredsson said, “It’s been surreal, it’s almost like you’re walking on Cloud 9. It’s been almost overwhelming, to be honest. You can never dream of anything like this. You don’t really know how to embrace it, really. I don’t think, until tonight when the kids go to bed, you can kind of sit and relax. I’m sure I’ll be dead tired, but take it all in and realize that this is something that not everybody gets to experience. I don’t know if I deserve it or not, but it’s definitely humbling.”

Sports Illustrated‘s Michael Farber writes an interesting article where he bemoans the NHL’s lack of dynastic teams and star players.  Here’s a look at the first part of his argument, “The absence of spectacular teams was all but mandated by the salary cap that  was hammered into place the last time owners locked out the hockey help, in  2005. The cap was going to level the field to a degree, in dollars if not in  terms of the hockey smarts of general managers who are still wrestling with the  CBA just as it is about to be renegotiated. Forget about building the Canadiens  of the late 1970s or the Islanders of the early 1980s, the last teams to win  more than two straight Stanley Cups. Because of the cap system, you couldn’t  even put together a veteran team like the 1999 Stars or dream of stockpiling a  roster like the 2002 Red Wings, which should have its own wing in the Hall of  Fame. Parity. The calliope music was stilled and the circus was leaving town  forever, replaced by the egalitarian notion that everyone could win a Stanley  Cup and be special. Even Columbus. This has left the NHL with … what?”  I disagree with Farber’s thesis entirely–the days of dynasties were boring.  Predictable results do not make for engaging sport, nor has parity hurt the NFL (a model the NHL would love to emulate).  As for his second argument, “The prevailing theory is that individual greatness has been muffled by the  increasing sophistication in coaching. Says the NHL GM, ‘Like baseball with  pitching coaches and batting coaches and third base coaches … we’ve gone down  that road. The coaching is so thorough, the video preparation so solid, that  it’s difficult to stand out. It’s tough finding individual guys that you can  sell all on their own. I bet with the NBA you could come up with a list of 10  pretty easily.’ ‘I think what’s been lost is the distinctive style of teams,’ a veteran coach  tells ‘At one point you knew that the Calgary Flames were going to play  a certain way, a big marauding team that was going to be physical with you. You  knew the Dallas Stars had a certain way of playing. New Jersey played their way.  Edmonton. The Rangers would try to play a lot like the Oilers. That’s been  lost.'”  While I agree with Farber’s general point I think much of what he quotes and says is either hyperbole or simply wrong.  Star players produce points and the NHL has been squeezing down goals since the first few months of the new CBA.  Each year more and more interference is allowed and officiating becomes more and more inconsistent.  Like many problems the solution is simple: call the rule book–but the league turns away from that again and again.

-Prior to Binghamton’s last two games PTO Andy Thomas was returned to Trenton

-Prospect updates (their position in team scoring is noted in brackets, defence compared to defence; I’ve also indicated if the player’s scoring position has change (with a + for up, – for down, and = for unchanged):
Mark Stone (RW, Brandon, WHL) 46-32-47-79 (1st=)
Shane Prince (C/LW, Ottawa 67s, OHL) 39-28-35-63 (2nd+)
Stefan Noesen (C/RW, Plymouth, OHL) 44-20-37-57 (1st=)
Jean-Gabriel Pageau (RW, Chicoutimi, QMJHL) 32-30-23-53 (3rd=)
Matt Puempel (LW, Peterborough, OHL) 30-17-16-33 (5th-)
Darren Kramer (C/LW, Spokane, WHL) 47-18-14-32 (5th=)
Jakub Culek (C/LW, Rimouski, QMJHL) 38-8-15-23 (7th-)
Jordan Fransoo (D, Victoria, WHL) 49-2-12-14 (2nd=)
Jakob Silfverberg (C/RW, Brynas) 36-15-19-34 (1st=)
Mika Zibanejad (C/RW, Djurgarden) 15-3-4-7 (17th-)
Fredrik Claesson (D, Djurgarden) 36-1-5-6 (5th-)
Marcus Sorensen (RW, Boras) 23-7-6-13 (6th=)
Ryan Dzingel (C, CCHA-Ohio State) 25-5-13-18 (3rd=)
Michael Sdao (D, ECAC-Princeton) 20-6-9-15 (1st=)
Chris Wideman (D, CCHA-Miami) 28-1-14-15 (1st=)
Max McCormick (LW, CCHA-Ohio State) 19-7-7-14 (4th+)
Bryce Aneloski (D, WCHA-Nebraska-Omaha) 26-3-10-13 (1st+)
Ben Blood (D, WCHA-North Dakota) 27-2-11-13 (t-2nd+)
Jeff Costello (LW, CCHA-Notre Dame) 22-3-6-9 (10th=)
Brad Peltz (LW, ECAC-Yale) 7-1-0-1 (20th=)