-The Sens have re-signed Peter Regin, who will get a chance to show if he’s truly recovered from his shoulder surgeries. Ken Warren reports he’ll be paid 800k for the season, which is a 20% drop in salary. Tim Murray said “We’re very happy to get Peter into the fold. He has had a tough two years with injuries, but when he was not injured, he was certainly a top nine forward (capable of playing on the top three lines), with good offensive skills.”
-Here’s my look at Ottawa’s roster decisions in the off-season.
–Don Brennan indulges in all kinds of speculation:
1. The Sens should re-sign Chris Kelly (to serve as an “example” for the other Senators–presumably Brennan thinks the current vets aren’t doing a good enough job in that respect)
2. Ollie Jokinen could help (I’m not sure how–isn’t Turris their second-line center?)
3. P. A. Parenteau or Brad Boyes could provide secondary scoring (the former has stated his intention to stay with the Islanders, while the latter is coming off an atrocious season)
4. Suggests Barret Jackman, Bryan Allen or Kent Huskins to replace Filip Kuba if he walks (for those wondering, they had 13, 14, and 7 points, which combines to just beat Kuba‘s total of 32 for the year)
5. Shane O’Brien to replace Matt Carkner if the latter is let go (the same O’Brien who has played for four different organisations over the last four seasons)
As dismissive as I am of his suggestions, the normally sober Lyle Richardson thinks they are sensible. Brennan also thinks the team should trade Craig Anderson because his trade value is high–he thinks they could acquire the defensive defenseman the organisation says they need as well as the offensive forward Brennan thinks they need. The idea is, of course, absurd and Brennan is just trying to be provocative.
–Tim Murray made some interesting comments about Binghamton, “I think what we’re trying to do here is sign our own players from within the organization, that have either been drafted or traded here, get them done first of all and see where they fit. I think that in Binghamton, obviously we have to improve our personnel down there, surround our prospects and kids down there with better players and better people, on the veteran side of things. So, at this point, that’s what we’re trying to do. Some of those signings certainly won’t be until after July 1 if they come from other teams.” What interests me is the comment about “better people” on the veteran side of things, which makes me wonder about which veterans are being referred too (not, presumably, Corey Locke or Francis Lessard who were with the team last year, or Mike McKenna who received a lot of praise, but presumably Mark Parrish or Tim Conboy).
-Here’s my profile of Sens prospect Darren Kramer.
-The Calgary Flames signed KHL free agent Roman Cervenka and Ryan Kennedy throws a hissy-fit about it. Kennedy, who says nothing specific about Cervenka, compares his signing with other failed European and NCAA experiments without making useful comparisons to those players or looking at the specifics of Cervenka‘s contract (his contract is based on games played, and other bonuses, plus has a European re-assignment clause so he can be sent back to Omsk). Cervenka is a 26-year old, slightly undersized (5’11) left-handed center who played on the Czech 2005 WJC team, but went undrafted. He didn’t generate NHL interest until he dominated the Czech league in 2009-10 and played for the 2010 Olympic team. Last summer he was considered one of the best players in Europe (51-31-30-61 in the KHL playing with Jaromir Jagr), but his production slipped this year (54-23-16-39), although he still lead his team in scoring. Here’s who Kennedy compared him too (I’m ignoring the NCAA flops since they are completely irrelevant):
1. Jaroslav Hlinka (2007) – the 5’10 30-year old was coming off a career year in the Czech league and was signed by Colorado; he put up decent numbers (63-8-20-28), but not the top-six numbers some were hoping for. Hlinka never put up the gaudy numbers Cervenka has in Europe and was an older player, so the comparison isn’t apt
2. Fabrian Brunnstrom (2008) – the 6’1 23-year old was a prospect hyped after a strong rookie year with Farejstad in the SEL; he’s never quite progressed as hoped, but he was a prospect not a European pro so there’s no comparison to Cervenka
3. Ville Leino (2008) – the 6’1 24-year old was signed after a monster year in the SM-Liiga; after a year of paying his dues in the AHL for Detroit he didn’t make an impact until his playoff performance with Philadelphia in 2010. He played reasonably well the following season (81-19-34-53), but because he struggled this year Kennedy thinks he’s finished as a player. Putting the hyperbole aside, this is a closer comparison, although Leino‘s pre-North American resume isn’t Cervenka‘s either
I think the risk the Flames are taking is a worthwhile one. Cervenka likely isn’t a top-six talent in the NHL (very few players outside the league are), but given the lack of prospects in the Flames organisation it’s worth giving him a shot and the money it costs the organisation isn’t unreasonable.