Senators News: June 2nd

Pierre Dorion talked about the draft, “Our mindset is totally different. With the way the 2010-11 season ended, with us trading away a lot of assets, we approached last year as a very big draft. The biggest thing is last year we were picking sixth and this year we’re picking 15th. So you understand the quality of the prospect will not be of the same value. We drafted a lot of skill last year. What we’ve done in last year’s draft and the three previous drafts is we really improved the depth of our prospects. When Bryan and Tim (Murray, assistant GM) took over, we had three players returning in Binghamton (AHL) and a few players in junior we were going to sign, so the cupboard was really bare. We’re dealing from a position of power now when it comes to the quality prospects we have. A number of these players won the Calder Cup last year (in the AHL), a number of them played and contributed on our team this year. For instance, you look at Jared Cowen coming in from Spokane, and we don’t win the Calder Cup without him. So that experience of winning the Calder Cup was a huge factor in him being able to step into the league this year. I think at every position we have what I would call blue-chip prospects. Some are playing right now, some will be playing down the road.”  He added a thought about the NHL combine, “As far as making a big change, no team that I’ve ever worked with has ever done that based on the combine.”

Ian Altenbaugh ranks Ottawa’s prospects as third best in the NHL.  “Strengths: The Senators have top-end skill at all forward positions led by Mika Zibanejad, Jakob Silfverberg, Stefan Noesen, and Shane Prince. Despite graduating five prospects and trading another key one this season, the team still has a group of players who can provide depth at the NHL level including Stephane Da Costa, Jim O’Brien, Andre Petersson, and Robin Lehner. Ottawa has a very young NHL team so the organization has the luxury of giving their future prospects more time to fully develop properly for the NHL.  Weaknesses: The organization has no goaltending prospects behind Robin Lehner at any level of hockey and needs to address this hole. The Senators have a lack of high-end talent on defense with the graduation of Jared Cowen and the trade of David Rundblad, but do have a good quantity with lower potential.  Top 5 Prospects: 1. Mika Zibanejad, C, 2. Robin Lehner, G, 3. Jakob Silfverberg, LW/RW, 4. Stefan Noesen, RW, 5. Mark Stone, RW. Lost to Graduation: Bobby Butler, Erik Condra, Jared Cowen, Kasper Daugavins, Colin Greening. Lost to Trade: David Rundblad. Added: Cole Schneider.

Wayne Scanlan writes about the style of hockey which has dominated the playoffs, “clogged shooting lanes, skaters restricted from skating freely, with or without the puck, defencemen latching onto forecheckers like airport security personnel doing a full body search.”  Scanlan hopes that the NHL’s “posse of general managers, coaches, players and officials to discuss the state of the game and how rules are enforced,” which will help change the game.  I have my doubts.  Players are conservative, GM’s are conservative, and coaches are incredibly conservative when it comes to change.  What’s more likely to happen is that the defensive trend will continue for another season or two until ratings and attendance begins to tank, then action will be taken.

-Speaking of bad ratings, the Cup final has dropped 25% from last year and I expect that decline to continue.

-Here’s my look at The Hockey News and Hockey Prospect‘s 2012 NHL Draft Guide.

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