Senators News: June 16th

Bryan Murray continues to beat the trade drums, “There are people on this team that we’re not really interested in trading. But it may well happen that we would try to do something to either add a player or a higher pick. We’re very open-minded. So if it gets out there that other managers would like to call, I’d be very open to that. We want to be competitive, obviously, and there will be a little more pressure on our team to do better, or at least the same type of thing next year. I’m not adverse to try and hurry it up. If there’s something we could do to make that happen, we’d love to make it happen. But we’re going to also protect as many of our assets as we can, knowing and thinking we have people very close to being NHL players that will compete this year.”

-In the same article, Pierre Dorion confirmed that “We will draft a goalie in this draft. Whether it’s in the first round or seventh round, we don’t know what’s going to happen.”  The lack of goaltending depth has troubled the franchise for quite some time, but I don’t think the Sens will spend a first round pick to select one.

Nichols transcribes Bryan Murray’s interview with The Team 1200 which is worth reading in full albeit there’s not much new.  The one anecdote I found interesting was regarding Murray’s talks with Islander GM Garth Snow last year, “Garth Snow last year when I talked to him, he was picking I think one spot or two spots ahead of me, and I tried to flip with him to move up a couple of spots and his demand was ‘Tell me who you’re going to pick,’ and I wouldn’t do that, so he wouldn’t move. But if he says no to you, then he takes your guy because there may be some indecision on their part and with our history, our drafting has been good so they can use you as a lever sometimes.”  You have to wonder what Snow was thinking.

Senschirp points out that the Sens have brought four draft-eligible goalies to Ottawa to have a look at them.  Malcolm Subban‘s visit was well-publicized, but the Sens have also taken a look at Russian Andrei Vasilevski, OHLer Daniel Altshuller and QMJHLer Francois Brassard.  While Subban and Vasilevski are two of the highest ranked goaltenders in the draft (tops in North America and Europe, respectively), the latter two are mid to late round prospects.  I seriously doubt the Sens will pick Vasilevski given their disinclination to draft Russians.

TSN takes a lengthy look at the Senators prior to the draft and some interesting things to say.  “Since it was supposed to be a re-building year, the Senators’ prospect cupboard is quite well-stocked.  The Sens may be well-served trading their first-round pick for another big veteran voice in the locker room. The good news is that if they choose to keep the pick, Ottawa has the opportunity to select the best available player at the 15 slot and are not boxed in by any pressing immediate needs. Unfortunately, few teams allowed as many goals as the Senators as well. They appear to be set in [net] for both the present and the future, but the defence corps could use an added injection of youth. Since the 2012 draft class appears to be quite deep on the blue line, there is no time like the present to begin the re-stocking process.”  Scott Cullen runs down their prospects and highlights most of the notables.  It’s a good article and worth reading fully.

John Henkelman previews the draft from an Ottawa perspective.  First he assesses the team and see’s Mika Zibanejad, Jakob Silfverberg, Andre Petersson, Mark Borowiecki, Patrick Wiercioch (calling him a “two-way defenseman”), and Eric Gryba as having the best chance to crack the NHL lineup.  He writes “GM Bryan Murray and his team will target puck-moving defensemen and scoring forwards with size and preferably some tenacity at both of these positions. Their philosophy is to opt for the best player available and will likely angle towards a defenseman over a forward this draft all things being equal. In the past the Senators have targeted specific players based on recommendations and they will continue to do so. The organization does place a high value on character and maturity when looking at potential new additions. The Senators did choose forwards with eight out of their 10 picks in the 2011 draft in order to replenish that position in their system. Look for them to emphasize defense more with this time around.”  I agree with Altenbaugh in terms of how the team will pick.  In Hockey Futures‘ mock draft Ottawa selected Olli Maata.

Varada argues that there’s no point in picking a goalie in the first round and that it’s better to leave blueliners until late as well (based on an article by Cam Charron).  Both articles are worth reading, with Charron pointing out the low percentage of success for teams who pick goaltenders and blueliners in the first round.  To play devil’s advocate with the idea, Ottawa selected Erik Karlsson with the 15th overall pick and that’s a primary reason their rebuild is ahead of schedule, so is the issue completely tied to position?  What I take away from the analysis is that scouts have a harder time projecting blueliners, so ultimately what NHL teams need is better scouting.

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2 Comments

  1. John Henkelman is our Sens writer not me. Unfortunately our new admin does not yet let us post the author names at the top of the page. If you look at the other articles posted on the site, you’ll see they have a variety of different writers.

    Thanks for your continued readership!

    • Thanks Ian. I want to attribute the article properly, but the way it’s currently posted made it unclear.


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