Senators News: June 29th

Darren Kramer talks about his approach to becoming a pro, “I want to come in with a positive attitude and try to make Ottawa. But as a realist I know I’m going to have to spend some a little bit of time in the minors to develop. I have to improve my strength and conditioning. But mostly it’s my foot speed and my skating, and if I can get that up to par, then I think I have a really good chance of one day being an Ottawa Senator. I’d like to contribute and be considered trustworthy to be on the ice in the defensive zone. Times are changing. Guys who can only fight are starting to get weeded out. And if you look at my (6-2, 210-pound) frame, I’m not a big 6-7 guy. I’m an average-size player, so I have to be able to contribute offensively and be trustworthy in the defensive zone.”  Randy Lee talked about him saying, “He wasn’t there [in Spokane] as a thug. He played in important situations. He knows he’s got to be quicker off the mark and he’s got to be a faster skater. But he’s a big strong kid and he’s got a Chris Neil-type work ethic. He cares, he’s a team guy. He doesn’t like to fight just for the sake of fighting. He does it to protect his teammates. Or if something needs to be taken care of, he’ll do that. He’s a project, for sure. “But he’s got enough tools that he’s hopefully going to evolve, but it may not be overnight.”

-Tim Murray spoke briefly about Michael Sdao, “He plays a hard, physical game, he’s hard to play against. Because those are the guys you win with.”  Sdao himself said, “We have a great coaching staff at Princeton. All three of our coaches played college hockey and then went on to play pro. I think I’m learning a lot from them. This is my last year at school and I’m going to take a leadership role on the team. I’m looking forward to that and having a good year. You always want to finish strong. I like to think that back in the day I could [fight]. But I’ve got to sharpen up on those skills, too.”  Sdao was considered one of the best fighters in his draft year (2009).

Stu Hackel looks at what teams in the Eastern Conference need and for Ottawa he says “It remains unclear if captain Daniel Alfredsson will return, but even if he does, the Senators will be in the hunt for a top-six forward (and they’ve been mentioned in conjunction with the Rick Nash sweepstakes). But with pending UFA Filip Kuba likely not returning, they’ll also be looking for an experienced defenseman, preferably a stay-at-home-type, perhaps to partner with Norris Trophy-winner Erik Karlsson (Kuba’s old gig), or a shutdown guy.”  So Hackel simply reiterates what we’ve heard before: stay-at-home blueliner and a top-six scoring (for the right price).  I still think it will only be one of the two via free agency and that will be the defenseman.

DaveYoung throws his two cents into the Justin Schultz sweepstakes (picking up on the Bob McKenzie Tweeted news that the Minnesota Wild are also on his list) and comes to the conclusion that Ottawa is the best fit for him.  While I disagree (he could play 30 minutes a night with Edmonton), he does remind us why the Schultz sweepstakes are different than Matt Gilroy, Fabian Brunnstrom, or Bobby Butler: “Schultz was drafted [#43], was identified early as being a player with a serious ceiling.”  This is exactly why teams wet themselves when they found out he was going to become a free agent.

-There have been a lot of bio’s of players at the development camp, but most have simply reiterated what’s been said before so I haven’t commented on them.  For those interested here’s Mark Stone, Mark Borowiecki, Mika Zibanejad and Matt Puempel.

-My first look at the development camp should come out today (including a look at last night’s scrimmage).  For those who didn’t attend or watch it being streamed it was a lot of fun and while there’s very little seating and the PA system is incomprehensible, fans should definitely check it out if they have the opportunity.

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