Senators News: July 2nd

Mark Borowiecki was named the hardest working player at the Sens development camp for the second year in a row.

-The three-on-three finale at the Sens development camp ended with victory for team orange, consisting of Mika Zibanejad, Shane Prince, Corey Cowick, Jordan Fransoo, and Darren Kramer.

-Here are my reactions to Ottawa’s moves yesterday beginning with part one, part two, and a recap.  In terms of moves by other teams rather than truly crazy money what stood out was the term given to players (Jason Garrison for six years?  Sheldon Souray for three?), but on the other hand there were smart acquisitions (Jordan Tootoo was one of a few good signings by Detroit).  The crazy money awaits the Parise decision.

The Hockey News liked the Sens free agent acquisitions.  They assess Guillaume LatendresseIt was only a few years ago Guillaume Latendresse was an up-and-coming left winger who scored at least 25 goals in two straight seasons. Unfortunately for the 25-year-old, health woes – including a concussion that knocked him out of Minnesota’s final 50 games in 2011-12 – limited him to 27 games the past two years and drove down his free agent asking price. So it was no real surprise to see Latendresse sign a one-year, $1.25-million contract – a more than 50 percent drop in salary – with Ottawa. He’s a smart gamble at that price and could give them the scoring depth they’re looking for if he can stay in the lineup.”  And for Mike Lundin, “Expected to lose the services of UFA veteran Filip Kuba, the Senators made a smart, affordable blueline pickup when they signed Mike Lundin to a one-year, $1.15 million contract. The 27-year-old defenseman played just 17 games for Minnesota (after spending the previous four in Tampa Bay) and had sports hernia surgery in March, but he’s a steady-if-unspectacular performer who should fit in well and help Ottawa’s penalty kill.

Mark Parisi weighs in on the Sens moves yesterday, concluding “while the moves may be unpalatable by themselves, what he [Bryan Murray] has done is add players who will help the team transition through the season at a very reasonable cap hit without an appreciable loss of talent with the expectation that the true talent–drafted last year and developed internally–will be ready to step into those roles full-time in the following season. The only player not on a transitory deal, Marc Methot, is highly regarded as a strong defensive defenseman, and addresses a major need in the team’s defensive corps–most of the team’s best defensemen are better known for their offensive talents. Ottawa’s play in its own zone was a liability in 2011-12. Methot will change that.” And “It’s disappointing to think about the players the Senators lost yesterday–they were some fan favorites. It’s equally disappointing to realize the Senators did not get much better yesterday, until you recognize they did not get worse either. Sure, it would have been fun to see Murray go all-in in pursuit of a Stanley Cup, but is it ever practical to abandon a plan the second it starts to show success? Pluck the leaves from a young plant before it has time to take root and it dies.”  I agree that overall the Sens haven’t changed all that much and that improvement will have to come internally.

Jeremy Milks is unhappy with the moves writing “they got worse. Not terminably worse, but they lost a lot of character and toughness and only brought in one player – Methot – to balance out their losses in that area.”  Milks was most hurt by the loss of Carkner, not quite echoing the faction of the fanbase that felt Carkner and Konopka‘s threatening glower from the pressbox intimidated their opponents (for those wondering the record with Carkner in the lineup was 14-12-3 (27-19-7 without), minus Konopka 15-13-2 (26-18-8 with)).  It’s not entirely clear what it is Milks thinks is lost via Carkner other than “it doesn’t feel right” and “intangibles“.  The fact that those intangibles didn’t get the Sens into the playoffs last year, or land any of Konopka‘s previous teams in the post-season, or how neither player moved the Sens to the next round doesn’t factor into things.  Milks is happier with the acquisition of Methot who he see’s as a 4-5 defenseman.  He was unsurprised by the departure of Foligno, “if you’d been watching, you could have seen something like this coming a mile away. Foligno never truly found a role on the Senators and despite having good stats this past season, he was still shuffled around from line to line, often ending up on the fourth unit and being a spare part. It just never happened for Foligno and it wasn’t surprising to see him part of a package to strengthen their weakened back end.”  His comments about Lundin and Latendresse are echoed elsewhere (low risk sums it up).

Varada takes a look at yesterday’s moves and like most of the other bloggers was not shocked when Foligno was traded.  He see’s the trade going either way, “Methot played a career high average of about 17 minutes a night last season, having previously hovered around 16. His CORSI is all over the damn place – Relative CORSI is a terrible -16.3, but QOC was positive (even if it was only 0.920). So he was one of the worst players on a very poor team, basically. He’s also already 27, so he probably doesn’t have much room to grow. There are plenty of questions about how he was used by coach Scott Arniel, so I’ll reserve judgement. But to me, this move seems about what Murray can afford. If the Senators need to be a team close to the cap floor, then maybe he couldn’t afford a new deal for Foligno and the defenseman he needed. Still, I hate to see Foligno go this way. It’s like trading a likeable guy with some upside just as he’s entering his prime for new carpeting in the dressing room.”  I think Varada, like most of the bloggers (including me), doesn’t know what to expect from Methot because we haven’t seen him play much.  The only certainty is that he won’t put up points, but he’ll have better footspeed than Carkner and he’ll have more emotion than Matt Gilroy/Brian Lee.  In that sense, it’s a positive move, but he isn’t meant to replace Kuba.  That missing production will have to come internally.

-The only element that neither I nor any of the bloggers above specifically mentioned was Ottawa’s abysmal penalty kill.  Both Lundin and Methot are considered good players on the PK and that should help improve Ottawa’s special teams play.

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4 Comments

  1. I thought I heard Dorion say they wouldn’t name BoroCop the hardest working player twice in a row, even if he was. Something about motivation for the other prospects.
    I don’t know if this says more about Borowiecki, or the other prospects… (or Dorion and the Sens organisation for that matter).

    • I wasn’t sure what to make of it either. The most positive way to take it is that they believe Borowiecki’s approach is what the other prospects should emulate and to emphasize the point they gave him the award again. I haven’t seen any comments to indicate they were unhappy with the other players as a whole, so I wouldn’t see it as a shot across the bow per se. I didn’t attend as many sessions this year as I normally do, but from what I can tell the camp was much more physical than it normally is and I have to think the staff is happy about that. It will be interesting to see how the other players perform once camp starts in the fall.

      • I’ve watched some SensTV since last comment and there Randy Lee said as much. There was a vote and it was unanimous. Let’s see it positive and take it as a massive compliment to Borowiecki. I don’t remember much from his performances on the big team last year, so I’m looking forward to seeing some exhibition games. The kid has definitely the right attitude, he says he’ll train all summer!

  2. […] wonder if anyone still thinks the Sens miss Matt Carkner and Zenon Konopka–maybe Jeremy Milks, who was sure the team was much worse without […]


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