Senators News: July 7th

-Things are getting desperate for Don Brennan as he tries to perform a Jedi mind trick on his limited readership to convince them that he wants the Sens to try and sign Alexander Semin (Varada, via the link below, likes the idea).  Brennan doesn’t like Russian players and there’s no basis for the speculation (all that’s happening is that Semin‘s agent is trying to drum up limited interest by listing Semin‘s demands to play more).  Brennan also throws out the exploded chestnut that the Sens need to hit the cap floor and therefore must spend (I don’t know how many times I and others have to explain that this is wrong, although in fairness to Brennan the idea came to him via blogger speculation, so it’s only indirect ineptitude).

Varada says a number of things in his sign-off to free agency, but the part I enjoyed most was “Ottawa looked at their forward depth (and for our purposes here, I’m using “depth” to mean a very good number one center, a goal scorer with bionic knees, a 40 year old who might not come back, a reclamation project, and a bunch of rookies), and then at their back end, and decided to switch one out for the other.”  He’s referring to the FolignoMethot trade, but it’s his description of the Sens’ forwards that amuses me.

Jared Crozier is still worried that the Sens aren’t tough enough and that their divisional rivals might take their lunch money now that Carkner et al have departed.  He writes “Toronto added size in James Van Riemsdyk, Montreal brought in the leagues leader in fights Brandon Prust as well as Colby Armstrong, Buffalo toughened up through trade acquiring Steve Ott and Free Agency with John Scott and the Boston Bruins are well, the Boston Bruins, who hit the ice every game with beating their opponents up in mind.”  Let’s deconstruct this: if size is what Crozier is concerned with, Marc Methot is also big (so was Filip Kuba for that matter and so am I–maybe I should make a few phone calls), so what’s his point with Van Riemsdyk?  The addition of Prust means the Habs have gone from one fighter to two (Armstrong isn’t much of a fighter), which makes them marginally tougher (but could they have been less physical?).  John Scott played 35 games last year and was only in five fights (all against other regular pugilists), so I guess he’ll get to fight Carkner on the Island along with the usual suspects (when he’s in the lineup), to which I say so what?  Steve Ott is a significant addition, but the Sabres remain a very small team upfront (they traded Paul Gaustad remember).  I just don’t see the big swing in physicality that he does through these personnel changes.

Additionally, Crozier makes the claim that “While Bryan Murray and the Senators decided on going down a different path then the fist fuelled season which led them to the playoffs.”  The suggestion here is that fighting is what propelled the Sens into the playoffs.  That assertion isn’t justified (nor could it be), but just limiting the idea to the players who left (Konopka and Carkner), how does that work when both players combined for a season’s worth of games played?  And what does that say about Crozier’s opinion of the current Sens players who fight?  Chris Neil, Zack Smith, Jared Cowen, Colin Greening, Marc Methot, Mark Borowiecki (if he’s on the team), and a number of guys in the minors.  I just don’t see the point he’s trying to make.  The Sens aren’t going to be run out of a rink because Konopka isn’t parked in the pressbox.

Adrian Dater answers some questions from readers and makes a couple of comments worth repeating: he reminds us that Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leipold was complaining about not making money three months before signing Ryan Suter and Zach Parise to their big, long term contracts; he also talks about GM hypocrisy when it comes to players exercising their rights, “GM David Poile went into an extended pout with the media after Suter picked  Minnesota, divulging what were supposed to remain private details of their negotiations. (Isn’t it delicious how NHL GMs can cut players loose any time they want (see: Richards, Mike, in Philadelphia last year), but when a player chooses to employ some hardball on them, well…..that’s just an outrage isn’t it?

-This is very off-topic, but Andrey Osadchenko has an excellent interview with Nail Yakupov.



  1. […] Senators News: July 7th […]

  2. […] based on the addition of one player (Konopka).  This argument about toughness has been dynamited over and over again, but oddly has some kind of currency in the blogosphere.  [Travis Yost also […]

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