Senators News: July 15th

-The early news about a new CBA in the NHL has all been par for the course thus far.  I agree with Bob McKenzie that until September all the rhetoric isn’t worth getting excited about.  As I’ve said before I believe a deal will be struck before the season begins, but until then expect to hear endless doom and gloom.

Tim Murray talked about signing Andre Benoit:

It’s great to have him back. He was a huge part of our organization two years ago, showing he can play at this level, at least short-term, and a huge part of the championship team in Binghamton, as far as on-ice, off-ice leadership, leading by example. To me (he was) probably the best player throughout the playoffs in the league. We want good people, and he is good people. He’s a leader at the AHL level, he’s a quiet, efficient veteran at the NHL level. He’s a pro’s pro. He knows what it takes to get ready for games, he knows what it takes to play at a high level in the AHL and a level that certainly does not hurt us at this level. I think he was a big part of some of our kids that have come up here and had some success from Binghamton. I think Andre should take pride in the fact he had a lot to do with that. We’ve had the conversation that I think our coaching staff and the organization has been very fair in the last three years on who gets games and who makes the team. Draft status and reputation don’t matter as much to us as the type of player and the type of person you are and your production. We know at the very least Andre is a top player at the AHL level. We certainly know he can play games up here, whether that’s on a short-term basis or a long-term basis, we’ll have to see with him. As I said to him, it’s always up to the player. But I expect he’ll come in at great shape, and I expect he’ll come in with the attitude he wants to win a job. We certainly know that he’s not automatically destined for Binghamton, that he’s going to come in here and, knowing him, he’s.

That gives you an idea of how much the Sens think of Benoit, but at the same time I think there’s no chance (barring injury) that he plays in Ottawa with regularity unless there’s a serious injury.

Luke Richardson gave some of his thoughts going into his first year as a head coach:

We do have a big load of young talent, but you can’t just go with all young talent. You have to make sure you do your homework and get the good (veterans). (Benoit) has a great personality. He has been around. He has some experience in Europe. He has all kinds of experiences. Young guys ask a lot of questions and you want to make sure they grow up right, in the right circumstance. Sometimes you look around and you see some guys with good talent and they’re in and out of the (NHL). If they have the wrong mindset early (in their professional careers), it’s hard to change. All those guys are looking at spots opening (with Ottawa) and they want to keep their dreams alive. For me, one way or another, it’s about having more depth. If Andre is down there (in Binghamton) for the full year or only part of it, he brings great leadership. We want to bring the best out of all of them and be honest with them. If there’s a flaw in their game, we will work on it.

Intentional or not the comments about the lack of leadership last season are a shot at some of the veterans who were with Binghamton this past season (it’s hard to guess who specifically it might be referring too).

Nichols echoes my thought that “Bryan [Murray] was simply catering to the line of questioning that was directed towards him” when discussing team toughness.

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