Senator News: July 31st

-The news I’ve expected for months has finally come down the wire with Daniel Alfredsson deciding to play another season in Ottawa.  It’s great for the organisation because there is no one to replace AlfieLuke Fox added an interesting tidbit “It’s been four years (or one Olympics ago, for those of you stricken with the fever) since Alfie has been able to train properly in the off-season and have his muscles respond the way he wants them to. A bad back, bouts of rehab and last summer’s surgery left him at a crossroads.”

Brochenski goes to the Corsi bat in support of Erik Condra (apparently lifting the idea from Travis Yost who compared him to Ville Leino) where he uses stats to show just how good Condra is at the possession game.  This is certainly what I noticed over the season and is what makes him an effective player.  Peter Raaymakers has jumped onto the bandwagon and adds this salient point, “I think advanced statistics like Corsi or CF% or what-have-you are only as useful inasmuch as they can be used to explain or challenge preconceived notions we make while watching a player.”

Varada provides a puzzling argument for retaining Bobby Butler.  He begins by saying the Sens need him to reach the cap floor (a canard that has been exploded many times), then conflates his numbers from this season and last season, as if they are one and the same thing (limited success on a terrible team versus no success on a competitive team).  Then he suggests they need Butler in case of injury, apparently not thinking much of the parade of forward prospects (Silfverberg, Zibanejad, Stone, and others) Ottawa has waiting in the wings.  He ends by saying this is an indication that Murray is planning a big move…or Melnyk wants to save money.  There’s no basis for the former, while the latter isn’t changed with or without Butler.  Putting aside the confusing arguments, I’m not sure why Varada wants to keep a one-dimensional player who was unable to produce.  He’s essentially Ryan Shannon without the passion, and Shannon is now out of the NHL playing in Switzerland.

Tim Conboy signed a deal to play with ERC Ingolstadt in the DEL.  A free agent after spending last season with Binghamton, I thought there was a slight chance he would be retained up until the Sens signed Andre Benoit.

Chet Pickard, the primary piece to Nashville via the Erik Karlsson trade at the 2008 draft, has parted ways with the Predators and signed with Djurgarden in the Allsvenskan.  If there needed to be any more evidence that Bryan Murray won this trade, this is it.

-For those of you buying season tickets for the Phoenix Coyotes, Stu Hackel provides us with the expected problems with the current sale.  Prospective owner Greg Jamison is short 20 million to purchase the franchise, which is why Shane Doan is trying to extort crazy money from other NHL teams.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)



  1. I might not have made my argument clearly enough. My point was that while it’s true that Butler might have had a terrible season last year, his season before was positive enough that I don’t think the book is closed on his future in the NHL, and that Ottawa can afford to take a wait-and-see approach. In a worst case scenario it turns out they were right about him, and they pay for an ineffective, but still relatively cheap player unless someone claims him on waivers at a fraction of his salary.

    As for Butler being one dimensional, his regular season CORSI numbers seem to imply otherwise. And even if it’s true, he’s still young with room to grow. Regin hasn’t had much success in two years. Why is the team willing to take a chance on him but not Butler?

    And that he sucked on a better team might have something to do with him playing with Kaspars Daugavins on the fourth line instead of with Jason Spezza.

    Also, while Ottawa does have a number of promising prospects to slot in, none of them have any NHL experience. (Not really counting Silfverberg’s two games or Stone’s one.) I think there’s a point at which having someone who’s played in the NHL, even if only with limited success, and at a relatively cheap salary, would be valuable.

    Would be curious to know more about why the cap floor is a canard. Ottawa has to reach it, and they’re very much below it now, no? Unless there’s a roll back due to CBA negotiations (possible), I don’t see how this doesn’t have to be addressed. Admittedly, I don’t know a lot on the subject. Where has it been established that they’re set for the season?

    Of course you’re right that I have no evidence that a big move is coming or that Melnyk is cheaping out. I’m purely speculating based on the fact that the buyout doesn’t make much sense to me.

    • As, I see the Panzari article you link to now.

    • Actually, that argument seems specious. If Ottawa pays all of its rookies – who there’s no room for – in addition to all of its current roster players, it’s past the cap floor. The same argument could be made for Butler.

      • You don’t need Panzeri’s article to check out the floor–just go on Capgeek, fill out a likely lineup, and the Sens are essentially at the floor (this is an exercise I went through back in May or June, realising that I’d see columns from the locals this summer saying that was a concern–by my count the team is over 52 million with bonuses). So don’t sweat the floor. As for Butler, I don’t disagree that he might have a future in the NHL, but clearly the Sens want to make room for prospects–room that doesn’t exist with Butler in the pressbox. We could argue back and forth about whether or not Butler is one-dimensional, but he’s a smaller player who isn’t physical and how many of those can the Sens afford to have in their lineup? The entire NHL could have had Butler for free and took a pass on him–GM’s aren’t stupid, there’s a reason they let him go. One of the reasons Regin is still around (besides being Erik Karlsson’s buddy) is that he’s responsible defensively–if he could ever stay healthy he’s a useful asset. So, could the Sens have kept Butler? Sure, but they didn’t want too. In essence they picked Kaspars Daugavins over him and what does that tell you?

  2. Butler had a bit of a entitlement type of attitude that I believe was part of the decision. Regin has a much higher upside. The doctors said both his shoulder injuries were kind of flukey and should not hurt him long term.
    Also agree with making it to the cap floor with current players. I’m also thinking that Alfie gets a bonus added to his contract that will also help.

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