Senators News: August 2nd

Daniel Alfredsson talked about returning to the team:

I’m not saying this is my last year. If I can still play and contribute, I’ll continue. I had issues with my back for a few years, and now that I finally feel healthy again, I want to see how good I can be. You see players at 40 and 40-plus like (Jaromir) Jagr and (Teemu) Selanne, and maybe it’s a new trend that’s starting, that if you look after yourself and take care of yourself, you can play. Who knows what the limit is? That’s an intriguing part for me, how far I can push myself. How good can I still be? I feel like I can get better, especially looking back at the health issues I’ve had, feeling that I’ve corrected that. I should be able to push myself and be better, especially physically, than I was last year. I’m good with the way the contract is. I’ll just play out the last year of the contract and go from there. I think I’ve had the intention of playing (next season) from the beginning, but I had to go through the process to really know for sure. With my back problems … I haven’t really been able to work out as I would have liked for the last, probably, four years. With the surgery last summer, having to do a lot of rehab and I didn’t get the proper training in, I didn’t know where I stood physically and mentally. It took some time, but the training has been going well. I’ve really enjoyed it, so I’m really happy that I feel this way in the process of getting ready for another camp. I could probably have made my mind up a little quicker if I felt the team needed to know for whatever reason, but I also feel this is a good time. The training the last two weeks has gone into another phase, more heavy lifting, and that’s gone well. I probably could have waited for another month, but this feels right. Once that day comes, I’ll look forward to the challenges. But when you feel as healthy as I do … if you retire too early, you’ll kind of look back and say ‘Maybe I should have played another year or two. My kids have (had) me playing the whole time. They’ve been bugging me and I think they would have been really disappointed if I didn’t play. And my wife and I, we feel that our family situation will be easier this season coming up than it was last year, with a newborn baby (William Erik) and sleepless nights. We have more of a routine now. She’s kind of been hoping, too, that physically I would feel fine and play another year and postpone everything that comes with retirement and starting a new chapter in our lives. We’ve got pretty good control of what to do when I’m playing and how to handle me being away and whatnot, so she’s been extremely supportive, too. That’s makes me feel a little less guilty, I guess, about playing another year because I know how much time it takes away from family.

Stu Hackel offers an outsiders view of Alfredssson deciding to play another season.

Nichols transcribes Eugene Melnyk’s chat with The Team 1200 yesterday and while I encourage you to read the entire article what interested me was this:

I gave up with this theory [big moves] about going over the top. I really did. We blew our brains out spending to the cap and what we proved last year is that we don’t have to do that. I mean, all that does is cover up our mistakes. Really, at the end of the day, if you invest into scouting, into development of these players, you’re going to get what you’re going to get. And you can’t buy that. You can’t buy heart. You can’t buy the fans. You can’t buy the dressing room. And my attitude, look, we were going to bid on a couple of these (free agents). We were prepared to. We had presentations done. We were all ready to go. We put our July 1st holidays on hold and I called Bryan two days before and I said, ‘Bryan, did you see these contracts and numbers that these people are throwing around?’ and he said ‘Yep. That is what we’re going to have to pay.’ And I said, ‘Do you want to blow your weekend with your grandkids and kids on July 1st and waste our time because we’re not going to spend that kind of money?’ And he says, ‘No, let’s enjoy our barbeques and let somebody else blow their brains out.’ And they did it. I don’t wish them bad luck, but I don’t think that (spending frivolously) is the solution.

Whether you wish Melnyk was willing to bid on big free agents or not I’m happy the team has given up on the futile practice.  The best free agents do not want to come to Ottawa, so rather than overpaying broken down older players like Alexei Kovalev I’m happy to see the organisation focus on developing talent and then paying those players big salaries when the time comes.

Travis Yost compares how Cory Clouston and Paul MacLean differed in which players they started in the offensive zone (the most amusing for me was Ryan Shannon‘s 61.5% under Clouston).

-Here’s my look at Binghamton‘s roster changes and their potential lineup for the upcoming season.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

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