Senators News: September 22nd

Nichols writes a two-part piece and the second half reminds us just how good a prospect Patrick Wiercioch was (and is).

It’s easy to forget that Wiercioch‘s freshman year at 18 is among the most impressive by an NCAA defenseman in recent memory – 35pts in 36gp earned a WCHA Second All-Star Team selection. A season in which his shot rate was an impressive 2.94 per game, third best on the team, just for comparison sake this past year Karlsson shot 3.22 per game.

Wiercioch‘s sophomore season was also strong, although injury slowed him down and made him unable to play for Canada at the WJC.  He produced at a higher pace in his sophomore season with Binghamton, but injury makes his progress hard to judge.  Needless to say, as someone who still hasn’t filled out their frame there’s still reason to hope Wiercioch will achieve his potential.

-Here’s my profile of Kyle Turris.

-Bob McKenzie has posted his pre-season top-ten 2013 draft picks:
1. Nathan MacKinnon (QMJHL)
2. Seth Jones (WHL)
3. Sean Monahan (OHL)
4. Elias Lindholm (SEL)
5. Rasmus Ristolainen (SM-Liiga)
6. Aleksander Barkov (SM-Liiga)
7. Andre Burakovsky (Allsvenskan)
8. Jacob de la Rose (Allsvenskan)
9. Curtis Lazar (WHL)
10. Kerby Rychel (OHL)

Central Scouting has also released a list of top players, but not in an easily digestible list format.

Jimmy Devellano was fined for comments he made about the lockout and I want to examine a couple of them:

It’s very complicated and way too much for the average Joe to understand, but having said that, I will tell you this: The owners can basically be viewed as the Ranch, and the players, and me included, are the cattle. The owners own the Ranch and allow the players to eat there. That’s the way its always been and that the way it will be forever. And the owners simply aren’t going to let a union push them around. It’s not going to happen.

Yes, they are billionaires. Good on them, they deserve it, but they also make their employees millionaires. Not a bad trade off for a guy like Lucic getting what, 6 million dollars a year? I mean good on him too, but he should be grateful. Understand though that these players want for nothing…its first class this, first class that, meal allowances, travel money on the road, the whole shebang.

The situation is not very complicated–it’s about getting a larger slice of the NHL-pie.  I think Devellano’s attitude towards his employees (the players) is very common in our culture.  The idea that professional hockey can only exist with the benefit of current ownership is laughable–the public appetite for hockey is not beholden to the NHL, rather, the NHL (through historical circumstance) has been the beneficiary of that appetite.  If the NHL disappeared tomorrow another professional league would rise to take its place.  There’s nothing special about the league, what’s special is the sport.

Devellano also makes some interesting comments about the public perception of Gary Bettman.  In his rambling way he admits that Bettman’s condescending attitude and inability to make his case to the average fan is a big part of the problem.  I don’t think public perception makes any difference in his position however, so it’s largely irrelevant.

Jared Ramsden breaks down the WHL’s eastern conference.

Radoslav Vavrina writes comprehensively about the upcoming Czech Extraliga season.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

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