–Nichols transcribes Pierre Dorion’s interview on The Team and includes his thoughts. These echo Dorion’s comments from last year, but a few things stuck out to me. Talking about how they try to break players from giving just pat answers:
Well, maybe it’ll be a player whose work ethic was questionable and we’ll ask him why his work ethic isn’t really good. And we’ll give specific dates – on specific dates, ‘On this date and this date, we had this scouts here and he questioned why was that? What were you trying to do?’ Or, if it’s someone that’s a scorer that tells us that he’s scored and we’ve seen him 10 times, and he tells us we haven’t seen him score, ‘how come against these teams he didn’t score?’ – a little bit something along those lines.
How they approach the draft:
You never know what could happen – we could move up or we could move down, we’ve done that in the past. I’ve been doing this for quite a long time now, almost 20 years in the NHL, I have a pretty good idea at seventeen, if you give us a range of five or six players, we have a good idea what we’re doing. But, we always have surprises. I think as you mentioned last year, we had Cody Ceci in our top five and we ended up having him at fifteen. Bryan and Tim (Murray) have told me from day one, prepare for any scenario – whether it’s picking one, which I think maybe is not realistic, or picking five or picking whatever, as a group of scouts, we’re always prepared for any scenario. Even though sometimes it doesn’t matter, sometimes we’ll argue… this year we argued on five or six on our list because you never know what can happen and we want to be prepared for it.
His thoughts on mock drafts and trying to guess who other teams will pick:
I think we just do our own homework. I think mock drafts are great for fans and I think it’s great to see what your respective team might get (at their draft spot) but until the draft happens and the first sixteen players are taken, I don’t think the Ottawa Senators are really worried about what other teams are going to do. We have got to be good at what we do. We do do our homework. We have an idea of what players are going to go where through enough of our contacts, so we have a pretty good idea of what’s going on, but we might have a surprise. From that point of view, we might just wait for the first sixteen and then make our selection.
When asked to name the biggest surprises in terms of player development Dorion didn’t mention any surprising names, talking about Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Patrick Wiercioch, Eric Gryba, Mika Zibanejad, and Robin Lehner.
–Dmitry Chesnokov reports that Sergei Gonchar is close to signing a KHL deal, but I believe this is largely posturing (Tavis Yost does too). Everyone knows he could go make a pile of money playing in Russia, but clearly his goal is to play in the NHL.
-Here’s my look at the Senators roster decisions.
–Andy McDonald was forced to announce his retirement due to post-concussion issues. The NHL continues to not take the issue seriously and I expect that (like the NFL) legal action will ultimately be necessary before the league truly removes head shots (and perhaps fighting) from the game.
–Stu Hackel takes a look at Pittsburgh’s struggles against Boston in the playoffs and believes a lack of discipline is a big part of the problem–it’s a characteristic of the Crosby era and clearly puts the Penguins on tilt.
-For those who remember my look at European free agents, one of the players from the previous year (Simon Moser) has been invited to Nashville’s training camp in the fall. I’ll do a thorough review of my speculation after free agent madness is over.
This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)
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