Senators News: July 9th

-Yesterday the Sens traded Pat Cannone to St. Louis for future considerations.  The Sens had waived him in January, but found no takers (likely due to his high AHL salary, 105k next season).  Beyond Cannone‘s poor season, moving him also helps clear the glut of forwards who will be filling Binghamton’s roster.

Mike Glotov writes about Daniel Alfredsson‘s departure in Russian and granting that Google translate is iffy the gist of his theory is that Jason Spezza ultimately was the reason.  This is definitely an interesting and dramatic theory, but without more backing it can’t leave the theoretical realm.

Randy Lee talked about Shane Prince‘s development:

The (AHL) is a challenging league. Some guys do respond and some guys don’t. I was most impressed with the way he engaged himself, the way he fought to get to lose pucks. He was harder to play against. He was all of the things we wanted to see.

Lee said Prince was one of the players who improved the most this past season.

Matt Puempel talks about this past season and looking forward:

I just try to work hard every day and improve each year. That’s all you can do is control what you can control. That’s where I’ve kind of left it. Obviously size is one thing and speed comes with that and having skill take care of itself and lead where I can. Like I said, I just control what I can control and work hard to make the best of it. I liked it [Kitchener], it was a blast there. Unbelievable coaching, the organization, everything there was fun — I think that was part of it — the product on the ice was pretty good. Obviously we wanted to go further, we lost to a pretty good London team in the second round. Some people said whoever won that series was going to go on. Then to go over to Binghamton and play in the playoffs was a learning experience and I think I grew as a player and person there. I enjoyed that too. You’re playing against certain guys [in the AHL] that have played the majority of their careers in the NHL and different guys that have been called up. It’s kind of cool to see where you stand and to see where you can put your name at. It’s a good measuring stick and I thought I did well there and I thought the coaches put me in good situations, playing with good linemates and everything like that and, like I said, all you can do is learn and take in so much from pros that you’re playing with and around everyday. The way they handle themselves is something cool to see and something I had a lot of fun learning. Obviously having to change leagues, it’s an adjustment, it comes with patience. You want to score every game but in reality that’s not the case and you just do different things though to make you’re not invisible and not one-dimensional out there. That’s something I’ve tried to work on over the past couple of years. It’s always nice to score and it was good to help the team out in the playoffs there. It’s [development camp] been really long days some days, you have to be strong mentally and that’s a big part of the game — we’ve learned about that this week. It’s dwindling down here, tomorrow we head out, but obviously any time you’re involved in the organization and with the guys here and learning so much and taking in so much. It’s a short time but they pack the days and it’s real good to break up the summer too. They do a good job of mixing things up and making things different. This year was different from the past two years and was a good change. It’s been really good, the fan support is amazing obviously and it’s good to just be around the guys you don’t see all summer and just kind of hang out with them. Everyone’s goal is to play here — since I was one year old I think. There’s a huge development point, I think, from the standpoint of making the next level. Ottawa is going to help you and guide you in any situation you want and put you in good situations, whether it’s in Binghamton or here, you just have to improve every day and be a pro and see where you end up. Hard work is going to get you the furthest.

Andrew Hammond discussed the same thing (link above):

 It’s been really good [development camp]. It’s nice getting to be able to put faces to names now and get to know a lot of people in the organization and obviously all of the activities they have us doing this week is really good for your development. It has been a really positive experience so far. It’s a little bit different [from Chicago’s camp]. This camp focuses more on skill development whereas that one was more scrimmages and stuff like that. I think this camp’s emphasis is more on developing the players rather than trying to gauge where everyone is at. I think I’ve gotten better as the week has gone on and I think that’s the goal of the camp. Absolutely (it did [NCAA]) — I think it gave me a lot more experience in the last four seasons. I’ve been able to get some key game experience and obviously a lot of shots in those games. As a goalie you’re only going to get better by playing and, fortunately, I was able to do that at Bowling Green. It was good [joining Binghamton at season’s end], you don’t really know what it’s like until you’re there — you hear things, but nothing really beats doing it yourself. It was good to kind of get my feet wet and see what the organization is like and, you know what, it was just good to get over there and meet some of the guys and start my path as a Senator. You learn a lot of things, it’s not just on the ice, it’s off the ice. How to handle yourself and the things you need to focus on as far as nutrition and fitness and things like that. Coming here I’ve kind of learned about the whole package of what it’s like to be a pro hockey player. It’s an unbelievable resource to have [Rick Walmsley]. He’s already brought up a couple things that have probably been bad habits over the years and already this week I’ve seen tremendous improvement in those things so being able to  work one-on-one with him has been a great aspect of this week. I’m really fortunate to have him here. I’m just going to go into camp and be as prepared as I can for it. Just leave everything on the ice and obviously just try and have the best showing I can. I just try to make everything look easy. It’s not always technically perfect but for the most part I try and keep everything pretty sound. You’ll see me making a little bit of a desperation save if I have to so, at the end of the day it’s just about stopping the puck. Whatever it takes.

And Jarrod Maidens:

 I’m out playing, getting on the ice, no contact but I can skate and stickhandle and feel the puck. It’s just nice to be working out and doing this stuff again. I know I’m definitely not where I want to be yet because it has been so long but I’m happy with how I feel so far getting out there and I feel I’m slowly making progress each time I get out there. I think my goal right now is the season coming. Just recover now and do what I can to be healthy and ready to go again. It’s definitely nice [working with Mark Reeds]. You’re more comfortable when you kind of know the guys — players and the coaches as well. With Mark, talking with him, I know he’s a smart guy. I just ask him questions and listen to what he has to say. I think it’s definitely a little bit easier this time in two ways — at least I’m on the ice and participating and I know guys now, so I kind of know what to expect and feel more comfortable that way. I love coming here, it’s great, you learn a lot and it’s a fun time. Right now I’m just working on getting back — I’m still part of the Owen Sound Attack and we’ll see where things go when I get back and start working hard again.

Nichols writes a lengthy piece about the Sens roster changes over the past few days and there’s a lot of food for thought.  Most interesting is his analysis of what Ottawa gave up to get Bobby Ryan:

There’s no question that the return for the Ducks is a healthy one, but each of the individual pieces comes with warts. I will miss Silfverberg [but] nevertheless Silverberg will turn 23 in October, making him just three years younger than Bobby Ryan. We tend to overlook the actual age of players like Cory Conacher and Silfverberg, ignoring that the likelihood of them taking their games to another level is probably smaller than it would be for say, a 19 year old prospect like Zibanejad. In their 22 year old NHL seasons Bobby Ryan was about twice as productive as Silf on a per game basis [67-31-26-57 in 08-09, his first full season in the NHL]. Jakob‘s skating was never a strength. Stefan Noesen projects as a power forward with some offensive skill, but as a player whose ceiling second line winger, he may wind up just being a third line player. Losing a first round pick is never palatable, mostly because as a fan, the draft is an event itself and you never want to see your favorite organization sitting on the sidelines. But, from many accounts, the 2014 NHL Draft is shaping up to be a weak class, so if you’re Ottawa brass, it makes sense that if you’re going to roll the dice, you do it by moving a 2014 first. Speaking of risk, the Senators are inheriting plenty of it, despite getting the best player in the deal. They parlayed a plethora of controllable years on their assets for two seasons worth of Ryan (it’s not like the guy has been VERY public about wanting to be a Philadelphia Flyer in the past year). Due to the finite number of roster spots available, obviously not all of Ottawa’s prospects within its vaunted system can play for the Senators, but these prospects and draft picks are the currency of the NHL. And perhaps Ottawa could have used these prospects as part of a larger package to bring in a better player or a comparable player who has a longer term on his contract. Using this rationale, rumours that Ottawa had interest in Jets winger Evander Kane make sense. Instead Ottawa gets a player deemed expendable by a middle of the pack Anaheim Ducks team that has for whatever reason, has opted not to use a 26-year old four-time 30-goal scorer as a building block for its franchise. Yesterday, Wayne Scanlan appeared on our podcast and dispelled those concerns because he felt that more than anything, it was a financial decision on the part of the Ducks. Considering the exorbitant contract extensions that Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf received, there’s some truth here. But, Ryan has been a player who’s been rumoured in trade negotiations for years. Is it a red flag? Maybe, maybe not. These things are often overblown, see Turris.

This is a shortened version of Nichols distillation of the trade, but on the whole it’s difficult to argue with his points.  I never saw Silfverberg as more than a second line player capable of potting 20-goals, while Noesen‘s trend is looking more and more along the lines of a third-liner.  I’d be careful predicting the depth of a draft, as pre-season estimates often change, but it’s true that the Sens are getting the best player in the deal (granted, perhaps only for two seasons).  Is that enough?  I think it depends on what expectations are for where Ryan will take the team.  Does the organisation see him helping them to a Cup this season or next?  It seems hard to imagine, however the team does need a healthy star forward and right now none of their prospects can fill that need.  In that sense, especially with Alfredsson leaving, they had to add someone like Ryan into their lineup.

Varada also thinks the moves make the Sens a better team, but he focuses more on the numbers (possession in particular).

-Nichols (same link above) also adds a comment to the effect that Pat Cannone‘s numbers suffered due to the number of top prospects crowding Binghamton’s lineup, but that’s simply not the case.  A quick review: Cannone finished the season with 25 points, which was 12th on the team in scoring; 9 of those points (36%) came over a ten-game period in November-December when he was playing with Silfverberg.  In the 42 games he played after the Sens top prospects left he produced a meagre 14 points (so stretching that pace over a full season he would have had…25 points).  He’s not a terrible player, but his season was poor by any standard.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)