Senators News: July 15th

Travis Yost points out that while the Sens PK is likely to regress this coming season, their powerplay should improve.

-With the Sens development camp over I wanted to look at who didn’t warrant organisational comments (which is never a good sign, but not inherently a case of a player performing poorly).  To begin with, none of the free agent invitees (Branden Komm, Justin DaSilva, Mathieu Gagnon, Jeff Corbett, Macoy Erkamps, and Jack Berger) were referenced in any of the material I’ve seen, which indicates that they will not be seen again in the Sens organisation.  The following players were singled out as performing well by various members of the Sens management: Tobias Lindberg, Curtis Lazar, Chris Leblanc, Michael Sdao, Ryan Dzingel, Max McCormick, Buddy Robinson, Cole Schneider, Shane Prince, Chris Wideman, Cody Ceci, Marcus Hogberg, Chris Driedger, Francois Brassard, Andrew Hammond, Fredrik Claesson (named the camp’s hardest worker), Cory Conacher, Mika Zibanejad, and Jean-Gabriel Pageau.  So who wasn’t singled out for praise?  It’s an interesting list:
Mark Stone
Wacey Hamilton
Derek Grant
Darren Kramer
Troy Rutkowski
Tim Boyle
Ben Harpur
Jeff Costello
Jakub Culek
Matt Puempel
Jarrod Maidens (injury is a factor)
Robert Baillargeon
Vincent Dunn
Quentin Shore

I don’t put much stock in established players (like Stone) going unmentioned, while Puempel got a pat on the back of a different sort when Stefan Noesen was traded, but if you’re a marginal prospect like Jakub Culek this anonymity is worrisome.  There’s no condemnation inherent with the list, but I consider it interesting food for thought.

Amelia L has thoughts for the Sens marketing department and the one that stands out to me is attempting to expand the fanbase into Northern Ontario (Atlantic Canada makes sense to me too, although Amelia only speaks about the former).

Michael Grange wrote about Daniel Alfredsson‘s departure awhile ago, but among the deluge of such pieces it had passed me by.  Grange compares his departure to that of Brett Favre out of Green Bay and while he doesn’t delve into the minutia of Alfie‘s decision he concludes that no matter what went into the choice it has tarnished his image.  I don’t like that word (tarnish) to describe the decision, because neither Grange nor anyone else has really made an argument for why staying with an organisation throughout your career is inherently good–it’s rare, but to me that doesn’t inherently have a value attached to it.  If Grange had said it has changed Alfredsson‘s image forever I would agree wholeheartedly–his career will be bookmarked by the last minute change.

Rory Boylen echoes a long-standing sentiment in hockey when he writes:

My belief is [plus/minus is] utterly useless, except maybe when there are major anomalies within teams.

There’s no real argument against this that I’ve ever seen.  The only use it ever has is with team outliers.  Interestingly, Boylen refutes the idea of a prevailing league bias against Corsi/Fenwich analytics (something Eric T accepted when arguing against it the other day), saying:

[They are] gaining popularity among teams and talent evaluators. Ask any scout or GM in the league about player evaluation and they’ll tell you it’s imperative to get all the information you can about a player to feel comfortable about making a decision or having a professional opinion on them. To ignore them out of hand is to intentionally block out a new perspective and method of analysis, which runs against everything talent evaluators should stand for.

-Boylen (same link) also believes there’s no chance the Sens can lose the Bobby Ryan deal:

Sure, Silfverberg could reach and exceed his offensive potential and I’d bet on him becoming a solid NHL player. Sure, Noesen’s shot could translate to NHL scoring stardom. And, sure, the first-round pick could end up being a player who sticks around the league for 20 years. That’s a lot of “coulds” that have to come together for the Senators to really look bad on this one. Ryan WILL score 30 goals again and again. About 30 players will score 30 goals in any given NHL season – the last time more than that reached the plateau was in 2008-09. And from the first season Ryan reached 30 goals (2008-09) through this season, he ranks 20th in the league in goals per game. The only player with more 30-goal seasons in that span is Alex Ovechkin with five.  And even if the other side of the deal comes together perfectly for Anaheim, Ottawa still got the immediate boost it was after to help keep its momentum going in the right direction. Can the Sens really ever “lose” a deal in which they’re getting the exact player and contribution they desired and paid for? It’s not as though they significantly depleted their impressive pipeline of futures – they could afford it from the start. I’d say the greater risk was taken by Anaheim, who acquired a whole lot of potential and controllability, but also a whole lot of uncertainty.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)



  1. […] he sports the worst plus/minus on the team by a large stretch (I’m aware of the weakness of plus/minus as a stat, but think it means something in this case); Spezza‘s struggles continue; Karlsson‘s […]

  2. […] included stats below (keep in mind plus/minus is meaningless); it’s bemusing that Erik Karlsson can think of his year as subpar–sure he can be […]

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