Senators News: August 26th

-It continues to be slow in Sens land, with Travis Yost echoing the conventional wisdom that Jared Cowen wants a bridging (short-term) deal in the hopes of hitting a home run with the following contract.

Corey Pronman has updated his top-ten Sens prospects (changes from last year in brackets; n/a=not available, NR=not ranked):

1. Cody Ceci (2) – potential top-2
2. Robin Lehner (12) – above average starter
3. Mark Stone (4) – 2nd liner
4. Curtis Lazar (n/a) – 2nd liner
5. Jean-Gabriel Pageau (13) – NHL regular
6. Shane Prince (5) – 2nd liner
7. Mikael Wikstrand (NR) – potential top-4
8. Matt Puempel (9) – subpar 2nd liner
9. Stephane Da Costa (7) – sheltered scoring forward
10. Mike Hoffman (11) – sheltered 2nd liner
11. Jarrod Maidens (NR) – no specific NHL assessment given
12. Mark Borowiecki (14) – as above
13. Derek Grant (15) – 3rd liner
14. Troy Rutkowski (n/a) – no specific NHL assessment
15. Fredrik Claesson (NR) – no specific NHL assessment
Sleeper: Quentin Shore

A number of players from last year graduated while others on this list weren’t with the team when Pronman made his assessment, but Andre Petersson (10) is off the list, as is sleeper Robbie Baillargeon.  The analysis is pretty generic and while Pronman is well-thought of in the Sens community we have to keep in mind his assessments (as yet) don’t seem more or less on target than any others (he thought Ben Blood was a top-15 prospect last year, for instance).  I wish he’d address things like: was Wikstrand‘s breakout year a product of playing with locked out NHL players?  Why does he think Hoffman can produce as well (or better) at the NHL-level than the AHL-level,  justifying his 2nd line projection?  Was Pageau‘s late season performance an illusion or is it a sign of things to come and why?  What happened to his sleeper Baillargeon last season and is it a sign of struggles ahead?  Etc.  There are so many interesting questions when it comes to looking at prospects and they aren’t really tackled here.

-The overwhelming evidence that Melnyk’s financial problems were why Daniel Alfredsson left keeps on coming as Alfie‘s buddy Tony Rhodes says:

And they [Detroit] have a commitment from their owner to make it work, whereas I don’t know whether that is evident in Ottawa.

Ouch.  People trying to downplay the issue have grown desperate and are now resorting to saying it’s an old story to dismiss it.  Wait, so anything that’s a couple of months old gets to be ignored?  How does that work?  I guess we can all just assert something and dismiss arguments that we’re wrong because the story old.  The best part about all of this is that when it’s over (and Melnyk’s struggles are acknowledged) the people bending over backwards for Eugene are going to talk either as if they never believed him or that no one else could have known.  Hear no evil, see no evil, right?

-On the bizarre side of things, Travis’ Hockeybuzz account was hacked and much of his content was deleted.  The content has been restored, but I have to echo Corey Pronman‘s sentiments that:

It’s quite weird and too many elements. Waiting for inevitable Deadspin piece.

Indeed.  Could Eugene Melnyk’s CSI team have other instructions?  Time will tell.

-The city of Ottawa’s attempt to get permission for two casinos has been rejected by the finance committee, which illustrates Melnyk no longer has the financial wherewithal to grease the political process (something that seemed obvious when the city rejected his initial proposal).  Nichols points out the hilarity of Melnyk’s bravado in telling the committee to audit his team as he’s a man who has already been investigated for fraud.

-Sadly, Ilya Kovalchuk has also declared his support for Russia’s new anti-gay laws.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)