–Scott considers Cory Conacher‘s place on the roster and believes his high shooting percentage makes him second line material. I think the sample size (and even the theory) are a little weak, but it’s food for thought.
–Travis Yost ponders the potential lineup for the Sens (admitting early guesses are likely going to be off the mark). Beyond the obvious Michalek-Spezza-Ryan unit, he has Conacher-Turris-MacArthur as the second line (I agree with Travis that Conacher could easily be replaced by another player), Greening-Smith-Neil returning as the third (I wasn’t a big fan of this line last season, but clearly MacLean likes it), and finally Pageau-Zibanejad-Condra (Travis worries about Pageau on the fourth line, but it’s worth remembering that’s where he started in Binghamton last season). Notably excluded from this lineup is pressbox regulars Matt Kassian and Jim O’Brien.
–Bruce Garrioch offers up five players to watch in training camp: Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Mark Borowiecki, Shane Prince, Cody Ceci, and Mike Hoffman. These aren’t radical choices, but there are a pair of tidbits worth mentioning: 1) Tim Murray called Prince the “most talented” player at the rookie tournament, 2) Hoffman is waiver-eligible. The latter makes it very unlikely that he’ll suit up with the roster other than as an injury replacement (not that I thought he would crack the forward lineup anyway given how many one-way contracts Ottawa has at forward).
–Jeremy Milks writes an entertaining piece about Bryan Murray’s tenure as GM of the Sens. The best part are his comments on Eugene Melnyk:
Contrast that with Murray’s more volatile boss, owner Eugene Melnyk, who not only conducts himself much differently in public and elicits direct anger from the fans, but is arguably Bryan Murray’s biggest headache these days. The latest in an increasing number of very public fiascos was Melnyk going on Toronto sports radio yesterday (as he always does, virtually ignoring the local Team 1200 in the process) and attacking Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and deputy mayor Steve Desroches for a perceived unfairness in the casino process. He’s claiming losses of close to a $100 million dollars the past decade and doesn’t know how the team will “survive”. Coincidentally, his President Cyril Leeder abruptly resigned from every city board he could think of, which is very unlike Leeder, who is well-known for his commitment to the community. There are also hints the Senators won’t be involved civically in the future (outside of charities) unless Watson and his fellow martians start playing ball with the team. Before that it was a potpourri of ugliness, from forensic investigations into Matt Cooke’s skate slicing of Erik Karlsson, a public battle over bonus money with former star Dany Heatley, unproven allegations of shaky finances, a drastically reduced team budget and the Alfredsson affair which turned sour after a promise of fair money to the franchise icon was broken by the organization, at least according to Alfie himself. Melnyk granted the Ottawa Citizen an interview and, in my view, disparaged the character of the city’s favourite adopted son in a see-through pre-emptive strike before Alfredsson’s first local news conference. Melnyk was still angry and defiant an entire month later, which seems to be his most defining characteristic lately. Meanwhile, Melnyk is out there spitting venom. Let’s be honest here. We’re all just waiting for him to mutter the familiar words “move the team” any day now, aren’t we?
-Some Elmira bookkeeping: Andrew Rowe was signed by Hartford (AHL), while the team re-signed Matt Carter and invited three players from their Pro Placement Camp to the main camp: defenseman Scott Morongell (ACHA grad), forward Brett Leonard (spent last season in the FHL), and goaltender Mike McDonald (a tier-2 NCAA grad). I wouldn’t expect much from the invitees (as a look at last year’s training camp roster illustrates).
This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)