-It has been a weird day as the Sens make their final roster cut by sending Mika Zibanejad down to Binghamton; it’s impossible to not see this as a financial move given Melnyk’s comments that the team was already over budget yesterday. While the much cheaper Jean-Gabriel Pageau outplayed Zibanejad in the pre-season, that’s not the case for Stephane Da Costa (or the bench-warming weight of Matt Kassian). It’s transparent enough that even Ken Warren figured it out. I agree with Travis Yost that the demotion will only be temporary; as he says:
he team has to figure out what they want to do with Da Costa
That does seem to be the crux of the move. I imagine Da Costa will have a short (5-10 game) stay with the team after which he’ll either be moved or sent down to Binghamton. Looking at the move from the team’s perspective it’s not going to help Ottawa–Zibanejad is just too good a player to not suit up.
-I did not see either of the Sens split squad games against the Islanders yesterday, but Ottawa dropped both (5-2 in Barrie and 4-1 in Ottawa). Both Pageau and Cory Conacher scored in seeking the coveted Brandon Bochenski trophy; I think the latter scored more, but honestly I’m not sure.
–Varada worries about pre-season statistics and how they impact the regular season. There used to be a bevy of articles each year that looked at how team performances compared them to the regular season, but those seem out of fashion these days. To ease Varada’s mind I’ll give him someone else who netted himself a Bochenski trophy for the purpose of comparison: Mariusz Czerkawski (yes, the same guy who scored back-to-back 30 goal seasons on awful Islander teams) had a dynamite pre-season with Montreal in 2002, but wound up with Hamilton after a dismal half-season in the NHL. Czerkawski was a decent enough NHL-player (unlike Bochenski), but the point is that production in the pre-season is largely irrelevant to the actual season. Players aren’t facing full NHL rosters, consistent NHL goaltending, or veterans giving their full effort–it’s just not good grounds for comparison.
–The Silver Seven staff make trade-bait predictions and the only names that come up consistently are Zack Smith and Joe Corvo–at least with the latter I imagine there will be calls to move him throughout the season.
-Former Sens prospect Emil Sandin was released by Almtuna (his Allsvenskan) team–apparently by mutual consent.
-I updated my Eye on Europe article from March (looking at the undrafted free agent pool in Europe)–a couple of players have been signed from the list.
This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)