It’s desperate times for news in hockey land so things like a potential new assistant coach and predictions are all the blogosphere has to talk about. It’s been awhile since I posted however, so there are a few things to cover from earlier in the month.
The Sens signed Matt O’Connor to an ELC, having already promised him they will move a goaltender to make room for him. It’s an odd way to set up a trade, as now other GMs know Murray is under the gun to move someone. While I’ve advocated moving Andrew Hammond (something echoed by Nichols at the 6th Sens), it seems like the organisation is more likely to move Robin Lehner (I mean, why sign a guy his age O’Connor as the goaltender of the future unless you are going to move the other guy who was anointed as that already?). By himself, I don’t think there’s a lot of value to be had for Lehner as he’s not already established as a #1 goaltender (think of the Ben Bishop trade, albeit Lehner is under contract and the former was not). How many assets do they want to move for O’Connor? There are red flags all over this move (which seems unnecessary in the first place as goaltending has not been Ottawa’s problem), but Murray has an itchy trigger finger with younger players (he was going to move Patrick Wiercioch because he wasn’t tough in the corners), so my only hope is that it’s not a complete disaster. Elliotte Friedman, insider that he is, has no clue what the Sens are planning (other than not speculating about Hammond–perhaps the desire to keep him is due to cost–he was just re-signed). Trevor Shackles worries about Murray’s NCAA free agent track record (making a few errors as he goes), but it’s worth keeping in mind how hit and miss such players are. I still don’t understand why the organisation doesn’t sign prospect Marcus Hogberg, incidentally.
Speaking of Sens prospects, Mikael Wikstrand signed a deal with Frolunda not long ago, but his agent recently implied he may be coming to North America anyway. If that’s the case he must have an opt-out with the team, but I have to wonder if it’s the same as last year where he either makes the NHL roster or he goes back to Sweden.
Speaking of draft picks, one of these days I’m going to have to find out why Sens bloggers have all drank the Corey Pronman Koolaid–based on what, exactly? No one ever says, so perhaps its mere accessibility (if ESPN pays him to do it, he must do it well, and certainly almost no one checks his results–although I have, and let’s not forget he liked Ben Blood). Granted, nkb from The Silver Seven (linked above) doesn’t seem that familiar with prospects, so that’s worth keeping in mind.
Tobias Lindberg (still unsigned) and the Oshawa Generals won the OHL title; Vincent Dunn‘s Rimouski team won in the QMJHL, but the prospect was let go by the team prior to the playoffs after repeated suspensions, so I have to wonder what the Sens have saddled themselves with.
More players from my list have been signed, as the Oilers picked up Finnish goaltender Eetu Laurikainen and San Jose signed Joonas Donskoi (the former Panther draft pick). Another player, Andreas Martinsen, was on my list back in 2012 and has been signed by Colorado (out of the DEL, which is quite unusual).
This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)