Senators News & Notes


I’ve been a little distracted lately, but while not a lot has happened in the last week for the Sens there’s enough to sink my teeth into.  I’m not that excited about who the Sens interview for coaching positions however–we’ll discuss what I think of who they hire when that happens.



Fans love their Old Time Hockey–nothing quite like grown men punching each other in the face to send a message or deal with their emotional equilibrium.  Amazingly, fighting has declined to it’s lowest point since 1968, which will come to as a shock to Rock ’em Sock ’em fans.  This isn’t surprising to anyone outside the org and Brian Burke, but it’s always worth noting.


On the Hockey PDO podcast a week ago or so NBA analyst Seth Partnow compared where the NHL is now with analytics to where the NBA was back in 2003, which is an interesting observation of just how conservative the NHL is when it comes to numbers.


Travis Yost looks at success in pulling goaltenders late in the game and concludes that the earlier the pull the better.


At long last the bell has rung for Luke Richardson as he and the Sens agreed to part ways.  It’s a sensible move, albeit one that comes long after his shortcomings were readily apparent.  There’s an immense reluctance among bloggers to criticise Richardson that I find curious.  Let’s go to my old buddy Jeff Ulmer first:

His only knock in my book, and it’s a big one, was not advancing in the post-season

Really?  That’s the only knock on him–everything else is sunshine and rainbows?  It’s hard to believe this is Jeff’s opinion, but I think it is (truculence carries you a long way apparently, as does being employed by the team).  Here’s the typically more analytical Nichols:

Binghamton’s decline is not all on Richardson however. … I only wish Richardson and his family the best. As they move on, I hope that this community continues to promote mental health awareness and Richardson’s Do It for Daron (D.I.F.D.)  initiative.

I’ve arranged the quote this way because I believe the latter is the primary reason we get the kid gloves from Nichols (that and the fact that he doesn’t watch Binghamton).  No one looking at either how the BSens have played or their numbers could think the coach has done a good job, but Richardson the human being has become a bigger persona than Richardson the coach.  This assessment should have nothing to do with his personal life–a lot of excellent professionals are terrible people in their personal lives and a lot of wonderful people are lousy professionals–I have no difficulty in separating them out.

The worrying signs for me about Richardson started last year, when I concluded the team would be better off without him (his flaws the first two seasons were largely hidden behind a wall of talent).  This feeling was compounded when Richardson blamed his first difficult year on a lack of experience, despite a lineup filled with veterans, and this habitual decision to pass the blame and refuse responsibility continued throughout this season’s difficult run.  I always thought tough guys were the ones to say “the buck stops here”, but in this case the buck never reached the top.  I called for him to be fired in November, but alas he was left to linger the rest of the year (I have to wonder if Melnykian cash restraints are part of the reason).

For anyone paying attention to how Richardson ran his lines and ran his team he was a complete disaster.  He consistently failed to learn from his mistakes, praised the wrong players, and failed at his most important job: development.  As an AHL coach there are always going to be players so talented that the coach is irrelevant, and there will always be players so awful no one can save them, but there’s no example of a marginal player who got better under Richardson.  Prospects flatlined or declined under his ministration, as Richardson favoured grinders and aging veterans over talent and this season was by far the best example of that.  I could go on about his poor choices and unwillingness to learn or accept responsibility for anything, but there’s no point in beating a dead horse (I go over some of it here).  Richardson will have no problem getting assistant coaching jobs around the league, but no one with any sense is ever going to give him a head coaching position again.


Binghamton finished playing out the string going 4-1-1 in garbage time.  I’ll do a full season breakdown in a separate article, but here are the stats for those final games:

Phil Varone 5-1-6-7
Jason Akeson 5-2-4-6
Casey Bailey 6-2-4-6
Max McCormick 6-3-2-5
Jerome Leduc 6-1-4-5
Matt Puempel 3-2-2-4
Ryan Rupert 6-2-2-4
Danny Hobbs 6-1-1-2
Michael Keranen 6-0-1-1
Buddy Robinson 3-0-1-1
Ben Harpur 3-1-0-1
Nick Tuzzolino 6-1-0-1
Chris Carlisle 6-0-1-1
David Dziurzynski 2-0-0-0
Mike Borkowski 2-0-0-0 (released)
Andrew Miller 2-0-0-0 (released)
Kevin Morris 2-0-0-0 (released)
Mark Fraser 3-0-0-0
Guillaume Lepine 6-0-0-0
Travis Ewanyk 6-0-0-0
Nathan Todd 6-0-0-0
Nicholas Trecapelli 6-0-0-0
Kevin Tansey 6-0-0-0
Chris Driedger 2-0-1 2.83 .912
Matt O’Connor 2-1-0 3.31 .895

These are garbage-time numbers, but what’s remarkable is how outside the top two lines (and a brief flurry from Leduc on the blueline) there’s absolutely nothing generated from anywhere else (I’m a little amused that Richardson, who has struggled with European players, managed to completely asphyxiate Keranen–2 points in his last 14 games).  I can only hope Pierre Dorion (or whoever makes decisions for Binghamton next season) jettisons the vast swath of ECHL talent BSens fans were forced to watch this season.  Excluding the ATO and PTO players, there are six players above who belong in the ECHL.

A few more free agent signings to note: Malte Stromwall (Rangers), Mantas Armalis (San Jose), Troy Stecher (Vancouver), Nick Ellis (Edmonton), Alex Lyon (Philadelphia), Sam Anas (Minnesota), and Justin Scott (Columbus).

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)