Senators News & Notes

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Nichols posted a great (and long) State of the Union piece on where the Sens are and what their year was like.  There’s a lot to absorb, but virtually nothing to disagree with (perhaps he could have included the insanity of Mikael Wikstrand‘s situation, but I suppose that would make the article even longer).  In essence we stand on the precipice of whether or not Pierre Dorion will truly be his own man as GM (in a positive, progressive sense), or not, along with how much Eugene Melnyk’s insanity will impact what happens.

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It’s not surprisingly the Sens lost out on the Drake Caggiula sweepstakes–despite the opportunities the Sens soft lineup offers, it makes a ton of sense for the NCAA free agent to want to play with the staggering forward talent available to him in Edmonton.  There’s no guarantee Caggiula will be a great NHL player–it’s a rare thing even for hyped NCAA forwards–but for the prospect-starved Sens he would have been a great addition.

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Just as unsurprising as the above was Bruce Boudreau choosing greener pastures (Minnesota), as the Sens balked at the term he wanted (4 years).  I mentioned a few weeks ago when the coaching search started that I wasn’t going to get excited by who the Sens interviewed, so never spent time speculating on what he could or couldn’t do if he was hired.  As it turned out the Sens have landed Guy Boucher (giving him 3 years), a highly touted coach back in the day who has been plying his trade in Europe since getting bounced out of Tampa Bay.  Nichols dives deep on who Boucher was in his first head coaching gig–after one good season he fell off the rails on the heels of defensive struggles (some of which can be blamed on goaltending).  Damian Cristodero talks about Boucher’s infamous 1-3-1 style, believing that after his first season teams adapted to it.  When I researched coaching success back in March I came up with this:

hiring younger, more inexperienced coaches has a more positive impact (presumably a more adaptive group); coaches with historical losing records also provide as boost, as do (paradoxically) those who have won a Stanley Cup

At 44 Boucher is young and with less than 3-seasons in the NHL he’s not heavily experienced, but you have to take all these things with a grain of salt.  Ultimately the impact of a coach is limited by the talent available to him, so that’s the next challenge for Pierre Dorion.

curtis lazar

It has been clear to me since he was drafted that Curtis Lazar is an underwhelming player given his pedigree (first-round pick).  Trevor Shackles does a deep dive to look at the comparables and arrives at the horror show you’d expect for someone with no hands (if you read through the scouting reports prior to him being drafted none of his offensive struggles are a surprise).  He’s basically a Senators special: a physical, hard-worker who struggles to generate offence.  There was no reason to rush him into the NHL, but Bryan Murray’s inconsistent attitude towards prospects struck here.  There’s always hope for him to blossom I suppose, but I think he’ll remain a third or fourth line forward.

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A little Binghamton note in relation to the potential move of the franchise to Belleville via Jeff Ulmer transcription:

All I know is that the AHL is committed to being here for not only the three years we have right now but we’re working on adding another six. The AHL is very, very committed to Broome County, I’m not even, I’m not worried about having an AHL team here, I know we will.

The key here is that Tom Mitchell didn’t say the Senators are committed to being in Binghamton, but the AHL.  I take this as a tacit admission that he’s aware that the Sens are interested in moving, but confident if that happens another franchise will take their place.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

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2 Comments

  1. […] as vague as this is it does fit the limited analysis of coaching success that I’ve seen (as I mentioned when Boucher was hired) -when asked if he thought Ottawa’s talent was too middling to succeed […]

  2. […] confirms it–the comments don’t seem that radically different from what was said in May, but it’s added confirmation of the move.  All signs point to the affiliate playing in […]


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