The Nichols machine recorded some Pierre Dorion patter from last week and I have a few thoughts about it:
1) why would you bother talking to Alex Chiasson? Wash your hands of him and move on
2) I’m glad he doesn’t want to go to arbitration with Mike Hoffman (I enjoyed this as well, “I think our fans know that the relationship between Mike and the previous coach or previous coaches wasn’t the greatest“–yes Pierre, we know that)
3) I’m happy Dorion wouldn’t commit to signing either Quentin Shore or Gabriel Gagne (although his comments suggest more interest in the latter, which makes sense)
4) unfortunately Randy Lee is going to remain Binghamton’s GM, so the hope for AHL fans is that Dorion’s influence provides the team with decent talent (and please no more Danny Hobbs)
5) they are looking at experienced coaches for Binghamton rather than someone like Luke Richardson, which is a positive step
6) I’m not entirely sure how Marc Crawford will function as a “liaison” for the AHL coaching staff–does that make him functionally an assistant GM for Binghamton or is he simply Dorion’s go-between? The facets of this are unclear to me, although it’s easy to understand why they want to make sure Bingo doesn’t play Richardson’s system anymore (sticking with Boucher’s)
7) Nichols doesn’t dwell on the obvious conclusion (due to the aforementioned reluctance to criticise Richardson), but clearly Dorion wasn’t happy that Richardson wasn’t imitating the NHL style of play in Binghamton (otherwise there would be no need for Crawford to be a liaison to ensure it)
The early fan love for Guy Boucher is amusing (he does have the best scar among NHL head coaches). Nichols has a hard time not gushing and there’s no question Boucher’s a great talker and as a fan I want to buy in too. If memory serves the Sens had interest in Boucher back in 2010, but wouldn’t give the term Tampa Bay offered (four years). I can’t say I’m nearly as excited by the presence of Marc Crawford, whose amply demonstrated at the end of his NHL tenure that he had lost touch with what works in the NHL, but as an assistant that’s not very relevant.
It all sounds so good, but like any coach who’s introduced after his predecessor crashed and burned in the previous season, the newness and sheen of the replacement has yet to wear off. Optimism abounds and it will take some time before fans and the media can micro-analyze Boucher’s actions and identify his own shortcomings.
Exactly. Mid-season we can take a stab at it.
At the bottom of a Ross A piece he says something I found surprising:
There’s been a lot of complaints that we’ve been too negative as a blog this past season. I know i contributed to that.
I assume the first sentence is incomplete and should say “There have been a lot of reader complaints etc.” Really? The entire site strikes me as positive in tone–just how fluffy do they need to be? Obviously The Silver Seven needs to be beholden to their readership, but it’s a sad state of affairs if that many people need a rose-coloured view of the team. Perhaps it’s a common sentiment for fans in this city? You’d think the incessant organisational pap from the regular media would be enough.
Speaking of Ross A, he posted the individual (as opposed to collective) grades given by The Silver Seven staff and I want to point out that my old buddy Jeff Ulmer gave Max McCormick the same grade he gave Erik Karlsson (an A)–he wasn’t asked about this oddity in the Q&A, sadly, but as someone who watched McCormick in a Binghamton context all year I wouldn’t give him an “A” if you put a gun to my head–he’s a good grinder who tops out as a fourth liner in the NHL–nothing to get excited about. I was also entertained by a few quotes about Mark Borowiecki:
[Adnan] There is nothing useful that Borowiecki does well compared to NHL players. I think Callum is better than Boro in some ways. I don’t think there has ever been a defenceman less deserving of an NHL roster spot since I have been a Senators fan.
[NKB] Borowiecki did nothing this year to convince me he was an NHL-calibre defenseman. He’s actually a decent skater, but he simply hasn’t improved his play with the puck and the Sens have a terrible time breaking out of their end when he’s on the ice. Taken all together, he’s just not capable at this level. I can’t give anything but an F to someone who I don’t consider to be an NHL-level player.
[Callum] Every argument I’ve ever heard in favour of Borowiecki has to do with his fighting, leadership and effort. Those are the three attributes I look at the least when evaluating a player. The arguments usually end with the other person saying “you just don’t understand.” And that’s fair. Because it’s true. I don’t understand why Borowiecki is an everyday NHLer.
This tickled the cockles of my heart–I agree with all three on the Borocop–may he fester in the pressbox throughout 2016-17. Incidentally, I’ve mentioned before that I’m not fond of grading systems (eg here) since they almost never have an actual rubric behind them, but Ary M actually created one for himself and it’s pretty similar to what I use.
Former Sens pick Marcus Sorensen has been signed by San Jose as a free agent–he was on my list of potential signings and it will be interesting to see how he does with the Sharks.
Minnesota signed Hungarian goaltender Adam Vay as a free agent out of the incredibly obscure Hungarian league (the Mol Liga)–before we get too excited about the selection he did spend two years playing US junior hockey and I suspect his size (6’5) is one of the major reasons behind the signing.
This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)