I had some scattered thoughts to share as I take a break from writing Netflix articles:
I was very happy with Ary M‘s prospect piece (go read it if you haven’t). I like comparative analysis, but I don’t see it enough in blogs (just endless opinions based on…god only knows).
After being traded to the Rangers Matt Puempel sounded off about the Sens coaching staff (not teaching skill and the double standard for skilled players). This is self-serving on his part, but as it’s something we’ve heard over and over again from players when moved there’s something fundamentally wrong with how Ottawa handles its assets (I’ve discussed this before; about Puempel himself there’s this).
Tom Pyatt and Chris Kelly are struggling…does this really surprise anyone? When the former was signed I naively assumed he was Binghamton bound, that belief born of the understanding that he’s not an NHL player. When Kelly was signed it was time for eye-rolling (with later analysis) and a failed attempt to understand why the normally sensible Nichols (and Ross A) were happy about it. As I pointed out then the move made little sense–an old, declining player with nothing left in the tank? Apparently more than just management were unable to see the flaws in the off-season. The question for both players isn’t “why are they struggling,” but rather, “why were they on the roster.”
A bit more randomly: I thought Travis Yost had an article looking at Colton Parayko (3-86/12) and the struggle to draft defensemen, but if so I can no longer find it. I bring him up because another defenseman taken in the third round of the 2012 draft (3-78 Shayne Gostisbehere) is putting up crazy numbers. Unlike Parayko the Flyer defenseman doesn’t have size (he’s 5’11), which is probably why scouting services didn’t rank him for the draft, but both players are interesting examples of how relatively poor NHL teams are at assessing blueliners. For those curious, the Sens took Chris Driedger before the Flyers defenseman and Jarrod Maidens before Parayko.
Let’s do a Where Are They Now segment from the draft:
Tobias Lindberg (4-102/13 part of the Dion Phaneuf trade) – AHL 22-3-6-9
Mika Zibanejad (1-6/11 T – Derrick Brassard) – NYR 19-5-10-15
Stefan Noesen (1-21/11 part of the Bobby Ryan trade) – AHL 18-3-8-11
Matt Puempel (1-24/11 waivers) – NYR 6-1-0-1
Shane Prince (2-61/11 T – 3rd flipped to NJ as part of the Logan Brown trade) – NYI 20-4-5-9
Marcus Sorensen (4-106/10 unsigned FA by SJ) – AHL 19-4-4-8
Jared Cowen (1-9/09 part of the Dion Phaneuf deal) – was caught up in a failed legal challenge against being bought out by Toronto
Jakob Silfverberg (2-39-09 part of the Bobby Ryan trade) – Ana 29-8-12-20
Robin Lehner (2-46/09 T – 1st pick Colin White) – Buf 5-9-4 2.45 .920
Patrick Wiercioch (2-42/08 FA) – Col 25-2-6-8
What can we gather from this mishmash of characters? They love trading young prospects for aging veterans; they were 1 for 4 in first round picks between 09-11 (ouch); Silfverberg is better than Ryan now who, in three full seasons, earned the Sens one first-round exit; Zibanejad has been much better than Brassard (as expected); they gave up too early on Lehner (as expected); it’s much harder to call the Prince deal one way or another yet (or giving up on Wiercioch); while his numbers aren’t good this season, I still think tossing Lindberg away was a mistake (he’s buried amidst a talented Marlies roster). The only silver lining here is that the Sens are able to get something for players who aren’t very good, but it’s almost always older, fading assets.
A final note: Varada emerged from the ether to write 17,000 words on…nothing that actually interests me, but it was good to see him–WTYKY really hasn’t been the same since he hung up the gloves.
This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)
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