Senators News & Notes

Re-signing Zack Smith comes as no surprise–he got a four-year deal for no reason back in 2011 after all–the thinking is very short-term and out of sync with the normal performance arc for NHL players (Travis Yost broke down this trend back in 2015):

scoring-and-shots

Smith has more wear-and-tear on his body than your average NHLer, so when he hits that wall the precipice will be deep.  It’s also painfully obvious that Smith needs better players around him to perform–when removed from talented linemates (like Mark Stone) he regresses to a mediocre-to-bad depth player.

The acquisition of Tommy Wingels (for the AHL-side of things see below) is about as significant as finding a nickel on the street–it’s an extra five cents you can do something with, but how much can you really do with five cents?  Ross A provides non-analytical thoughts about the move, but even when someone (Nichols? [and here he is]) goes through the numbers Wingels is nothing to run a temperature over–just a salary and roster spot the Sharks wanted to clear (as Fear the Finn makes clear).

Binghamton_Senators_svg

My prayers have been answered as the biggest piece of dead weight in Binghamton has been jettisoned.  I have to believe that Kleinendorst played a role in the trade that moved Buddy RobinsonZack Stortini, and a 7th round pick to San Jose.  Stortini hadn’t played since December 26th (scratched for 9-straight games and missing 16 of the last 18), having no place in the lineup.  Robinson is a solid enough player, but the long hoped-for jump in his production never took place (here are his by-season points-per-game):
2013-14 0.44
2014-15 0.45
2015-16 0.37
2016-17 0.36
Certainly the Sens (and more particularly, the BSens) aren’t losing much here (although I hate the org throwing in picks with every deal).  Bingo clears out space (if they want to use it) to add a veteran contract to the AHL-roster.  Just a final Stortini note, here’s the team’s with-or-without you wins/losses this year (with winning percentage):
Stortini dresses: 5-14-3 (0.29)
Stortini scratched: 13-5-0 (0.72)

prospects

It’s been a couple of weeks since my last update, so here’s a look at how various Sens prospects are doing (players are organised by points-per-game, PPG):

CHL
Filip Chlapik (Charlottetown; 2-48/15) 34-24-31-55 (1.61)
He’s second in the league in PPG (behind Swiss-import and draft-eligible Nico Hischier); he’s far ahead of any of his teammates in production
Logan Brown (Windsor; 1-11/16) 25-12-21-33 (1.32)
Tenth in the league in PPG (very much in a second tier of players behind the top-five); he’s slightly ahead of teammate Gabriel Vilardi in production
Tomas Chabot
(Saint John; 1-18/15) 18-5-18-23 (1.27)
Tied for 19th in the league in PPG (2nd for defensemen behind Nashville pick Samuel Girard), but his sample size is a small so that’s worth keeping in mind
Filip Ahl (Regina; 4-109/15) 34-21-16-37 (1.08)
He’s 47th in WHL scoring in PPG and 7th on his own team; Sens likely expected more, although the numbers aren’t disastrous
Cody Donaghey (Charlottetown/Sherbrooke; T-16) 43-10-25-35 (0.81)
Has no points for his new team after having refused a move to Val-d’Or
Maxime Lajoie (Swift Current; 5-133/16) 47-7-24-31 (0.65)
Tied for 22nd among blueliners in PPG and 2nd on his team just behind draft-eligible Artyom Minulin

NCAA
Colin White (Boston; 1-21/15, sophomore) 22-11-8-19 (0.86)
He’s just ahead of Boston pick Ryan Fitzgerald and Matt Gaudreau for PPG on his team
Robert Baillargeon (Arizona; 5-136/12, senior) 26-9-11-20 (0.76)
Leads his terrible team in production; not sure he’s done enough to earn an ELC
Christian Wolanin (North Dakota; 4-107/15, sophomore) 22-3-11-14 (0.63)
Second on his team in blueline production behind Jet pick Tucker Poolman
Chris Leblanc (Merrimack; 6-161/13, senior) 15-4-3-7 (0.46)
Middling numbers on a low-scoring team
Shane Eiserman (New Hampshire; 4-100/14, junior) 24-4-7-11 (0.45)
Middling numbers and a million miles behind 5’6 leading scorer Tyler Kelleher
Kelly Summers (Clarkson; 7-189/14, junior) 25-1-10-11 (0.44)
Just behind Detroit pick James De Haas for blueline scoring
Miles Gendron
(Connecticut; 3-70/14, sophomore) 25-3-7-10 (0.40)
Leads the team in scoring from the blueline
Todd Burgess (RPI; 4-103/16, freshman)
Has not played this year due to injury
Joel Daccord (Arizona; 7-199/15, freshman) 2-7-0 4.62 .864
Continues to have the worst save precentage of the three goaltenders playing for Arizona, but his GAA moved to second

Europe
Markus Nurmi (TPS Jr/TPS/TUTO) 21-10-11-21 (1.00)
Has not dressed for TUTO (in the Mestis, the Finnish second division) after having been loaned there from TPS
Jonathan Dahlen (Timra; 2-42/16) 32-16-10-26 (0.81)
Second in points and PPG on his team (behind draft-eligible Elias Pettersson) and 14th in the league (the Allsvenskan); he’s second in the league for players 19 and under (again behind Pettersson)
Christian Jaros (Lulea; 5-139/15) 29-4-8-12 (0.41)
In a three-way tie for the lead in blueliner scoring on his low-scoring team; tied for 17th in overall blueline scoring, but second among those 20 and under (behind undrafted Sebastian Aho)
Marcus Hogberg (Linkoping; 3-78/13) 12-11-0 2.08 .926
Continues to have better numbers than his goaltending partner (Jacob Johansson); he’s fifth in the league in save percentage, but second among those 22 and under (behind Islander pick Linus Soderstrom)

journalism

I don’t want to pick on Callum Fraser specifically, but his piece on Fredrik Claesson is a useful and recent example of something rampant in sports coverage that bothers me.  For those unfamiliar with the particular post it’s Claesson giving a bunch of generic answers to generic questions with no bulwark of data or analysis to go with it.  Other than human-interest I have no idea what value something like this is supposed to have–its ilk fills the sports coverage from the Ottawa Sun and Ottawa Citizen and it’s quite superfluous.  For an interview like this to function you have to pair a player’s comments with some sort of argument–perhaps he’s struggling (which you have to establish), and the conversation is geared towards that, or perhaps he’s having a great season (which, again, you have to establish) and you’re comparing his sense of it to what the numbers tell you.  There are plenty of ways to make an interview relevant, but it’s not happening here or in 99% of similar pieces.  It’s the kind of thing bloggers in particular should steer clear of because it overlaps what the regular media already provides in earnest.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

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