Senators News & Notes


Varada blew my mind with a series of Tweets that included these gems:

they know about scouts, right? Dorion used to be one … I just think that they’re valuing different things that, in a vacuum, telegraph pretty poorly to fans. … I would love if, for example, instead of us saying “Thompson = they’re stupid” we really explored what could justify that price tag … Is there something about their strategy we’re not seeing? Maybe not

Explore what justifies signing Thompson? Something we’re not seeing in their strategy? These are not questions that need asking because they’ve been answered. The reason their approach is derided is because it’s bad. We know what they’re doing–the org can’t shut up about it–so there’s no mystery surrounding their decisions. The reason I (and others) criticise what’s done is because in understanding we know that it’s terrible. This is an organisation that operates as if it’s 1999–the clutch & grab era–they think they need tough guys, big guys, older players–nebulous things that will put them over the top as opposed too, say, talent. We know from years of research that their assumptions are wrong, operating on the accepted wisdom of the league from decades ago (they aren’t the only team to do so, but that’s hardly a justification). Criticism isn’t a matter of people not giving the org a fair shake–this has been their approach for ten years–we know it and we reject it because it doesn’t work. If Varada wants to bathe himself in optimism that’s his prerogative (SensChirp is available any time you want to escape reality into a warm bubble of optimism), but he can’t peddle that critiques are coming from a lack of understanding.


A second buyout window opened up when two players (Pageau and Dzingel) filed for arbitration, but Andrew Hammond doesn’t make enough cash for the Sens to take advantage of it. While I agree the Sens were unlikely to ever buy him out (surely they would have already done so), it’s an open question whether they understood the rules for this second window (ie, the boondoggle of them not understanding how to recall Thomas Chabot earlier this year).

Ottawa Senators Official NHL Headshots

When the Sens signed Danny Taylor it seemed like the death knell for Chris Driedger, but the prospect has been re-signed to a one-year deal and the org says he’ll compete with Marcus Hogberg for the backup role. The org hasn’t had competition like this in quite some time (not since the 12-13 season when Nathan LawsonBen Bishop, and Robin Lehner were in Binghamton–you could argue that wasn’t planned either). Driedger has already out-competed Matt O’Connor (who signed with Nashville) and should be a step ahead of Hogberg in his first year in North America. That said, I suspect the Sens have already decided to send Driedger down (when the org talks about deserving players playing it’s generally nonsense). What I wonder is: will the Sens actually have a decent ECHL team in front of whoever gets sent down? For those who don’t know Ottawa’s affiliate in the E has been godawful for years and goaltenders have been annihilated–to what benefit is beyond me. At the moment there isn’t an announced Ottawa affiliate, so there’s no ECHL roster to look at and speculate about.

small sample size

Speaking of signings, it had initially slipped under my radar that Jack Rodewald was re-signed while at Development Camp–getting a two year deal (an AHL deal). For those who weren’t watching Binghamton this past seasonRodewald‘s season was carried by a two-month hot streak which apparently made a very strong impression (we’ve seen this happen many times before with the org). This is the second straight multi-year AHL deal signed by Randy Lee (the first was unproven CIS grad Jordan Murray), a contract rarely handed out previously (Kyle Flanagan is the only other one I can think of, also by Lee) and I wonder what the logic is (fill me in Varada!). Back to Rodewald, he’s a Toronto find (signed out of the WHL) who was included with the general detritus sent to Ottawa in the Dion Phaneuf trade (this after he failed to crack the Marlie lineup in his rookie season). For those keeping track Cody Donaghey is now the only other piece remaining from the collection of prospects stuffed into that trade.

patrick williams

I can’t remember the last time I talked about AHL beat writer Patrick Williams (never?), although I talked to him briefly in 2006 when he wrote for the Sun chain (long before I started blogging). I bring him up because of his recent peon to new Sabre GM Jason Botterill’s self-serving comments about how Pittsburgh’s approach to its AHL franchise helped the NHL team win. Ahem: Sidney Crosby and Evgeny Malkin. Two generational talents playing on the same team is what matters for the Penguins–without them what happens in the AHL is completely irrelevant. Randy Lee could have helmed the Penguins’ AHL-side and those players would still push for a Cup. Williams has an understandable need to emphasize the positive about the AHL, and I respect a lot of what he says and does, but this is ridiculous as “evidence” for a vague approach helping the NHL-side of things.


San Jose signed yet another undrafted free agent (their fifth; ostensibly out of the USHL, but when draft-eligible he was in Europe), inking Czech goaltender Josef Korenar to an ELC.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)


1 Comment

  1. […] at the start of the year without playing him before eventually sending him to the Q, and then not understanding the rules for recalling him when they wanted him back late in the season. Despite that he had a […]

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