Belleville Senators News

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With the big trade for Matt Duchene normally I’d be the one kicking and screaming about losing a high end prospect (Shane Bowers) and picks (a 1st and a 3rd). In this case, at least with the prospect, I’m content. I wasn’t a big fan of the selection, who I thought was an uninspired pick with a low ceiling (time will tell, of course). I do miss the picks, but the org has always been very free in dolling them out, so it’s to be expected. The most interesting decision involves Andrew Hammond, where Pierre Dorion pulled the reverse of what Toronto did in the Dion Phaneuf trade (when Matt Frattin was included, but just his salary, as Ottawa loaned him back to the Marlies immediately). Initially I’d thought the team was making room for it’s two prospects (Hogberg and Driedger), but now I think it’s more likely that the Swede is going to be loaned back to Linkoping or elsewhere in the SHL, while Driedger goes down to Brampton (unless they trade Danny Taylor–a savvy move in my opinion, assuming he can be moved).

For the NHL side of the deal I suggest reading Nichols, whose opinions are largely my own–the Sens are merely buying another season (perhaps) of Cup relevance before their aging lineup starts to drag them down.


Noted comic book fan Travis Yost looks at something Micah Blake McCurdy studied back in 2014, which is how long does it take for a team’s performance to settle to show what they truly are? McCurdy felt that 25 games was the point of no return, whereas Travis is roughly at 30. These are worth keeping in mind when it comes to early returns for every team.

belleville sens

For those who missed it I did a very crunchy breakdown of the BSens month of September (here and here). Right now the team is in the midst of injury troubles on the blueline and a coach struggling to find the right forward combinations (Kleinendorst suffers from a very common coaching affliction, which is an over dedication to veterans and perceived “safe” players).

The team is near the veteran contract limit: Danny Taylor, Andrew Hammond, Mike Blunden, and Max Reinhart quality (Chris DiDomenico‘s Italian league games don’t seem to count, while Tyler Randell was two games under the limit when signed). Both Jim O’Brien and Ethan Werek qualify as veterans, but the Sens seemingly have dodged the limit by signing them to AHL-deals. The PTO rules, incidentally, are pretty loose, as each such contract covers 25 games played and a player can go through two of those before the team has to make a decision (so through two-thirds of the season).

As a note, the rules to be considered a rookie if you are European are a bit wonky:
-cut off is 26th birthday by Sept.15th
-less than 100 European Elite League games
The latter is part of the reason you don’t see a lot of European pros come to the AHL

Like many cities after the fact, some in Belleville are concerned about the deal that was struck to bring the AHL franchise to the city:

“I felt the deal struck with Melnyk wasn’t the best deal available to the city,” Sandison said. “Now, we own nothing and we loaned Melynk $6.5 million USD. I believe the negotiating team exercised poor judgement and made a deal that shouldn’t have been made.”

Coun. Paul Carr said he relied on the recommendation made by the negotiating team which included Mayor Taso Christopher and city director Mark Fluhrer. “Those negotiations were proceeding and there were some positive elements to it, but that deal fell through,” Carr said.

“At that point, there was no firm endorsement required,” said Carr, “That deal never got to the point where it was a take it or leave it. The first one never got to a point where we had to make a final decision because the party [Grant Kook’s Westcap Management Ltd] backed out.”

There’s no going back for Belleville at this point, as they’ve given the Sens the arena rent-free for three years, but it’s yet another indication that public funding for sports teams is virtually never a winning formula for tax payers.


Overage CHLer Max Fortier was signed by Columbus. He was expected to be drafted in both 2016 and this year, but his size (5’10) proved too much of an impediment.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)


1 Comment

  1. […] thing of note about Chris Kelly here: according to the AHL’s PTO rules at team can only sign a player to two such contracts–if he was released for both the Spengler […]

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