Guest Post- Joy Lindsay’s Binghamton Senators’ Season Review

SensChirp May 10, 2014 125
Guest Post- Joy Lindsay’s Binghamton Senators’ Season Review

GUEST POST- JOY LINDSAY

Just to briefly introduce myself, I was the beat writer for the B-Sens during their 2010-11 and 2011-12 campaigns, and was fortunate enough to cover them several times for the Ottawa Citizen this season. I will try to answer questions in the comment section if anyone has any, but I did not have the daily access to the team that it takes to know every single detail.

The Binghamton Senators’ season came to a disappointing end last week with a first-round playoff loss to the rival Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins for the second straight year, but that doesn’t change some of the impressive work the team was able to do during the regular season. Binghamton finished with a 44-24-3-5 record and 96 standings points, good for first place in the East Division, graduated a couple of players to the NHL, and saw plenty of others post career years.

Ottawa got an extended look at four of Binghamton’s most productive players this season, but here are some notes about what they accomplished in the AHL for 2013-14:

Mike Hoffman: Led team in points per game (1.31), total points (67), power-play points (35), and shots on goal with Binghamton (189); T-1st in goals (30) and power-play assists (23); 2nd in power-play goals (12). … Ranked 3rd in league in points per game (among players with 20 games or more) and power-play points; T-6th in goals; T-7th in PP assists; 8th in total points; T-9th in power play goals. … Posted career highs in every offensive category. … Never went more than 2 games without a point. … Had 20 multi-point games. … Scored first pro hat trick in 6-3 win over the Worcester Sharks on Jan 29. Tied franchise records for goals in a game with 4 and points in a game with 5 that night. … His points-per-game average was the best by a B-Sens player since Brandon Bochenski averaged 1.39 (46 in 33) during 2005-06 season. … Had a goal and 2 assists in AHL All-Star Game and was named to season-ending First All-Star Team.

Mark Stone: Averaged 1.11 points per game with 41 (15-26) in 37. … Surpassed rookie total of 38 points despite playing 17 fewer games. … Had 12 multi-point games. … Scored a goal and added 3 assists for 4 points in a 4-3 overtime win against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series.

Stéphane Da Costa: Averaged 1.04 points per game with 58 (18-40) in 56. … Set career highs in points, goals, and assists. … Had 17 multi-point games. … Tied franchise record for points in a game with 5 (2-3) in 7-3 win over the Rochester Americans on Nov. 9. … Tied franchise record for assists in a game with 4 in a 6-2 win over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Jan. 17. … Named team MVP.

Jean-Gabriel Pageau: Averaged 0.96 points per game with 44 in 46. … Had 16 multi-point games. … Tied franchise record for assists in a game with 4 twice: in a 4-2 win over the Syracuse Crunch on Nov. 2, only his second AHL game of the season, and in a 6-3 win over the Worcester on Jan. 29. … Scored first AHL hat trick in 5-4 win over the Penguins on April 18. … Named team’s Top Defensive Forward.

Fans in Ottawa also got a brief look at rookie goalie Andrew Hammond, who stopped all 11 shots he faced in 34:31 of relief during a 6-1 loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Feb. 27. That was the NHL debut for Hammond, arguably the most improved player in Binghamton this season. After giving up 5 goals in each of his first 2 starts, facing only 9 shots in his pro debut, Hammond went through a lot of the ups and downs that can be expected for a first-year pro, especially struggling with rebound control.

Expected to back up and learn from veteran Nathan Lawson, Hammond was thrust into a starting role by Lawson’s recurring injuries and became a crucial part of the team’s regular-season success, finishing with a 25-19-3 record, 2.81 goals-against average, and .910 save percentage. His 25 wins ranked 3rd among rookie goalies in the league, and were the most for a rookie B-Sens goalie since Kelly Guard had 25 in 2005-06. Hammond also earned the team’s only shutout of the season, stopping all 29 shots he faced in an 8-0 win over the Worcester Sharks on Feb. 15. He was chosen by his teammates for this season’s 7th Man Award. Hammond looked a bit shaky again in the playoffs, but there were a few fluky bounces and defensive miscues in front of him. The No. 1 job in Binghamton is likely Hammond’s to lose next season, with Chris Driedger a potential backup.

Fredrik Claesson was one of the biggest bright spots on a team full of them, and it seemed coaches and management could not praise the second-year blue liner enough. Claesson played the most minutes, faced the toughest competition, and set a franchise record in plus/minus at +37. He also picked up 29 points (3-26) this season despite not getting any power-play time, and led the team’s defencemen in even-strength points (25) and assists (24). Claesson was willing to block shots, make hits, and do whatever it took to win, which makes the fact that he had only 39 penalty minutes this season even more impressive. Despite accounting for 16.5% (75/454) of the B-Sens’ man games on defence, Claesson was only responsible for 6.5% (39/598) of the penalty minutes assessed to the team’s d-men. He was also only responsible for 3% (11/356) of the times the team was shorthanded, and did not get called for a single interference penalty all season. To put Claesson’s penalties into perspective, Ben Blood had 61 PIM and 18 minors in 54 games, Chris Wideman had 101 PIM and 28 minors in 73 games, Mark Borowiecki had 158 PIM and 34 minors in 50 games, and Michael Sdao had 171 PIM and 28 minors in 61 games.

Penalties were a problem for the whole team, and the B-Sens found themselves shorthanded 356 times. Only the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (411), Toronto Marlies (380), and Lake Erie Monsters (361) were shorthanded more. Binghamton scored a league-leading 16 shorthanded goals, but was among the worst teams on the penalty kill with an 80.6% success rate. Opposing power-play goals accounted for 69 of the 232 goals they allowed (29.7%).

Matt Puempel picked up 94 penalty minutes in his first full pro season, but 67 were the result of fighting majors or misconducts, and another number he posted proved more significant. Puempel scored 30 goals, the most by a B-Sens rookie since Bochenski scored 34 during the 2004-05 lockout season. Bochenski and Antoine Vermette, who scored 34 goals in 2002-03, share the franchise record for goals scored by a rookie. Puempel probably could have gotten closer to that record, or even set a new one, if he had been playing on a scoring line all season. But the decision to play him on the third line and develop his defensive game for the first few months of the season should pay off down the line. His 30 goals tied Hoffman for the team lead, and his 15 power-play goals led Binghamton. Puempel was voted the team’s Rookie of the Year.

Cole Schneider, who signed as an undrafted and unheralded free agent, doesn’t get as much attention as some of his teammates, but was the B-Sens’ third-leading scorer for the second straight season with 54 points. One thing that really stood out was Schneider’s willingness to crash (and camp out in front of) the net. He had 15 power-play points, but was on the ice for 41 of Binghamton’s 73 power-play goals (56%), often factoring into the play by screening the opposing goalie. He never went more than 5 points without a game this season, and had the most total points and points per game (0.78) among players who spent the entire season with the B-Sens. Schneider also stayed pretty disciplined, taking only 11 minor penalties in 69 games.

Chris Wideman led Binghamton defencemen with 51 points in 73 games, good for 4th in the league among blue liners, and led the team in assists with 42. He was a force on the power play, scoring 7 goals and handing out 23 assists. Wideman had a few struggles on the defensive side, and they became more obvious when paired with another offense-minded d-man in Cody Ceci during the playoffs. The duo was on the ice for 6 goals against in 4 games. Just as a note, I did not mention Ceci with the other players who spent time in Ottawa only because he played more games in the NHL than AHL. His play in Binghamton was overall very impressive.

Shane Prince had an interesting season, sitting as a healthy scratch for a few games early on and eventually becoming rumoured trade bait, but put together a solid sophomore campaign. He finished with 48 points (21-27) in 69 games and led the team in even-strength points (38) and assists (24), as well as first goals (6). Prince was tied for the team lead in plus/minus for forwards at +23. He was also among the players to tie the franchise record for assists in a game this season with 4 in a 7-1 win over the Portland Pirates on Feb. 1. Here’s a look at even-strength, power-play, and shorthanded point production by Binghamton players this season:

FINAL SCORING BREAKDOWN

Buddy Robinson was the other forward at +23, and he had 31 points (15-16) in 69 games as a rookie. There are a lot of positives to Robinson’s game, but he likely needs some more time to develop them.

Derek Grant didn’t look out of place as a fourth liner and penalty killer in Ottawa early in the season, but didn’t get back into an offensive rhythm in Binghamton until the last couple months. He finished with 22 points (12-10), and 10 (6-4) came in the final 13 games. David Dziurzynski had a few hot and cold streaks this season, but was also a late bloomer as far as goal scoring. He finished with 25 points, and 8 of his 13 goals came in the final 20 games.

Corey Cowick has established himself as an energy player and fan favorite in Binghamton, and finished with 25 points (12-13) and 89 PIM in 72 games this season, also earning the team’s Man of the Year Award. You can donate to Cowick’s Fight for a Cure, raising money for the American Cancer Society, until the Relay for Life event in Binghamton June 6-7. Wacey Hamilton and Cowick have some chemistry on the fourth line, and Hamilton posted 20 points (4-16) in 63 games this season. Darren Kramer, also typically a fourth liner, led the team in PIM with 178 and fighting majors with 18.

Trade deadline acquisitions Alex Grant and Patrick Mullen seemed to fit in very well on the blue line, but time will tell if they were just a temporary late-season fix. Ryan Dzingel and Garrett Thompson were impressive in their first few pro games and should have plenty of opportunity to prove themselves next season. Jakub Culek and Ludwig Karlsson spent the majority of this season in the ECHL, but could be in the AHL next season if there are players who need replacing.

Jim O’Brien was injured for the final 15 games of the regular season, and absolutely not a healthy scratch. He had a tough start to the season after being sent down, but got himself together and became pretty important to the club. All signs point to him leaving the organization now, but he would have played those games if not for a lower-body injury. O’Brien had 29 points (11-18) in 51 games.

As you have probably seen, a lot of players who finished the season in Binghamton are pending free agents. UFAs: Tyler Eckford, A. Grant, Lawson, Mullen, and O’Brien. RFAs: Ben Blood, Cowick, Da Costa, Dziurzynski, D. Grant, Hamilton, Schneider, Sdao, and Wideman. Eckford left the team for personal reasons this spring and seems unlikely to return.

FinalScoringBreakdown

 

Note from SensChirp- I wanted to thank Joy for taking the time out of her schedule to provide us with such an in-depth look at what happened down in Binghamton this season.  Here in Ottawa we get a good look at the players that get called up but rarely do we get this level of detail on how things are going with the BSens.  It was a disappointing end to the season but it’s clear that there is still a ton of talent down there and it’s a team that is obviously in good hands with Head Coach Luke Richardson calling the shots. So thanks again to Joy and be sure to follower her on Twitter at @PuckJoy.

  • sprucesens

    Thanks for the update and all the info!

  • Sens613

    *Clapping* Like Chirp has mentioned, thank you very much for the indepth and detailed look on the Binghamton senators. It has opened my world to what hard work you guys are doing down there!

    The futur is looking bright and the tutorial you provided us is the concrete evidence to prove it. Thanks again for taking the time to share this with us :)

  • Phil.

    Thanks Joy. Any insight on what the plan is for Claesson and Borowecki? Sounds like Claesson might be ready for some NHL time if a spot is opened for him, but Borowecki has the one way contract.

    • Joy Lindsay

      Thanks, Phil! Unless there is an offseason trade or preseason injury that affects the defence, Borowiecki’s one-way contract will probably keep Claesson in the AHL to start next season. Borowiecki also has the advantage of already having played in the NHL, and if the Senators want someone in the lineup whose game revolves around grit, he is the more suitable choice. But Claesson is definitely ready to play at least a fill-in role in the NHL, and he might make it difficult to send him back to Binghamton once he gets that opportunity.

  • aegiszx

    Great insight. No doubt that the Ottawa Senators Organization is booming with talent… I can see why we are top 3 rising clubs. We just have talent and prospects for every position.

    I’m really looking forward to seeing Claesson, Puempel, and Driedger in the coming seasons.

  • I’m just sayin’

    Excellent post – thanks JL

    My favourite part follows

    ===================================================================

    Claesson played the most minutes, faced the toughest competition, and
    set a franchise record in plus/minus at +37. He also picked up 29 points
    (3-26) this season despite not getting any power-play time, and led the
    team’s defencemen in even-strength points (25) and assists (24).
    Claesson was willing to block shots, make hits, and do whatever it took
    to win, which makes the fact that he had only 39 penalty minutes this
    season even more impressive.
    =======================================================================

  • Deadly

    Thanks Joy.

  • Deadly

    Couple of questions.
    What is the future of Binghamton’s relationship with the Ottawa Senators? Is there a signed agreement going forward.
    We have lost our association with Elmira but will we still be able to place players in the Eastern league?
    For the most part,are the players treated well and happy to be in Binghamton?
    Any insights on the Prince situation,his sister or Tim’s interest in Prince. Could he in anyway be overvalued by Tim.
    Sounds like Dzingal and Thompson showed some good things in their short stay.

    • Joy Lindsay

      Thanks for reading! Ottawa’s affiliation with Binghamton expires at the end of the upcoming 2014-15 season, but these contracts are typically not extended until their final year. Senators AGM Randy Lee and Binghamton Executive VP of Operations Tom Mitchell have stated that they are working toward an extension.

      The Senators should announce a new ECHL affiliation at some point during the offseason. There are only 21 ECHL teams, so several have more than one affiliate. The Senators will be losing the advantage of Elmira’s proximity to Binghamton, but should have no trouble finding a home for the players who don’t make the AHL roster.

      Players are treated very well in Binghamton, and most seem to enjoy their time there, despite the bad press the city sometimes gets.

      I think the Prince rumours were overblown. If a trade is made that sends him to the Buffalo Sabres, I think Tim Murray knows exactly what he is getting and will not overpay. Prince’s sister stated after the trade deadline that all she wanted was to have her brother closer to home.

      • Deadly

        Thanks again. I assume you are a Sens fan.

  • Sandy

    Thanks very much for the update on Binghamton.
    I think Claesson should get a long look in Ottawa to start the season. By his play in the AHL he sure has earned it….
    The point is… too many D

  • Sandy

    Off topic… FYI… Team Canada beat Slovakia 4-1 today…
    USA beat Switzerland 3-2.. didn’t see the game by the announcers said some controversy in the game.. with 2 disallowed goals for the Swiss…

    • Harv

      Two goals called back for offside calls. The replays showed they were both questionable. They were so close to being on side the refs had to work to call them offside. First goal scored just as the Swiss guy crossed the blue line. Second, the puck was across the line before the winger crossed. Bad calls cost the Swiss the win in my opinion.

  • Andrews theory

    I have absolutely no problem with players growing over ripe in bingo.

    Having a healthy influx of youth and competition is obviously ideal, at the same time you need to make sure you don’t have an entire roster trying to learn the ropes simultaneously.

    This explains Neil and Phillips – just wish we had more reliable veterans on the squad.

  • H POTTER

    Guys, don’t know if I’m the only one that thinks this but I feel that the fans are missing a sing along chant for when the Sens score when we play at home. I noticed pretty much all the teams that were still playing after season ended had sing along chants for after their home team scored a goal. Not only does it unite all fans at the game at the very moment, but I feel it gives the home player energy and they can easily feed of of that. After the Sens score, there’s just a regular song that doesn’t have any meaning or parts where we can all chant something at the same time. I remember last summer before the season started, I believe Chirp posted something to the effect that there would be a new goal song from this group ” monster truck “. I was all excited by that fact. Turns out there was no monster truck song.
    Tell me what yall think.

    • Sandy

      I like the Chicago one..

    • do due dew doodoo

      there’s only one team in LONDON
      there’s only one team in LONNNNNDDDDOOONNN
      there’s only one team in London

  • Sandy

    Ole… ole.. ole.. ole.. suck it Habs…

    • Deadly

      Careful Sandy, one goal could really change this game. If this was in Montreal there would be the penalty parade to contend with.

      • Sandy

        I said that after it was 3-0.
        So tell me why.. in the Tampa series.. with a Tampa player standing outside of the blue paint — Price purposely skates into him.. and it’s a penalty.
        But tonight Gallagher stands inside the blue paint.. kinda stops Rask from skating to the top of the crease to stop the puck.. and not only is there no penalty.. but the goal counts.
        What is a penalty for one team .. should be a penalty for the other..
        Time to go back to NO opposing player in the crease… That takes the guess work away..

        • Deadly

          Task seemed to be sitting back in the crease instead of tackling Gallagher .Rask should of attached him.

        • luckan20

          One answer…terrible officiating. The refereeing in NHL has gone bad. We experienced in many occasions against the Habs.

  • Deadly

    Anybody see Tooks tonight?

    • do due dew doodoo

      The team that he cheers for lost – he’ll show up Monday morning and ridicule Karlsson and Turris

      • Deadly

        You mean the Turris who won player of the game today.

        • Zelle

          What a fantastic game for team Canada today! So proud of the boys. Against a “tougher” opponent too. I think they just needed to gel a bit. Plus their undoing was really the penalties against France.

    • TookieIs100PercentRight

      Tooks is a man about town and not sure he can be there on a Saturday night! Stay tuned and stay cool and Tooks will keep you a”breast” of the situation!
      TOOKS100% OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Deadly

    That could bring him out of hiding.

  • bluebuyyoo

    I guess Briere is in Therrien’s dog house. Very limited minutes last game and scratched tonight. Briere always seemed to be one of those players that elevated during the playoffs. Always deadly around the net. Surprising.

    • Sandy

      He is… and he’s also signed for another season…

    • Jakester

      We should give you a team of Has Beens to Run! You seem to love those types! Lol

      • bluebuyyoo

        Jacques. If you have something coherent and intelligent to add to the conversation, please feel free to contribute. If all you can do is attack someone and behave like an asshole, then please feel free to go fuck yourself!

        • Jakester

          You made a little pussy comment yesterday in the last thread, so payback time know it all! Your hockey knowledge is close to nil!

          • bluebuyyoo

            Nonsense! Once again you were making uncalled for attacks to my comments that prompted my reply. You then posted unsubstantiated garbage that you could not prove.

            “Pussy little comment…Payback” Grow up Jacques!

          • Jakester

            Let’s stay away from each other ok

          • bluebuyyoo

            I do stay away from you. I caught on to your act some time ago. It’s you that continually follows my comments with smart-ass remarks and insults because I don’t see things the way you do. We don’t have to keep away from each other. What we have to do is to be able to discuss things in an adult manner without turning to insults and childish comments.

  • Can’t someone else do it

    Great article Joy, thanks. I always enjoy reading the BSens and how prospects are doing.
    Would love your opinion/preference on Da Costa and Pageau? Different type of players but in terms of potential, does Pageau clearly lead the way?

    It would be great having a weekly article next year … hint, hint, … SensChirp pay up.

    Seriously, great read.

    • Joy Lindsay

      Thank you! That is a tough question to answer because, as you mentioned, they are very different players. Da Costa has displayed tremendous offensive upside and made some incredible plays in the AHL, but so far, Pageau has proven more capable of translating his all-around game into consistent NHL play. Da Costa did pretty well in his last recall, though. After the strong season he had in the AHL and what is starting off as a great offseason, a few more consecutive games in a Top 6 role in the NHL could say a lot about where his career is headed. I’m hesitant to say Pageau clearly leads the way in potential, but to this point, he has shown more promise.

  • Sandy

    Did something happen to Quick?

  • Sandy

    Wow — is Gibson putting on a show or what?

  • Jakester

    Wow this battle of L.A. Is so much more intense than Smurfs vs Bruins.

  • sprucesens

    rumors of niskanen getting 6 mill on the UFA market. No thanks to that notion.

    • Aaron 2.0

      Wow, hard to figure that one out. His numbers are real good this season. 10 G 36 A for 46 Pt, and +33. But, no other season is even close in comparison. He’s played 7 seasons, and this season alone accounts for over 28 % of his point production. Same for +/-. He’s a +39 in 7 seasons. But, he’s +33 this year. These stats are just for the regular season. But, more or less the same trends for the playoffs (this year far better than any other). Seems like a big payday based on a sample of 1 year. But, I guess none of us should be surprised that at least one team will probably pay that price.

    • Sensturion

      The by product of playing in Pitsburgh. Does anyone honestly think that Dupuis and Kunitz would produce as much as they do on another team?

  • sens_bud

    Is it September yet? Need some sens action in my life.

  • Sandy

    Totally disappointed no one is carrying the Edmonton-Portland game 6 tonight…

    • sprucesens

      i was just gonna check that. i think when i was at the game, a channel in edmonton still carried it

    • sprucesens

      if interested you could spend i think 7 bucks for one day of hockeystreams.com i pay by the year. this was my first year, and it works ok.

  • TookieIs100PercentRight

    Wasn’t the team outshot on a fairly regular basis? Wasn’t this team’s coach vaunted as a defensive specialist? Did the team show any discipline compared to its parent club? Do we have any first-line NHLers down there? What needs to change to return the team to a championship?
    That’s the stuff I’d like to read. This reads more like a grading exam. No offence Joy.
    TOOKS100% OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Sandy

      How about this team was one of the youngest in the AHL.. This AHL team is about development.. and with that comes inconsistency..
      This organization prefers to have a lot of young players in it’s AHL lineup… not some older NHL has beens like WBS had this season..
      This past playoffs the #1 goaltender was out injured.. and it’s top 2 scorers weren’t in the lineup. Also.. I think, Tim or someone else said.. it was the worst match-up this team could have had in the first round..

    • Roar…

      I can play that game too. Wasn’t the team constantly dealing with call-ups (Hoffman, Stone, Pageau, Da Costa) of it’s best players to the parent club? Wouldn’t that impact the chemistry of the group? Not to mention not even having their best offensive player in Hoffman actually available to play the playoff games. Honestly, for my money, B-Sens do just fine in the playoffs if Hoffman was actually in the lineup…. you remove the other teams best player in that series and tell me how they’d do.

      • Sandy

        The best player on WSB turned out to be.. Chuck Kobasew — who happens to be over 30 – -and an NHL vet.

        How many NHL vets were on the BSens.. NONE

        • Deadly

          Good job, I think you won the “war of words” with someone who thinks the AHL is the NHL.The Hershey Bears seem to be the most repeat winners in recent history.

  • Brutus5247

    The players don’t want to be in Bingo but they know that it is a stepping stone (UNLESS you are a top 15 pick see Cowen et al). It has got to be tough for the guys who are ready but aren’t getting called up. It’s a contact game and the one way pretty much guarantees NHL play over a two way guy. This is especially true with Ottawa’s organization who has be known to pinch pennies at times (aka F’N CHEAP!) JOB must have really pissed somebody off to get sent down.

  • ProfessorPower

    Jason Spezza for Richards (35%) + Clifford + 2nd
    Hoffman + Prince + Condra for Chris Stewart
    Wiercioch + Puempel for Kevin Bieksa
    Hemsky and Milos rights for picks

    Macarthur-Turris-Stone
    Stewart-RIchards-Ryan
    Clifford-Zibby-Lazar
    Greening-Smith-Neil

    Methot-Karlsson
    Cowen-Bieksa
    BoroCop-Ceci

    Lehner

    • Sandy

      You keep Puempel & Hoffman..
      I’m not given Tim Murray any of the Sens good scoring young players. Let him develop his own..

  • Sandy

    Edmonton Oil Kings up 2-0 mid-way through the first. Two goals by Samuelson…

    • Jakester

      Just checked too, awesome!

  • Sandy

    3-0 for the Oil Kings at the end of the first. Keep pouring it on … kids…

  • Sandy

    Edmonton 2 penalties early in the 2nd. Down a short 5 on 3…

  • Sandy

    Great for St Louis to score the first goal in the Rangers game.. on Mother’s day. a couple of days after losing his mom…

  • Sandy

    Not good.. 3-2 for Oil Kings. Winterhawks changed their goalie to start the 2nd.

    • Sandy

      As I wrote this.. Lazar just scored.. 4-2 Oil Kings..

  • Deadly

    5-2 Oil Kings…looking good.

  • Sandy

    Good god.. Edmonton… stay out of the penalty box. Don’t give Portland life…

    • Sandy

      What did I tell you… Now 5-3 early in the 3rd..

      • Jakester

        It’s ok Lazar will pot one!

  • Jakester

    Wow what a golf tournament! Spezza and Cowen for O’Reilly and whatever.

    • Sandy

      Do you honestly think that Melnyk will pay O’Reilly 6.5M+ in salary (that’s what he has earned this season) on top of keeping Ryan?
      Not a chance.

      • Jakester

        Example, Spezza and Cowen, you get O’Reilly 6,5 Million and you Plug Claessen in Cowen’s spot and you’re saving money! The top 6 you have to pay, where you have be smart is the bottom six. That’s where Greening’s money is a mistake!

    • Jakester

      Who says the draft won’t be interesting for the Sens!

  • Sandy

    Chirp.. I really can’t see the Avs having an interest in Spezza. They might as well just sign O’Reilly since he is an RFA and they may keep him longer than Spezza…

    • Jakester

      Honestly, I don’t see Colorado either.

      • SensChirp

        It doesn’t make a ton of sense to me either but they are interested. That’s not just speculation. They are.
        Assume it’s sort of a back up plan if Stastny leaves? Not sure.

  • Sandy

    Now 5-4 for the Oil Kings.. Two quick goals in the 3rd for Portland.
    The Oil Kings can’t afford to blow that 3 goal lead. They won’t win in Portland…

  • Millennium

    I wonder what the odds are of a sign and trade deal for Spezza. Would hugely increase his value, and would also attract suitors looking for more than a 1-yr deal. I’m assuming Spezza wouldn’t do it because he would get more UFA next year, but maybe if the target team was ideal enough, he’d prefer to stay there once he’s traded?

    • Jakester

      That’s why I think Toronto will be where he’s going.

      • Deadly

        Pretty sure Murray will retire to the Ottawa area .that is why he would never risk trading him directly to Toronto.

        • Jakester

          Haha, he’s already 70, don’t think it really worries him. We know Spezza would sign there as a UFA.

  • Sandy

    3 goal lead gone — now tied… mid way through 3rd.. Oil kings in trouble..

    • Deadly

      Leaking oil,you say.

    • Jakester

      Wow, collapse, hope they find a way!

  • Tim

    Great stuff Joy! Miss having you cover the team down here on a daily basis! No love for Danny New!? ;)

  • Deadly

    Overtime in Edmonton.

  • Sandy

    Portland won. I believe that was Edmonton’s last chance.
    Portland had 25 straight wins at home until the other night.
    They have all of the momentum now.. for game 7..
    Feel bad for Lazar..

    • Deadly

      Game Seven.They won the last game in Portland. Did you see the article that says they share a plane between cities. Can you imagine that ?

      • Sandy

        No didn’t see that… interesting…

    • Jakester

      Well, we’ll see. Game is played on the ice.

    • sprucesens

      yeah that was unfortunate. thought they had it in the bag. Lazar didn’t have the best game, but he still got a goal. They gotta learn to keep playing hard all game long. Sounds like someone else i know….

  • Sandy

    How does Bob MacKenzie know? He wasn’t in the interview…
    It probably was Murray, McLean & Spezza… So one of them told?
    How will this help the Sens when it is out there he wants out?
    Is Bob MacKenzie trying to weaken the return…

    • SensChirp

      Mentioned this back in April. McKenzie is actually a little off because Spezza brought it up far before the exit interview. Maybe confirmed it during his exit interview though?

      • Sandy

        Yeah.. but how do we know that.

        Did one of Spezza or Murray or whoever else was in the meeting leaked it out?

  • Dirtysweetness

    Sandy, do you have a link to that? I’d like to read it.

    • Sandy

      He just mentioned it in the 2nd intermission of the Chicago game.. It was also on his facebook..

  • sprucesens

    yeah, what’s up with the tweet’s all of a sudden chirp, on spezza?

  • SensFanInMTL

    Bettman: “I have a trade to announce…… Attawa trades, Jason Spezza (pause momentairly)

    Crowd: “Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh”

    Bettman: …. ta Colorado. In exchange for Ryan O’Reilly, and the 1st round selection in this year’s entry draft. That’s Spezza to Colorado for O’Reilly and the 1st round selection, ta Attawa. The next selection is pick number 21. Attawa, you’re up.”

    Pierre Muthafuckin Dorion: “The Ottawa Senators are proud to select, from the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires, Josh Ho-Sang.”

    Pierre McGuire: “I’m telling you, Gord. This kid down the stretch will be the steal of the draft. We all remember his sick shootout goal as a 15 year old, coincidentally playing on Team Spezza and they just traded the Sens’ former captain for him. This is great. I love this pick. I am the man, Gord.”

  • sben

    When melnyk finally sells this team… It better not be to another damn miser. Melnyk must go. Ever since alfie left, this team has fallen apart. I hope we tank for the next two years so that profits go down and melnyk must sell. Really, if we didn’t have melnyk we could be doing so well right now. Imagine alfie AND Ryan. Btu alas, this team is doomed.

    • aegiszx

      “Ever since Alfie left…” dude it’s been 1 season… This team is only getting better, we have tons of talent coming up the ranks… Imagine being Buffalo or Phoenix, they were a budget team for the past decade.

      • Tooks

        Looks like thats where we are headed tho…

        • runningbear1974

          No, not at all… We are building the best team we ever had… Our previous best had Redden as the best defensemen… We’ll have Turris, Ryan, Zibenajed, Puemple, Lazar, and Karlsson… The future looks bright…

        • s3nsfan75

          are you well? Phoenix & Buffalo, we aren’t even close. Go to another site and spew your rhetoric, i don’t know what kind of amusement you get out of always talking out of your ass, but it’s getting seriously tiresome.

    • Sandy

      MacKenzie did mention that Spezza realizes this team is a budget team and not spending to the Cap.
      So, IMO.. that translates into.. this team will not be able to compete for the playoffs in the near future… If you can’t compete for the playoffs then you have no chance for a Stanley Cup. So why would Spezza spend his last years in the NHL with no chance of winning anything in Ottawa? What UFAs in the future will sign with this team..
      This Owner is now more focused on saving money.. than playing for a Stanley Cup..
      What if Ryan realizes this and doesn’t want to re-sign? McArthur.. as well…
      What is this team going to be left with? How are they going to convince season ticket holders to stay with the team.. when the players are leaving because this team will not spend to bring in good players to be able to get to the playoffs.
      The fans in this City will only stay with the ‘budget’ for so long.
      This Owner is going to net about 40M next season in new TV deals — and he won’t spend more than he did last season…
      So, he is not investing back into the team… I wish we could send him to the curb…

      • Jakester

        Spezza has been getting the message from the powers that be of this organization that if he didn’t change his game to suit the coaches style he’d be out the door. Stop making it look like its budget related, if he played the right way he’d be getting another contract.

        • runningbear1974

          1) Ongoing conflict with coach because of resisting change. (coach is trying to teach him to be more robust, more versatile)
          2) Spezza knows what happened with Alfie, and so i think he kind of hates Melnyk
          3) Uncertain about health and will want a grand slam contract and Melnyk probably unwilling to take the risk…

        • Brutus5247

          I think its two folded. They don’t like his game and they don’t see him as part of the future(won’t be worth the contract he wants).
          I don’t think it has anything to do with Alfie other than exposing Spezza’s leadership inability. Turris gets a letter on Team Canada but Ottawa continues to coddle it’s underachieving vets. This needs to stop as the first step to team success. Phillips Spezza Neil are not the guys we need leading the team by example.

        • Tooks

          Oh he will be getting another contract it just wont be with the Sens, I think its fucking idiotic that we have to choose between coach and player/players…

          Its burned us once already with Clouston/Heatley.

          • runningbear1974

            What do you do when a player doesn’t do what the coach asks? It’s unfortunate but at that point you have to choose….

      • sben

        exactly my point. IF it doesn’t change by next year then we’re screwed. We have many UFAsin july next year.

    • Jason P.

      Sandy is right. An you can’t be mad at Spezza for that. All that sens
      fans can hope for is a decent return and the continued growth of the
      young core guys.

    • Dirk-Diggler

      I don’t hope we tank. I am a full season ticket holder and go to 30 games a year and also see the Sens in MTL at least twice a season as well. I want to see a competitive team!

    • Senatollah

      Why would Melnyk sell the team? Yes the team loses him money, but the arena and other related ventures make him more money. Overall he is making a great deal of bling.

      The whole crying poor is a political play because Watson chose OSEG (CFL) over his soccer proposal, and then cut him out of the potential opportunity to try to land a casino. Its too bad Melnyk gets no public support, not from sens fans, sens media or sens bloggers.

      It makes sense now to cry poor as you are a) in a rebuild and b) have so many entry level contract and high value contracts (see Turris, MacCarther, Karlsson) that its not really possible to get to the cap without committing to losing a core player in the near future do to cap troubles. Those high cost UFAs usually come with term which makes them hard to move (or a costly buyout) or short term but high risk (will make team, prob of injury).

      • runningbear1974

        I support Melnyk… I feel fans are just wrong to be talking about spending to the cap right now, at this point in the rebuild… He gets no credit for giving out huge contracts to Spezza, Alfie, Fisher, Heatley Kovalev, Gonchar… Now we’re rebuilding… Chill out, can you not the see the awesome team developing? We’re handcuffed by 1-dimensional veterans… I believe in Melnyk because he believes in Murray, and because they believe in Maclean, which proves to me they see the big picture… Melnyk is a hockey fan and will want to win, i think he’s even willing to cheat to try and make it happen :)

  • Dirk-Diggler

    Here’s a proposal…

    To Tor:
    - Spezza (50% retained), Prince, Methot

    To Ott:
    - Kadri, Phaneuf (30% retained)

    D pairings would be
    D1: Phaneuf-Karlsson
    D2: Cowen-Weircioch
    D3: Ceci-Phillips
    extra Gryba

    • runningbear1974

      I vote no… Phaneuf is a liability out there… He makes bad decisions… I would prefer smart players…

      • Dirk-Diggler

        He makes bad decisions because he’s under so much pressure in TO. He plays really hard minutes and is forced to carry the play in both the offensive and defensive zones.

        If he was paired with EK then he’d only have to focus on defense and can throw his weight around. Being a #2 D man is where he shoudl be, not a #1.

        Fuck, I just proposed getting the two players I hate the most from the Leafs for my favourite Senator! I feel so dirty.

        • runningbear1974

          You should feel dirty :) Again, no for Phaneuf… Exactly, he makes bad decision under pressure… Lets not add any of those guys to the team… They are hard to get rid of once they’re here… Also, 8 million? He’s a liability… He’ll make critical mistake at critical times….

        • WaitingSince92

          He would have just as much pressure here.

          I’d rather have Methot.

    • Hax

      Methot >>>> Phaneuf, Spezza >>>> Kadri (and heck 50% >>>> 30%).

      So, um, no.

      • Tooks

        Yeah would rather have a trade centered around these players (remember, players cant have NTC or NMC):

        LA
        Brown/Muzzin/Martinez

        SJ
        Pavelski/Hertl/Demers

        STL
        Shattenkirk/Cracknell/T.J. Oshie

        ANA
        Bonino/Pamieri/Cogliano/Fistric

        IMO that is what Spezza can bring back, obviously the bigger pieces will require us to give a bit more but its doable!

    • WaitingSince92

      Wow. I have to go shower after reading this proposal.

      Is this the worst fantasy trade I’ve seen on SensChirp? Maybe, sir… maybe…

      • Dirk-Diggler

        Aww… my proposal is crushed :P

        No worries, Dreger just said most likely to Anaheim. So I guess that means our 1st back, + Etem and Lindholm for Spezza (2M cap hot retained) + Weircioch

        • Sandy

          Yeah.. because Dreger knows all..

    • Tooks

      Spezza wont go to the East, they are shopping him out West. Probably LA, STL, SJ, ANA…

      Not sure what they are willing to give up for Spezza but you would have to think IF we get anything good in return it would have to be on Spezza re-signing with the enw team?

      • WaitingSince92

        Don’t forget Colorado… they have an exciting group of assets.

    • Sandy

      Your insane.., NO … Trading your #1 centre to your main rival? No way..