Stone Recalled From Binghamton

SensChirp March 23, 2014 221
Stone Recalled From Binghamton

With just a few weeks left in a disappointing season, the Ottawa Senators have called up a familiar face from Binghamton to lend a helping hand.

This morning the Sens announced they have recalled forward Mark Stone from Binghamton of the American Hockey League.  Stone has 15 goals and 38 points in 35 games for Binghamton this season and has earned another look at the NHL level.  The tricky part for the Senators is obviously they want to try out some of their young players over the next few weeks but the BSens are right in the middle of a playoff push and need all the help they can get.

Bobby Ryan went down in the third period of yesterday’s game in Dallas and was very slow coming off the ice.  Hard to tell what the injury was but he seemed to be grabbing for his mid-section/abdominal area.  Could explain this morning’s call up.  MacLean is expected to provide an update on his status today.

  • sben

    Wonder which line Stone will go on. He worked well with Spezza before, He could fit in with Macarthur and Turris and he could finally take Condra’s spot on the Zibanejad line. I don’t understand why we’ve had Condra on that line for so long instead of Stone. Stone is so much better than Condra. Screw all that possession crap.

    • MB

      It’s doesn’t matter at this point, they probably want him to come in
      and play well, that’s it. He will play with who he plays with and they
      hope to see growth in his game.

      There is no point in breaking up the Michalek/Spezza/Hemsky
      because neither of those 3 guys will be back at this point… if by some
      chance the Sens and Hemsky come to an agreement that would be great but
      I seriously doubt it. Not even sure the Sens are in a position to
      spend money on vets like Hemsky when the biggest issue is character and
      hard working vets along with experienced winners.

      • sben

        you think Spezza won’t be back? Are they really going to shop him? I
        don’t know where you heard that. I also think Hemsky will sign here if
        they give him something reasonable. He may decide to go choose his teams
        he may not. I would put it at a 50-50. I think the sens would be willing to give hemsky a contract. I don’t think it is a character issue with the team it was just the we never got someone to play with Spezza. If we could get a big winger to play with spezza and we keep Hemsky we will have good lines. The M-T-R line will stay. Greening Neil and Smith will stay. If we can just cement the first line and tweak around the third line until it works we will have a complete forward group. It is just our defence that really needs to be overturned. Michalek won’t be signed.

        • MB

          Chris Stevenson, Dregger… those are 2 pretty reliable names. Sens were shopping Spezza at the deadline to see what was out there and they will be shopping him harder this off season. Don’t care what side of
          the Spezza argument you are on but if you can’t see the writing on the wall right now and the serious lack of a fit between Spezza and Ottawa right now there probably isn’t a lot to talk about.

          I’ll just say this, if you like Spezza you better try and get some tickets for whatever home games are left because he isn’t going to be back next year. Sens will be “starting over” for lack of a better term, there are major moves coming and even Chirp knows it’s just a matter of time before the “captain” is moved.

          • Jacques

            Sens should sign Hemsky, let Milo go. And trade Spezza.

          • Nicholas Rawlins

            Why the hell sign hemsky and not spezza? They play so well together, spez would’ve had an 80 pt season had hemsky been around earlier.

          • Jacques

            80 points and a minus 30 , first line has to be better. Let’s cut our ties now and build a good exciting team. Hemsky will be one of our veterans, playing with TUrris or Zibby. You don’t win with guys who don’t play a complete game!

          • Senator forever

            Jacques; I cannot agree more. Spezza for a number 2 defenceman even up or an up and coming highly rated centerman.

          • MB

            Spezza will probably be traded but the last thing Ottawa needs is another D man. This is part of the rebuild that has been going on for 3 seasons now and that’s a young defense core that does struggle at times but has a ton of potential. Like others and myself have mentioned the team defense is the issue, not the defense itself. Now maybe they get an offer they can’t turn down to play the left side beside Karlsson but I doubt it, I think it’s way more likely they go out and sign a vet but we’ll see.

            In a return for Spezza I expect Murray to try and get back into the 1st round of this draft or really push for a pick next year. Along with that I would expect a winger/center back that can play on the top 2 lines but what teams are willing to give that up? In NYR I would say Stefan and Krieder could be nice fits in Ottawa, both play with speed and Krieder has some size with it. Anahiem I would expect Cogliano as Murray made a move for him before, speed and skill, 20 goal scorer that can play both center and wing. Depending on what Colorado does with Statsny and O’Rielly I could see that being a fit. St.Louis you can bet Berglund would be the guy coming back with another prospect/pick but the Blues went all in this year so not a ton left to deal. Dark horse team like Washington and Vancouver but not sure who they would be willing to part with but you hope that either Tom Wilson or Zack Kassian would be the roster players coming back, both can play the game and really make life difficult for the opposition.

          • thirstytraveller

            Spezza and a 4th rounder to Columbus for Jenner and Murray

          • A-Train

            Not to mention Potvin with the Spezza-to-Anaheim talk at the deadline and Brent Wallace saying the org thinks it needs “more from Spezza.”

            Someone’s putting this stuff out there.

          • sben

            all deadline rumors about spezza are crap because after the deadline Murray was on team 1200 and he explained that there never was any spezza talk that was serious. It was just one team called just to see what it might take to get him but nothing real. All the other stuff is garbage. I think there is still a possibility Spezza does get traded during the offseason but I don’t think so.

          • MB

            What’s Muray going to say when it’s out there? “Yah, we are thinking about moving Spezza and we want to see what’s out there but the main thing is the playoffs”? Use a little critical thinking. The Nash stuff was totally denied as well so is basically any big move mid season. Kessler didn’t ask to be moved either right based on what everyone was saying in Vancouver. If you wish to believe it’s all garbage then that’s fine but your head is in the sand.

            It’s more or a certainty than a possibility at this point for Spezza.

          • Jacques

            He had to say that he wasn’t shopping him!

          • SensChirp

            They will definitely see what’s out there in terms of offers this summer. No doubt.

        • A-Train

          Well, one thing about a disastrous season is that it creates opportunity.

          Trading Spezza seemed highly unlikely even a few weeks ago at the deadline.

          But after a terrible finish + no 1st rounder, trading your Captain a year after you lost your last one doesn’t seem as insane.

          I’m not saying they should do it, but you can certainly see signs the organization is putting the possibility out there for fans.

          • MB

            My opinion is they should absolutely make that move but w/e, my opinion on a player is about as important as yours at this point. Again though, the writing is on the wall, Spezza won’t be back, if they let Alfie go after 17 seasons they will sure as hell have little issue letting Spezza go. Fact is they put Spezza in the position he wanted to be in but that position was pretty close to a no win for him.

            Sens need to focus on the players they will win with at some point and a 31 year old, injury prone, questionable captain, with 1 year left on his deal who the Sens can’t commit long term too is a bad fit. And lets say by some chance he is back next year the rumours will be almost uncontrollable all season long without an extension, not sure anyone wants that next year.

            Again, this isn’t a pro Spezza vs anti-Spezza (I am anti Spezza for sure) but this is a what’s best for the organization and just the simple realization that absolutely everything is pointing to Spezza being traded (runours aside).

          • Sandy

            So if they trade Spezza is a #1 – point a game centre coming back?

          • Jacques

            Enough with the point a game crap, how about we get a guy who knows how to play good hockey instead!

          • FistsofNeil25

            I’m all for trading Spezza this summer, but people need to realize that if we do that, we no longer have a first line center in this organization. We’ll be forever saying we need a first line center until we find a guy to replace him. Turris and ZBad aren’t first line centers. Not even close.

          • MB

            You don’t need a PPG center to win the Stanley Cup, that’s been proven time and time again and you certainly don’t need one to make the playoffs. Having 3 centers that play in any type of game against any line in the NHL is what wins hockey games, look no further than Boston and St.Louis, even LA.

            Spezza at this point in his career is probably more of a #2 center who will get tons of power play time. He was a #1 for the better part of a decade but he is a player that absolutely needs to be supported by a center ahead of him and speed on his wings.

            Turris, Zibanejad, Lazar, Smith, Pageau, Da Costa, and who knows who the Sens may have coming in at some point will probably never be point per game players but Cup winning teams don’t tend to have them… even Chicago doesn’t have one.

          • FistsofNeil25

            I never said point per game center. Obviously you don’t need a point per game player on your team. You don’t have to be a point per game center to be a number one center.

          • MB

            Fair enough and if that’s the case I believe Turris is almost there and will play the game a lot like Bergeron does in Boston. A guy like Turris and a guy like Lazar (not now or even the next couple years) will be 2 guys who can both play that #1 center by being solid 2 way guys and players who can score 25 goals and put up 60-70 points.

            Turris has done nothing but improve year after year in Ottawa and has proven to step his game up in the playoffs. He’s the best center the Sens have right now because he has turned into such a complete player.

          • Zelle

            I love this post, so much love for Turris! I bought his jersey hoping he would be a lifer for the Sens.

          • MB

            Not sure if he will be a lifer but at this point he is absolutely the best center on the Sens. Will he ever put up the numbers Spezza does/did? Absolutely not but Turris is a player you can play in every single situation within any kind of game and that is the most valuable type of player you can have on your team. You need a big goal, Turris scores them. You need a guy to shut down the other team, Turris can be the guy. You want a player who will get the puck deep instead of making a play, Turris will do it.

            In a lot of peoples minds Turris has gone from “wtf, we gave up Rundblad for this bust” to “he isn’t more than a 3rd line center” to “Spezza’s injured, no way Turris can be the #1 center and the Sens make the playoffs” to now “He isn’t a true #1 and he just isn’t Jason Spezza”. Fact is Turris has gotten better every single year including this one and can play with anyone in the lineup and be effective.

            Lazar will be the same way and Zibanead is a wild card IMO but is probably going to add to the depth of the Sens for a long time.

            Hard work beats talent who doesn’t work hard enough every single time and that’s what has happened in Ottawa.

          • Zelle

            Completely agree! I value work ethic over anything else and even last season and the one before Turris had that in spades, which is why he immediately became my favorite Sens player. This is also why I like MacArthur and liked Conacher. It is also why I often get frustrated with Spezza, Phillips, and Greening.

          • Jacques

            Very well said, we might get back to being the exciting team we had last year!

          • Zelle

            My reasoning for him being a potential lifer:
            - Coyotes gave up on him, Ottawa gave him a chance and he has blossomed since
            - When Sens #1 center is out of order, the team turns to him to be the #1, which I’m sure makes him feel valuable to the team and he seems to thrive on it
            - He got an A when Phillips and Spezza were down and out, so I’m hoping that gave him a sense of pride in leading the team to victories
            - He is constantly being given line mates that have chemistry with him, I think that’s huge
            - I haven’t heard of any rumors suggesting he is looking to play elsewhere and I’m sure the team isn’t interested in trading him anyway

            I know these can all be short term but building from this I think the Sens can get an identity from Turris / MacArthur of skill, hard work, and team-first attitude.

          • MB

            I’ll just say this, if Alfie can leave anyone can. If the Sens get all Turris’ best years that’sa successful career as a Sen IMO. Hope it’s a decade more, he has the potential to be a great player. A one time project as both a draft pick and prospect that has developed close to perfectly in Ottawa.

          • Jacques

            Right on!

          • Jacques

            Exactly hard working guys like Bergeron and Krecji get the job done in Boston!

          • Jonny

            Boston won the Cup on Defense alone, Thomas put up stats that will never be beaten, ever…They could of had 12 mike fishers and still won.

          • MB

            Well no they couldn’t have but that’s beside the point. Boston has strong goaltending but their team is basically the model franchise in the NHL right now. Saying Thomas was the reason they won or even implying it is imply wrong.

          • Jacques

            Stop with this first line center stuff, he looks terrible out there! This is what he is now! TUrris and Zibby played big minutes last year and they were fine. DaCosta or Pageau can play third line center with Smith in his appropriate 4th line spot!

          • Jonny

            Someone with some common sense.

          • Jonny

            Like a point a game player?

          • Zelle

            Is there a list of point a game players somewhere? Honestly though for Spezza I wouldn’t mind getting a grit-skilled player, like a Bruins type guy.

          • MB

            I look at a guy like Cogliano who might be the roster player coming back, guy with tons of speed who can play the wing and move to center if need be. Could be a grit guy for sure but I think the Sens are really moving towards a team built on speed and skill with a little grit here and there.

            Obviously there would be more added in a return for Spezza but I don’t think it will be more than a 1st round pick and a 2nd line type player.

          • Zelle

            I do love a speedy game however does that really win the Stanley Cup? Although it’s incredible watching Hoffman skate around the ice, it’s just unbelievable how fast he moves. I thought maybe Ottawa was moving towards a team built more like the Bruins. No obvious stars/snipers but a whole team effort with many skilled and intimidating guys on the roster.

          • MB

            To win a cup you need the right mix, I think they need a lot more grit up front and a guy who can score 20-25 and get 100 PIMS. Stewart is an obvious choice but that won’t be the move where Spezza is traded. Grit and size on the wings along with some speed mixed in with solid 2 way centers on all 4 lines.

            The thing people are really having a hard time with right now is the defensive play of the team getting it mixed up with a week defense group. IMO the defense group is obviously young but they will be fine once the team has figured out how they want to play and do it consistently and it certainly doesn’t need n overhaul like some people suggest. Same with Lehner, he’s young and he will learn. A year like this isn’t even a bad thing for a young team and they can learn from this and even be humbled a little.

            Fact is this team depended on the vets to really lead them and Michalek, Spezza, Anderson, and to a lesser extent Phillips all really did have awful years and if they can’t pull their weight being in the role they are in (#1 center, #1 winger, #1 goalie) then they need to be moved. If I had to guess, those 3 will not be back especially if there is any merit to Anderson pulling an Hasek right now.

          • runningbear1974

            I wish… This would be so good… It’s best not to depend on any 1 player… Better to have a good team with solid character…

      • Zelle

        Let’s assume this is correct. How about we speculate on who will wear the C when Spezza is gone?

        From what I have read on this website, the most talked about candidates are:
        Clarke MacArthur, Kyle Turris, Chris Neil, Chris Phillips, Erik Karlsson

        Anyone think that perhaps the guy coming in for Spezza on the deal could be the new Captain? Kind of like Ferrence in Edmonton.

        • Harv

          MacArthur or Karlson. And, I think I go with Karlson. He works his butt off, has passion and sets a high standard of excellence. That is what a captain needs. McArthur and Turris as the Assistants.

          • MB

            I agree with this and I also would add I think it will help him take the next step, can’t afford for a player like that to stop growing and things getting stale.

        • MB

          I have my opinion on it but I don’t think it happens and that’s Phillips getting the “C”. What I think they will do it give it to Karlsson and say “this is your team, you’re ready to be the leader and we want your game to reflect that”. Obviously Phillips will have an “A” as will Neil… have a floating 3rd “A” all season long between certain guys.

          I think Ottawa has their core they are building around along with leaders they are trying to develop so the guy or guys coming in for Spezza will be the right fit, not the sexy name. Cogliano, Krieder, Berglund, maybe a Tom Wilson, that’s the kind of move I expect.

          • FistsofNeil25

            You think Phillips should get the “C”? Helllll no. He’s regressed to the point that he’s one of the worst players on the team. Same with Neiler. If they trade Spezza, with all due respect to Phillips and Neil, I think the team should be turned over entirely to the new core. Spezza, Neil and Phillips have had their time. I would love to see the new young wave of Senators get a chance to take over and see where they take this team.

            Phillips and Neil are nothing but support pieces who should have very limited roles on the team. They’ve had their time.

          • Jacques

            Phillips stinks! Give him the C then you can’t healthy scratch the guy!

          • MB

            I have my reasons why I would give it to him but I doubt it happens. He’s lost a step but again the entire team is a mess and he plays well within a well structured system. If the Sens bounce back next year Phillips will as well.

        • Jacques

          Who knows, I like TUrris! He’s for sure playing injured right now too! He played his ass off in the first half of the season and has looked different since, plus he has shown us to be a money player in the playoffs.

        • runningbear1974

          For a captain i would want either someone with Grit, or someone with Smarts or both… I wouldn’t give it to Skill, and i wouldn’t give it to Age…

    • Jacques

      Good answer!

  • CUP 2014-15

    Happy for Stone, now if we could get a look at Puempel before the end of season that would be nice. Depends on Ryan’s health but I would like for Stone to slot in on the right of Zibby
    Milo Spezz Hammer
    CMac KT BR
    Hoff ZBad Stone
    CG ZS EC
    Neil
    MM Karl
    JC CC
    PW EG
    CP
    Lets see what the kids can do over the last dozen. Hell if Bingo wasn’t in the race, I would like to see a 4th line of JGP with Peumple and Prince. will not cycle or win any board battles but we hear so much about the possession game, like ” I want their guys blocking shots ” I would like to see what it looks like with all flash and dash and no bangers. I think it would be an absolute disaster but maybe if they don’t get the puck, bla, bla, bla. The best D is…..

    • Jacques

      Exactly, Pageau is on fire in the AHL right now!

    • Zelle

      I love Pageau but I say leave him there. Last thing we need is for him to be stuck on the fourth line with low minutes and people crapping all over his non-point-a-game-production with his 5min TOI average.

  • Simple Jack

    sounds good, ryan is ok and can play i would like to see a change in lines

    macaurthur turris zibanejad
    hemsky spezza ryan
    hoffman smith stone
    michalek/condra greening neil

    i know the 4th dont have a center but i’ve watched greening win faceoffs and has speed to backcheck, i’d give him a shot at center i’d sit condra, we have other who can pk and play defensively without being an offensive liability.

    i can say we are at the crossroads with both michalek and condra, lazar could fill condra/michalek’s role as rookie since he’s a great “every situation player” and could be on the 2nd/3rd line come next season plus on the pk.

    defence needs an overhaul too, without philips, we probably have the youngest d core in the league, 3 players are in their 1st and 2nd full seasons. im not sure if we overated cowen or that he didn’t play enough to see his shortcomings. its a bit frustrating. karlsson is playing like a tired dog since the coach constanly uses him and doesn’t let him rest to recharge.

    zibanejad on the point during the power play makes sense, he’s fast, can protect a potential breakaway from a blocked shot, he can fire a bomb and he consistantly gives 100%.

  • Tcharger – Ryan-For-51

    If this made the rumored injury more serious I will be even more pissed off about this useless season….If Ryan has a torn abdominal muscle further because this team for some reason has him playing even though it is for nothing….ugggg

  • Sensturion

    Ryan says he’s fine. Take that as you will.

  • sben

    this team’s season in one word: uuuuuggggghhhhh

    • Zelle

      Or two words: Growth opportunity. Life is about how you respond to failure. Next season will be an important one, imo.

  • Jacques

    Nice. Would like to see Prince or Puempel get a game or two also! A sniff for morale sakes!

    • Harv

      Puempel is -10 last time I looked. Think he is ready for a look?

      • Jacques

        A look for Morale Harv, you have to give these guys a sniff or they play with no motivation! Like Prince rumoured to be a little peed off at not getting a look! Spezza’s -30 have we seen enough of him! Let the young guys all get a look!

        • MB

          This is Peumpel’s first season, he will put in his time in Bingo like everyone before him and rightfully so. Prince even more so.

          • Jacques

            Good to give these guys one or two games in the bigs so they can measure where they’re at!

  • Zelle

    Looks like Ryan went from having a nagging injury to an injury. I wonder if he’ll be on the Mac/Turris line.

    • Harv

      I am going to be mighty ticked off if they have been playing Ryan injured to chase a playoff slot they were never going to win.

  • Harv

    For argument’s sake: (I have no crystal ball!)

    Good to see Stone back up.

    There are some things that are not going to happen. Murray is here
    for 2 more years if not more. He’s the Bob Barker of hockey – well past
    his best before date but clearly has no hobbies and wants to keep
    working. McLean is not going anywhere. He just won the Adams and has a
    contract. Spezza is clearly staying as long as Murray is staying. So,
    sign Hemsky if you can because he looks good with Spezza. Add Hoffman
    to their line next year and watch them motor on the second line.
    Turris, McArthur and Ryan on the first line and, for Gawd’s sake, keep
    them together for the year. Give Z’Bad the third line next year with
    two good wingers and see what develops. Stone and Lazar (I know, he is a
    center.)? Smith gets the fourth line with Neil and DaCosta or DaCosta
    gets the fourth line with Smith and Neil. Pageau in the booth. Prince
    and a few others in Bingo will be a year closer. Karlson and Methot
    (stay at home Methot and cover Karlson while he does his thing.) Ceci
    and Boro and Weircoch and (anyone but Cowen). You paid Phillips to be a
    mentor, then let him mentor – during practices and from the booth. Some
    Bingo guys will be a year closer. Lehner is no. 1 and Anderson the
    backup. If Lehner drops the ball, reverse the order.
    Be spring loaded to make some trades if it doesn’t look promising..

    It isn’t perfect and there may be some sweat and tears but if you
    keep these guys together maybe something will grow; something like a
    hockey team. This team has a lot of talent. They need patience (ours)
    and time.

    Oh. Almost forgot. Promote Luke to the big team. He obviously is doing something right in Bingo.

    • Zelle

      I agree with your suggestion to keep M-T-R together for the next season, and I think it will happen.

      For the Zbad line though I would say put him as a winger and give him a faceoff winning centerman. His shot and fore check is really good. With a good faceoff man who can feed him the puck in the offensive zone, who knows what would develop. Maybe as the left winger add a bigger guy who can screen the goaltender.

      I’m pretty pissed off at Smith this season, not because I don’t like the way he plays, but because he’s constantly taking ill timed and selfish penalties. That being said, he’s one of the best faceoff guys the Senators have, so he should stick to center.

      • Senator forever

        Also Turris has been taking ill advised penalties. The team penalties against next year will need to improve.

        • Zelle

          Almost all the guys on the team have been, even guys like MacArthur, but Smith gets the roughing calls when he gets ticked off, or that faceoff violation one in the dying minutes of the game.

    • MB

      You basically just said they are changing nothing in the off season. People are going to have to come to grips with the fact major changes in player personnel are coming.

      • Harv

        Let me see. I got rid of Michalek, Greening, Condra, Cowen and Gryba.

        I said they are changing nothing?

        • MB

          One, Cowen isn’t going anywhere, that much should be pretty clear. Two, letting those 3 forwards go changes absolutely nothing lol. Gryba, maybe, maybe not depends if they want a vet with Cowen.

          • Zelle

            I say keep Greening simply because he seems to be a playoff performer.

          • MB

            He’s a solid player, plain and simple. Perhaps Murray got a little trigger happy with the contract he gave out but after his playoff last year there was a serious risk of him cashing with something even bigger had this year went as planned and well, it didn’t to say the least.

            The other thing with Greening is a lot of guys who typically care under perform the year after getting a large(r) contract, the feel there is more to live up to and more pressure. I’m not saying Greening isn’t responsible for his play this year or should be left off the hook for a less than successful year but this is his first off year in his career and you can over look that in the grand scheme of things.

            At the end of the day Greening is a large, sometime physical, speedy winger capable of scoring a goal here and there while being versatile enough to move up and down the lineup when needed. He doesn’t have a ton of natural skill but hard work does make a difference, especially guys that are 6’4, 210 plus pounds.

            If you are looking at a bottom guy moving IMO it will be Condra, fact is he doesn’t provide a ton at even strength and can probably be replaced within the organization on the PK.

          • Harv

            Good points on Greening. I actually was in his corner before he signed the big contract and thought he would develop into a solid addition to the team. This year has been disappointing for sure. Ok, I will give him another year before I cut him off.

    • Jacques

      Spezza is a goner bud sorry to ruin your day!

      • Harv

        I do not agree. Time will tell.

        • bluebuyyoo

          Don’t feed the troll Harv.

          • MB

            He might be trolling but he’s not wrong in this case. Everyone (well most people) whether they like Spezza or not are starting to see that his time in Ottawa s quickly coming to an end for a lot of different reasons.

          • Jacques

            The only player I bitch on is Spezza and sometimes Condra and I’m not a fan. I want a winning team, not a team that floats around!

          • Jacques

            If I was into ballet I’d go to the Theatre!

          • bluebuyyoo

            Never said I was against trading Spezza. It’s this moron’s broken record verbal diarrhoea that is very tiresome. Same shit every day.

          • Jacques

            And yours too Turkey! Make no changes the team is great and perfect slurp slurp slurps!

          • bluebuyyoo

            Every time you post, you prove my point. Keep on posting.

          • Jacques

            You can’t spell shit either!

          • Jacques

            Don’t worry I don’t eat the bullshit you and Sensnation have been dishing out all season!

      • Tooks

        To be clear, I dont have anything against Spezza getting moved but it has to be for something REAL good. Otherwise his production is definitley not worth losing.

        I dont see anyone giving up REAL good for Spezza. Infact I dont even think Murray is even thinking of moving Spezza now that we got him Hemsky.

  • karlssens

    Keep Milo for under 4 mill. Sign Hemsly for 4 years at 5.5. Trade spezza. Simple offseason. NEED to acquire a top 4 D man.

    • MB

      I don’t think the defense is as big of an issue as people are trying to make it out to be. Team defense? Absolutely horrific and that comes from the lack of commitment from the forwards. The biggest issue on the blueline right now is that it is very young and if they bring in a vet to play with Cowen then that’s a move that makes sense *cough Boyle*. That move however would be at the expense of Gryba who has been Ottawa’s most consistent player all year long IMO with MacArthur. It’s a tough call and I wouldn’t want to be the one to make it. 3 years from a 36 year old D man for the betterment of the group or role with the growing pains of 6’5, 230 lb 25 year old RH D man who will only get better along with the growing pains of Cowen, Borowiecki, and Wiercioch

    • Jacques

      That’s not bad too!

  • Don Ciccio

    Spezza has been one of my favourite players over the years but for asset management purposes and style of play, I think now is a good time to unload him. I don’t think he fits into Maclean’s 200ft game. If a team like Anaheim or Toronto offer’s their 1st and an NHL ready dman then, I would jump on that. Especially if Anahiem is offering our 1st back. We could then send Buffalo a couple of pieces and we pick up Stewart…..this is how I would have them lined up next year.
    MacArthur – Turris – Ryan
    Hemsky – Zibanejad – Stewart
    Hoffman – Pageau – Stone
    Greening – Smith- Neil (This line should never get more than 10 minutes)
    We would then have speed, size and defensive awareness on each line

    • Sensturion

      That’s worse than what we have now. There’s absolutely no defensive play in that line up save for our first line.

      • MB

        Once everyone starts playing the same way in the same system, players buy in. You can’t have one guy doing what he wants out there (Spezza) and then 2 other guys following suit beside him, then say to everyone else “you do it this way, not that way”. It doesn’t work,

        Until everyone is on the same page then what happened this season will repeat itself.

        • Jacques

          It’s worse when that guy is the Captain!

          • Deadly

            Why the hate on for Spezza? Did he kick you dog or sleep with your …

          • MB

            I don’t like Spezza as a player you build around or can really count on but I do see his value as an offensive threat, point producer, and see spots in the NHL where he can slip in and be very successful.

            EDIT: Just realized that wasn’t in reply to me. Saying things like “Spezza sucks” without any kind of analytics doesn’t show a ton other than a very bias opinion.

        • Tooks

          Well then maybe Maclean needs to find a system that works around our players strengths. We should be an offensive team, espcially with the guys we have in the top 6. Instead we focus too much on defense and try and force players to play 200ft.

          Only a select few can play 200ft and be a PPG producer, they are hard to get, otherwise everyone would have a team full of em.

          We are not built to play a 200ft game on Offense, It worked once, when kids fighting for they’re NHL jobs were playing, they would have done anything that year if asked to.

          • MB

            Everyone on Boston, Chicago, LA, and St.Louis play all 200 feet. Boston doesn’t have 1 PPG guy, they have been to 2 finals and won a cup. Chicago has a winger that produces at that clip but that’s it, everyone else is committed to 200 feet. St.Louis same thing, LA same thing. If there is a more overrated quality in the NHL it’s the PPG thing, you don’t need PPG guys let alone PPG guys who are uncommitted without the puck.

            Point is you build towards what works and in the system and currently on the team they have the horses needed to transition to the type of team that wins consistently in both the regular season and playoffs.

            Again one way is proven to work in the NHL and until the Sens change towards that then they will continue to have decent to “meh” seasons with the occasional season of absolute failure.

            I’ll say it again there is only 1 system in the NHL that works and that’s everyone playing 200 feet and being 100% committed to it.

      • Don Ciccio

        Those are the 4 guys up the middle that got us a playoff spot last year. Do you watch hockey? Zibanejad, Pageau, Stone, Hemsky and Hoffman all back check and play a sound two way game. With whatever money we save, we then invest on our defence.

        • Jacques

          I like your lineup, Neil and Greening might have to go too. Lol

          • Don Ciccio

            Thanks……I actually don’t mind Greening because he works his butt off and in a perfect world I would replace Neil with someone that plays like him but better defensively like a Steve Ott. Maclean loves those guys so, they aren’t going anywhere.

      • Jacques

        Oh yeah sorry we forgot spezza your defensive wizard!

    • MB

      Missing Lazar, he is basically a lock to start the year in Ottawa and stay.

      • Don Ciccio

        If Hemsky doesn’t re-sign then I say slot Lazar into that slot.

        • MB

          Don’t think it matters, he might be started on the wing and gradually tried and moved to center and his development progresses over the years but I think he’s pretty close to a lock, Hemsky, Ovechkin, Kane, or otherwise.

      • Zelle

        I am so excited to see Lazar in the pro leagues.

    • Jacques

      Nice lineup!

  • Sandy

    Well hoping for wins in Florida… Until Thurs/Fri

  • Sandy
    • PraiseAlfie11

      That should be required reading for anyone complaining about karlsson.

      • Sensnation

        So when it’s Karlsson it’s a valid excuse? Karlsson lack of effort on d has nothing to do with injury, divorce or even missing his friends. It’s a personal choice he’s made to force people, coaches included, to accept his game style. He’s a generational talent, but unless he decides to play d more often he won’t win a cup. If he’s tired faster, save it for the defensive zone, given he is a defender.

        This is the difference between Spezza and Karlsson, when Spezza makes a mistake he’s not your last line, when Karlsson does he is.

        • Jacques

          Sound the violins!

        • PraiseAlfie11

          I guess you missed the part where he says he still doesn’t feel 100%?

          • MB

            Karlsson is still 23 and makes mistakes and does have holes in his game, no question. He will figure it out but a D man takes a lot more time than any kind of forward.

            It’s funny, I find a lot of the time when the comments on Spezza are negative a lot of people just start trashing everyone else like Turris and Karlsson. Even if this stuff holds some weight they are still in their early 20′s and have years to develop and mature while Spezza hasn’t changed him game or really developed the talent he has into the player he could have been at the NHL level. I’ll give the kids the benefit of the doubt when I see the effort out there game after game.

        • Ruth_Crisp

          I agree with you, some one to look after min

    • Harv

      Thanks for the link. Yes, required reading. Few people in any job could continue to perform consistently at a high level with all that going on. The fact is that Karlson is a superstar in the NHL and we are lucky to have him. They talk about getting a winger for Spezza but they don’t give Karlson a stay at home defenceman as a partner. They give him Cowen who has proven to be not even NHL calibre.

      I did not think Karlson would be the same after his injury and he has confirmed that is the case. Let’s hope his off season gives him a chance to build up his strength. But, even at less than full strength he is impressive.

      • MB

        You don’t need a stay at home defenseman for Karlsson, you need a guy that can read off Karlsson or vis versa, it’s about chemistry not picking a guy that plays a certain way and saying “well this should work”. Partners are developed over time, you are playing too much NHL for PS.

        • Zelle

          I actually wouldn’t so much about a defensive pairing for EK as much as forward matching. Need forwards willing to back check and cover for a pinching EK. BR does this very well.

          • MB

            The entire teams defensive woes are based on the forwards being absolutely uncommitted to playing without the puck and just a general lack of effort in their own zone and on the back check. So yah, you’re right. Basically they have to fix the forwards before they even think about any kind of major over haul with the youngest defense core in the NHL.

          • Tooks

            Thats the systems fault.

          • WaitingSince92

            Seems to me that Condra, Greening, MacArthur and Michalek (not necessarily in that order) are most likely to cover for Karlsson this year, regardless of their overall play.

          • MB

            What? Asking forwards to come back into the d zone hard and taking then open men is now “covering” for a player? When a D man pinches up and joins the rush it’s now a problem having a forward slip back? That’s hockey and that’s the way every team plays it.

          • Ruth_Crisp

            why should forwards have to cover him all the time, move him to forward on the wing with Spezza and limit his ice time to 12 per game, then he won’t be tired.

        • NO65*

          Our Goaltenders have covered so many flaws last season that we tought we had a good team. Look at the Leafs this season, same thing.
          Time to get a carreer defense player as D coach to get some stability next season. Richardson is THE MAN for the job.

  • Nicholas Rawlins

    Miguel and I have already established “the curse of the Penquino” is normal. Next year will be different just like every other one after losing to the bettman lead penguins.

  • Nicholas Rawlins

    Led*

    • sben

      there is an edit button on disqus for your own comments

  • NickofTime

    25 games too late, this guy should have been in the lineup way ahead of Condra this season. Hopefully he has a good first game back, he is at a pt per game pace in the AHL.

    • MB

      After the last 2 season every player on that team earned the right to get themselves out of a funk, put in a little more effort, to turn the season around, etc, etc, etc, cliche cliche cliche. Doesn’t matter if it was Spezza, Karlsson, Condra, Anderson, or MacLean, after 2 very entertaining seasons and very successful seasons all things considered they all deserved the benefit of the doubt and a chance to really show their worth.

      Now, season is all but over, guys didn’t step up, and people will be traded, let go, and lose their spots to players who have basically worked their way up. That’s pro sports and the turn to a new core happens this summer.

      • Ruth_Crisp

        Trades have to happen, if Karlson isn”t happy trade him to a team of his friends and maybe he’ll be happy.

        • MB

          Is this a serious comment?

          • Tooks

            Sure as hell is, do you really want an unhappy Karlsson who doesnt give a shit? Imagine the return for Karlsson. We keep playing like this and Karlsson is gonna want to split.

          • FistsofNeil25

            Trading Karlsson is the most fucking insane idea anyone could have. Let’s trade him because he had a bad year and he’s upset all his close friends left. I’m pretty sure he’ll be able to deal with like a man over time.

            This organization has lost too many star players for bullshit reasons over the years. Hossa, Havlat, Heatley, Chara etc etc. Add Karlsson to that list and what player is ever going to want to play for this team.

            We can’t develop a reputation for not being able to keep our star players happy. If he or anyone wants to split and get traded it will be because of our loud mouth owner crying poor every year and not being committed to winning.

            When Karlsson’s on his game he has shown us all that he’s one of the best players in the world. He just told us all in an interview why he struggled on the ice this year and your first reaction is to trade the guy? Ya okay… let’s just hope he’s able to train his ass off this summer and come back like the best defenseman in the game that he all know he can be.

          • MB

            Karlsson is a generational talent, if he’s unhappy now you spend the next how ever long trying to make him happy and that is the reason they probably slap the “C” on him next season. Force him to take the next step in his development and even though there are holes in his game he does have a ton of leadership qualities on and off the ice.

          • Tooks

            Easy big fella, nobody wants to trade Karlsson (if we dont have to) but that might be out of our hands IF the Sens dont start winning and looking like a class act Org again. He’s gonna want out.

            Right now, the Org is a mess, top to bottom.

          • FistsofNeil25

            Everyone will want out though not just Karlsson. Goddamn Melnyk doesn’t realize how much damage he’s doing to his own team.

          • Tooks

            If Spezza goes this off season you can bet Karlsson goes next. We added Hemsky, finally a legit winger for Spezza and they find instant chemistry, now people wanna get rid of that.

            Offense wasnt the issue, Spezza was probably our best player up front along with MacArthur & a pinching Karlsson.

            A full season with Hemsky and possibly Ryan again or another free agent would be great. Like I said, Spezza wasnt anywhere near the issue on this team.

          • MB

            Offense has nothing to do with it nor does Spezza’s production have anything to do with it. You need everyone on the same page and Spezza refuses to play the way the coach and team want him to play. He always does well under a new coach but his game always reverts back to the way he wants to play which is an issue for a captain of any team.

            Spezza is miscast in Ottawa, he’s not the player they need right now to bring credibility back on or off the ice, he’s not a guy that leads men. Spezza will be best suited in a #2 role on a contending team where he goes out, plays his game, gets 1st PP mins, no one cares about him off the ice, and can just play hockey. Spezza is just about the last that’s going to get the Sens out of this hole.

            Winning teams start from the blueline up, when everything is sorted out in their own end then you worry about a transition game, when you have that down you worry about offense. Spezza struggles in the first 2 area’s to begin with. You don’t have to hit delete with what has been built but you need to move on with what’s going to work in the future and I have said above even the most supportive Spezza fans can see the writing on the wall here a little and can look outside the box he has been put in basically a no win position with this team because people will always say “he isn’t Alfie”. I’m one of those people to be sure and I don’t think his game is that of a captain and never has been or will be. You need more than just points.

          • Tooks

            See that is where you generalize, you see the C on his sweater and expect him to dig this team up, sorry but even Alfie couldnt do it, hence why he left.

            Spezza is learning how to be a better Captain and he’s done just that by stepping up his game in the last 15 when we needed someone to step up. Wasnt Turris, wasnt Cowen, wasnt Ryan or Greening.

            And he’s done that the last few years to, stepped up his game to assure us a playoff spot basically the last 2 years. That to me is Captain worthy.

          • Colin

            Not sure if the fans are here are too young to remember, but prior to the 2006/07 season, the “fans” had wanted Alfie run out of town from the day he became captain. No passion. Non-Canadian. No leadership qualities. Spezza would not be the first NHL captain to take more than a single season to grow into the role.

          • runningbear1974

            It’s not about his “leadership” skills, that’s hard to measure… It’s about his defensive skills… No one thinks he’s elite defensively…

          • bluebuyyoo

            No it’s not. It’s about running the captain out of town and blaming all of the Senators’ problems on him. Once Spezza is gone, who will be the next scapegoat? Karlsson? Turris? Ryan? Don’t kid yourself, this town *loves* to shit on anything that shows any kind of promise.

          • runningbear1974

            Spezza gets paid average 7million a year to score goals… A lot of goals, or at least points… It’s not “stepping up” if he’s doing what he’s paid to do… “Stepping up” is doing something that is not expected of you, but contributes towards winning…

          • MB

            I don’t expect Spezza to work miracles, I expect him to fall in line with what MacLean is trying to teach and what MacLean is trying to build. Spezza is uncommitted to the overall team structure and the way the game is played… he’s even come out and said he has a general disagreement with MacLean about how he should play the game, that’s an issue. That in itself has a trickle down effect. If your captain isn’t doing something the coach is preaching, why do would anyone else have to do it?

            Having the “C” doesn’t mean you have to be a PPG but it means you need to work harder then everyone. Having the “C” doesn’t mean you need to bang and crash all the time but it means you needs to do somethings you wouldn’t normally be comfortable doing. Having the “C” means being accountable to everyone in that room, in the organization, and to all the fans that love that team.

            I don’t agree with your take on Spezza, I don’t believe you win with players like him at the center of a team, and I believe you win with every single player being committed to a 200 foot game and be willing to take the role they have been give. All the proof is in who wins the cups and who is out of the playoffs or gets bounced early year after year.

          • Tooks

            U must be kidding or high?

            Without Karlsson or Spezza we have no break out….none. The defenders (Phillips, Cowen, Gryba) cant even make a simple first pass a la Wiercioch.

            Its basically an old legend, Spezza getting speed in defensive zone to bring it through the neutral zone into the offensive zone, every game, every year.

          • MB

            That’s why you change that environment with Karlsson leading the charge. If things don’t change in Ottawa and this becomes a place players simply don’t want to play then you’re right, Karlsson along with a lot of other guys will want out. With Melnyk at the helm that is certainly a possibility.

            Winning comes after the mess is cleared up and that has to start this summer with the trade of Spezza.

  • Jacques

    Driedger 5-0 shutout last night 35 saves. Series with Kootenay tied at 1-1.

  • thirstytraveller

    Hope Stone does well.
    Anyone else think that PMac has changed his approach/strategy from last year to this year? I mean, last year with all the call ups the Senators played a far more defensively responsible game. It showed in the stats with great goalie numbers, the best PK unit and decent +/-. This year with the top guys the team seems to have gone all out offence while having no regard for its own end. So if it worked last year, why did PMac change? Why should a coach change an effective strategy that got them into the second round of the playoffs? It seems likes the “stars” of the team are dictating the system and not the coach, why else would the strategy change. Has PMac lost the room and the players are just doing their own thing?

    • MB

      Only thing that changed was the player personnel on ice, it’s been the same system for 3 seasons now. MacLean didn’t all of the sudden say “I’m going to change everything I worked to put in place the last 2 seasons”.

      The Sens are a mess and this is just IMO there were 2 turning points in the season. First one was taking Lehner out of the net when he was the 1st star of the week in the NHL, that’s on MacLean. Second one was when Spezza laid the blame on Greening after that OT goal against Pitt to the media when Spezza was 100% at fault for that goal. Since that second event they have won 4 games and it happened the first week of Feb.

      The room is lost but it’s hardly MacLean even if he has made some more then questionable calls this year. It’s just toxic right now.

      • FistsofNeil25

        Toxic environment created by a toxic owner.

        • MB

          Has a lot to do with it as well I believe, at least some effect in some way.

          Either way simply from an on ice/team stand point I believe those were the two events that threw this train off the tracks.

          • Tooks

            So you’re an expert?

          • FistsofNeil25

            You’re the only expert here Tookie.

          • Tooks

            Never claimed otherwise.

          • MB

            Nope, just educated.

          • Tooks

            Fair enough, but SENSsmile hit the nail on the head.

          • SENSsmile

            I see these tho events not necessarily as triggers, but the last two straws that broke the camel’s back. There were already a lot of things going wrong with the team at all levels: Melnyk, whining publicly that he needed to save some money; Murray, with the Alfie fiasco, the Bishop gift to Tampa, and more recently the unbelievable two-year contract to Phillips; MacLean, whose made a ton of questionable decisions all year; and finally the players (save for a few guys) who often never really seemed to give a shit about anything except collecting their pay cheques and not getting hurt.

          • MB

            All players care so that’s simply a case of a fan being pissed about the on ice performance. Just like at work for the most part, you care about your job but there are guys who do what their bosses ask them too and guys that don’t, there are employees under management who think they know best when they don’t and that can create a lot of instability in any organization be it a hockey team or otherwise.

            The Bishop trade they lost, oh well it happens. Murray has won numerous trades over the last few years so w/e, it happens. Bishop would not be fairing any better behind a team that refuses to play D, goaltending hasn’t been out of the world this year but it’s hardly the problem. It’s not like shots are going in from center ice on a nightly basis, lots of wide open nets though where the goalie isn’t even in the TV shot.

            Alfie fiasco is all on Melnyk and the organization will pay for that for a long time but it’s been talked about to death so I’ll leave it.

            At this point the single biggest issue facing the Sens is the credibility of the entire franchise. Ottawa will never be the hot spot to play but they need to make it at least an option for players who are looking to win at some point in the future. Basically there needs to be promise and hope and that can’t be provided without a serious change in direction from Spezza, he’s not the guy to lead a team or turn the tide. The focus needs to be moved to the youth and the new core which is Karlsson, Turris, Lehner, you can throw a guy like Ryan in there along with Zibanejad, Cowen, Ceci, Lazar, and to a lesser extent guys like Hoffman, Gryba, Stone. There can be surrounded by character guys who fill a role like Methot, Phillips, Neil, Greening, MacArthur, and Smith but they need to play in those roles.

          • Tooks

            Spezza aint the problem, we finally have a winger for him to play with and you wanna get rid of it, where was Turris, Zib, Lehner, Cowen, Phillips, Neil, Greening, Condra these last 15 games when we needed em? Those are the issues.

            Spezza, Hemsky, Karlsson, Mac and a few others showed up.

            Coaching has been a huge issue aswell. Wether its his call or calls from above, the lines and constant juggling, the terrible hunches, not playing the best players the most.

            You wanna move forward with a good mix.

            MacArthur Spezza Hemsky
            Hoffman Turris Ryan
            Zibanejad Lazar (piece from trade)
            Greening Smith Neil

            Methot Karlsson
            Cowen Ceci
            PW46 Gryba
            Phillips

            Anderson
            Lehner

          • MB

            Disagree for the reason I have already stated.

          • Tooks

            Luckily thats just you’re opinion and not fact.

          • MB

            Indeed it is. That said there wouldn’t be an article in the Sun today and rumours abound about Spezza being traded if it wasn’t somewhat shared with others.

          • Tooks

            You realize “The Sun” aint really a good place to look for credible info, right?

            I mean Spezza has been on the trade block since Jacques Martin according to “The Sun”

            Also earlier you were saying educated guesses, now you reference “The Sun”, I think its safe to discredit what you say…lol.

          • MB

            Please reference where I said “educated guesses” please before you want to try and discredit anything I have said. Clearly you have an issue with my opinion and analysis others wise you would have asked me “so, you’re an expert”.

            The article in the Sun came out this morning, this was after I talked about Spezza being traded. Also, I referenced Chris Stevenson as a legit source as well as Darren Dregger saying that the Sens are shopping Spezza and the Sens are expected to shop him hard this summer. If you want to discredit those sources as well be my guest but these are not made up stories that I just decided to spit out.

            It’s clear your a Spezza fan which is fine, to each their own. I don’t like the way he plays, never have, never will and I have give my reasons which I don’t feel like posting again.

            To this point you have been trying to discredit everything I have said and been pretty aggressive towards me and my opinion but you haven’t provided a ton in terms of countering that opinion. By this I mean looking around the NHL, outside of Ottawa and seeing what winning teams actually look like. If you would provide some analytical opinions it would be appreciated and this conversation would be much more interesting because it just turns into Spezza fans vs Spezza haters.

          • SENSsmile

            These are all excellent points, MB. I agree with everything you say. Credibility for the franchise is key, and to that effect, I think Melnyk is no longer credible unfortunately.

            Also, we can’t obfuscate the fact that coaching has been dismal this year. MacLean and his staff have not been able to fix any of the problems that reared their ugly heads throughout the season. At the end of the day, Murray needs to be held accountable to that too. It can’t always just be the coaches’ fault.

            As for the core youth, let’s also add to the mix guys like Pageau and DaCosta, who are both doing great in Bingo.

      • thirstytraveller

        I agree they are a mess. It seems with the full line up the players are taking more risks than they did last year with the BSens up. Is this PMac’s doing or the players?

        • MB

          Mistakes all around this year, no one single player, coach, or person is to blame. That said it’s a toxic mix right now and they need to build a team for 3, 4 years down the road, not next year even if playoffs should still be the expectation.

          • s3nsfan

            With all that being said, I will say this, Jason Spezza not the player (19 points in last 14 games) but the CAPTAIN is not getting it done. Captains are supposed to lead and set an example well if 1/2 assed back checks, cheating at the blue line, crappy defensive coverage are what he’s wanting his team to follow then he’s doing a bang up job. I personally think Spezza was the wrong choice for the job, I think they should have left the C vacant for a season after Alfie left.

            I’m not saying that is the only problem but IMO that is a big contributor.

            Many things had to come / not come together for this season to unfold as it has.

          • Tooks

            No you’re right I would want people to follow his 19pts in 14 games…

          • s3nsfan

            Yeah cause everything is about points those are the most important. Not full effort back checks, or throwing a hit once in a while, or showing for a god damned second he actually has some captaincy in his veins

          • MB

            I think Spezza is a world class talent but not a world class player that you build around. To that point I think if a contending team were to trade for him you could see an 80-90 point year that he couldn’t possibly have in Ottawa in the role he is currently in.

            Take a team like Anaheim, they need a 2nd line center behind Getzlaf and could use some more pop on the PP. You give Spezza 1st PP mins and very sheltered ES mins on a team that has a developed system, strong leadership around him, and where he has to fall in line vs being THE GUY in Ottawa and he will be successful. That’s where he’s going to excel and that’s where he has the potential to be part of a cup winning team. At this point he is miscast in Ottawa and it would be just as good for Spezza to start fresh and in a new role as it would be for Ottawa to move forward with the players that will play 200 feet and compete one day for a cup.

          • s3nsfan

            Hey maybe we could get silfverberg, noessen and our first back for spezza? Hey? Hey? lol

    • runningbear1974

      I was drinking and thinking… What if we could only keep 1 of Spezza or Maclean?
      What would be required to help Spezza be a cup contender Versus, what would be required to help Maclean become a cup contender?

      • Tooks

        A better Defense, helps both in this situation and you dont even have to move either.

        • MB

          Again the defensive core is not the issue, team defense is along with being responsible with and without the puck. All that leads to the disaster that follows in their own zone. Ottawa defense is young and it takes time and that’s not going to change over night. The only player on that blueline that probably isn’t a long term cog is Phillips and he’s here for another 2 years.

          Wouldn’t be holding my breath waiting for another D man to come to Ottawa.

          • Tooks

            Phillips along with Cowen, Gryba are all defenders of the past era of clutch and grab. Its not what we need. They cant skate, have mobility issues and hockey IQ issues. Methot, Karlsson, Ceci and to some extent PW46 are more of what we need.

            Claesson, Rutkowsky, Grant, Wideman are all mobile, good skating D-men, more guys like this.

          • MB

            Gryba has been fantastic this year, there should be absolutely no issue on any level based on how he has played the majority of the year and the majority of his time in Ottawa. He’s a perfect 3rd pairing RH D man who can PK.

            Cowen, he’s struggled in large ways this year and a lot of last year, he’s a roller coaster to be sure but next year will tell a better story of where he is at. This off season he can train as opposed to rehab along with a full camp (that’s his own damn fault so no mercy there), he should be better next year.

            Phillips… he’s in Ottawa for the next 2 years so like him or hate him, he’s a Sen.

            Claeson will be an NHLer at some point but there is no need to rush. IMO he could very well be the next captain of that Bingo team and a player like that, that’s what you want for him. Wideman is a personal favorite but he might not get a chance in Ottawa if Gryba is here playing with Cowen or if they go for a guy like Boyle (IMO that’s the best move) to play with and help along Cowen. Wideman may turn out to be a throw in in some type of trade and I think that team gets an NHL D man. Reminds me a lot of Dan Boyle and has for a long time.

            Rutkowsky has a long way before he’s even considered a legit threat to crack the lineup. Alex Grant won’t even be given a passing thought and I believe you are the only person I have ever seen bring up his name besides a conversation that involves “who do the Sens have under contract?”.

          • Tooks

            Thats cuz you dont know your AHL…

            Alex Grant came from Norfolk and has 30pts in 60 games as a D. He’s 6’3 and can skate and is very mobile and is the 2nd highest shot producer in Bingo…

            Kid can play and I wont be surprised at all if he gets a long look at next years camp. Would be a great partner for EK65.

          • MB

            So know on top of being aggressive towards me I do not know or understand what is going on in the AHL?

            Alex Grant was a depth move at the cost of giving up on Peterson so Bingo can compete for a championship this year. Does he make it to the NHL one day? Maybe but he has a lot of guys in front of him in Ottawa to pass before he’s even considered.

            Also, fyi, putting righty/righty together in the NHL happens, well never, let alone putting a rookie D man beside Karlsson who plays an offensive type game. If you are going to state things like this at least make it seem somewhat believable even if people like myself pick up on the minor details such as righty/righty. It’s easy to call out.

          • Tooks

            Again the defensive core IS the issue.

          • MB

            If you say so.

      • runningbear1974

        If we choose Spezza…

        We would need a new coach… We could go for Richardson… But, is that what is required for Spezza? I would think it would be best for him if we had a coach that had a strategy that strongly considered his strengths and weaknesses and Karlssons… Are there any offensive coaches out there?

        Hemsky’s good with Spezza… I think need an upgrade on Michalek… Zibanejad could play with him, but that would be 3 right handed shots… so… Need a lefty…

        I think most people agree that Turris is a good line…

        Here’s the interesting part… In my opinion… Because Spezza line will get most of the ice time, and because he’s not great defensively, I think you want your 3 line to be more defensive minded…. Maybe but Zibanejad with Smith to get them both more ice time…

        4th line not too hard…

        Defense and Goalie is the same issue with either Spezza or Maclean…

        So… My conclusion… To maximize Spezza need an Offensive Coach, and need to get a good Free Agent….

        • MB

          You need every line to be good defensively others wise you end up with a #1 center who is -22 who struggles at even strength. That’s the entire point people seem to miss, it’s a team game and the idea is to score more than the other team but if you’re scoring 4, 5 goal a night but giving up 6, 7, and 8 then it really doesn’t matter how solid a team is on the offensive side of the puck.

          The Bruins are tops in the East in goals and they have absolutely no one like Spezza but the Sens have all the right pieces in place up front to develop into a team like the Bruins. 13 guys all pulling in the same direction, 13 guys who have a role, 13 guys who have bought in, and 13 guys who play hard. This is the same for LA, Chicago, and St.Louis and funny enough 3 of the teams I have mentioned have won the last 4 Stanley Cups. It’s proven what works in the NHL and what wins.

          • Tooks

            LOL we are no where close to having the same team as those 4 you mentioned, LMAO.

            To start, those 4 teams have AMAZING defense, they dont have guys like Cowen, Phillips and Gryba, and to some extent Karlsson giving the puck away like its a free hotdogs.

            They also play systems that fit their players strength, we dont.

          • MB

            I think I realize who I am talking to at this point.

  • NO65*

    Glad for Stone to get another chance to shine and confirm his future with the SENS. But why not give a chance to Claeson too, he deserve it with his steady play with the B-Sens. Time to give some candies to the kids (Pageau, Puempul, Prince etc).
    As for this season, I put the blame on the coaching staff starting with PMac. How many time have we heard his song about Best Players Play? So why was Cowen still playing when the season was on the line?
    As for Greening/Condra/Smith, you can give them all the minutes in the world, but limited talents won’t help win games on a regular basis. They should be limited to 3rd line minutes.
    Paul MaClean is a good coach, I have no doubt but I can’t say the same for Read and Cameron. If they are back next season, I don’t think we would look much better. Time to get Richardson as the D coach.

    • FistsofNeil25

      They should be limited to fourth line minutes.

      • runningbear1974

        It’s been a tough year… There were a bunch of games we did well because the Smith line were getting tons of ice time… But, they also had bad games, and that was bad… At the beginning of the year it looked like Smith had gotten significantly better, but lately not so much…
        There are some good strategies that involve the Smith line getting good minutes… Especially if your other lines aren’t hitting…
        They should probably get 3rd line minutes away, and 4th at home…

  • Andrews theory

    Leafs are pretty much a lock to miss the playoffs at this point and that’s probably the best thing to come out of this season after listening to their fans plan yet another parade earlier this year…

    See you on the golf course losers

    • s3nsfan

      You sir just made my day. With the sens faltering I had not paid attention to the wildcard race. Lo and behold after your WONDERFUL revelation I checked the standings on tsn and see they are only 1 point up on 9th, for the last wildcard playoff spot. Let’s go washington lol

      • s3nsfan

        *they being the leafs

    • Sens-fan-in-mtl

      would be even better if we played a part in that on April 12th, how awesome would that be???

  • thepez

    Just throwing an idea out there. Trading Anderson in the summer time and picking up Reimer and having him as a duo with Lehner. What does everyone think?

    • MB

      Trading Anderson, yes. Bringing in Reimer, absolutely not. You want a guy that can help Lehner along that’s not going to come in and try and steal the job. A guy like Gustavsson would be ideal but I don’t think he leaves Detroit. I think Nabokov is a guy the Sens should seriously look at as the backup for Lehner if they do decide to move Anderson which I believe they should.

      The Sens have made their choice with Lehner and it’s time they go with him. He needs to play and the only place for him to play is the NHL now. He needs to work through the ups and downs and learn to stay even keel, right now he actually looks like he is working through the BS and gaining some confidence back. It’s a long process but this is what needs to happen.

    • NO65*

      No thanks. Lehner is only 22 yrs old and makes me think of what Carey Price at to go through at the same age. Lenher will be a solid number 1 for many years but he needs someone experienced like Anderson with him and we can’t afford to lose him now. Many goaltenders had their best seasons after the age of 30. If the coaching staff can fix our D zone coverage for next season, we will be just fine.

      • MB

        I agree with the experience part, a guys who has been a #1 in his career and can help him through. Totally disagree that it’s Anderson though. Anderson has alienated his teammates basically everywhere he has been and likes to throw the blame around, even rumours about him not fighting through some soreness now and based on his past 2, 3 years in Ottawa it seems to be a trend.

        Lehner’s development has been a lot like Price’s though, success early on, was being pushed by guys like Heut and Halak who played well but will never be a franchise type goaltender, and working his way through the ups and downs of being an NHL goaltender. Price was given the ball around 22, 23 and he’s ran with him and never dropped it. Ottawa needs to give Lehner that same chance because the choice has been made at this point, Lehner is their guy.

  • runningbear1974

    3 Random areas of possible improvement…

    1) We have a very poor relationship with the Referees… We should commit a bit of time to fix that, maybe 2 months… Tell refs intend to improve our behaviour… We have to change our behaviour, stop whining…

    2) We could use a media advisor.. Establish a goal for the team, a way we intend to portray ourselves…

    3) Psychological advisor… 2 points here… 3.1) Some feelings are better than others, better to be determined rather than frustrated… Better angry than sad… That stuff… 3.2) And… Each individuals work better in different situations… Some people do better when given a bigger task, others it’s the other way…

    There’s a lot of work that can be done to get better…

    • Refsareass

      1) The Sens have done this, and just get effed by refs while being silent and polite, doesn’t help

      • Tooks

        Pesky wont win you the Cup. Need more than peskyness and skill players dont do pesky. Its one or the other.

        • runningbear1974

          What identity would you want?

          I think the best is Professional…. But, that takes 10 years to get there… Smart, Fast, Strong, Skilled, …

          • Tooks

            We should be an offense first team, we’re fast, skilled and have grit up front.

            I think we will see a big change in the way we play next year, with Hemsky on board it changes alot, we now have 2 good lines that can skate and possess the puck.

            All we need is a D that can keep up. Right now too many immobile players, heavy, sluggish D-types we have to get rid of that.

      • runningbear1974

        I disagree… I see them whining all the time… Complaining about calls… Taking stupid penalties, that force the refs hand and then whine about it…
        If they have done this, then they’ve failed, and therefore should rethink their strategy…
        Yes we get bad calls… But we deserve it… And, a winner, looks at what they can control, not what others control…
        You don’t need the refs on your side to win the cup, but it helps out…
        Whining is not just bad for the refs, the other team sees you falling apart, starting stupid battles with refs…
        There is no way we are putting any effort towards this…

        • Refsareass

          Crosby whines every single call that doesn’t go his way, but the refs love the pens, next explanation please

    • Yukon Cornelius

      I think 2 and 3 tie into the ‘lack of identity’ problem many pointed to earlier in the season. Rebuilding the team also means rebuilding the identity both internally and externally.

      It is certainly an interesting and complex thought as how management, the players, the fans can create a positive identity for the team. I remember watching 24/7 this year and one of the players (maybe Babs) saying how in Detroit you are expected to go out and give it 110% every single night because you are expected to win every single night. How can Ottawa start to build towards the internal belief because I think it really does change the players’ attitudes.

      It would be great to see management really run with the ‘Pesky’ moniker the team earned last year. It embraces the ‘underdog’ position the Sens inherently have falling between Habs and Leafs territory, while also rejecting it and saying ‘we are going to win anyway’. But I think management needs to buy into this system/a system before the players do. Bring in ‘pesky’ players, foster it in the younger players, get the vets to show it and let go of those who don’t.

      • runningbear1974

        I would love to go with the Pesky identity… That’s something i can cheer for…

        I think we do have an identity… It’s soft, whinny, defensively weak, skilled… We established that way back when with Daigle, Yashin, Spezza… We’ve regularly got beat by weaker teams because they had more heart, namely Buffalo with Hasek, and Toronto…

        We almost changed our identity 2 years ago, as the comeback kids (not an identity i want to support), and then last year with the pesky-ness…

  • KingKarlsson84 – RSU is pathet

    The team needs to let go of dead weight, I love most of the moves Murray has made but I’m getting sick of these “hometown” contracts that just hinder the team’s improvement. The Phillips resigning in particular is just mind boggling. We could’ve potentially gotten a pick for him, now in 2 years time we won’t get anything because no one will want him at that point.

    Players I think should be traded next season in no particular order are….

    Cowen
    Greening
    Smith
    Michalek
    Phillips
    Neil (Love his leadership and toughness but takes too many dumb penalties and TOI)
    Gryba
    Kassian

    • Andrews theory

      Cutting bait on Cowen at this stage is a bad idea unless you think he’ll never improve…
      One idea I have heard thrown around is the notion of giving him some shifts at forward, not sure that i see his offensive prowess but he can’t play worse…

      • Tooks

        That would just give us another Kassian upfront, lol. Would rather Karlsson try that experiment. Trade Cowen for 2015 1st rounder and we win.

  • Andrews theory

    The defense is absolutely a huge colosal train wreck. When we moved away from Volchenkov their was a conscious decision to move in the direction of puck possession yet here we are late in the season with a multitude of guys starting ahead of PW46 that continually miss their assignments and make perfect passes to the wrong team I’m looking at you CP
    Ridiculous.

    • Don Ciccio

      Yup, so frustrating to see Wiercioch sitting in favour of guys that can make a proper pass. The transition game is so important in the style of game that Maclean wants to play yet he keeps sitting Wiercioch. The play is always in our end because we always miss passes through the neutral zone that goes to the opposition causing odd man attacks not to mention the countless times the puck gets iced which causes a faceoff in our end.

  • Andrews theory

    Senators spent several years building their credibility within NHL ranks as a classy professional organization. The side show that reared it’s head shortly after the arrival of Melnyk and the disease that has spread as a result is systematically undoing that good will.

    My only hope for this offseason is a new owner. The rest will take care of itself…

    • Mat

      I argue that the side show is fuelled by the many Sens writers and bloggers of the world.

      Yost went beyond exposing the financial hardships, he had everyone believing we were owed an explanation with his 7 part blog series, or shall I even say “autopsy”, of Melnyk’s affairs.

      No one was complaining last year, or the year before when we were over achieving under the same financial conditions. In fact, we were all in agreement that the Sens were a sound business model, with drafting and development of players being the right way to build a Championship team. But then Alfie leaves and everyone panics about being in a financial crisis? Nothing changed between years 1 and 3 of this rebuild. In fact, year 3 saw an influx of revenues from the Canadian Tire association and the TV revenues.

      Melnyk is not to blame. He’s supported the organisation and the city of Ottawa to its fullest since being owner. But he’s an easy scapegoat for those who adamantly want to defend the players for their lack of effort, and the coaches for their lack of addressing poor effort and systems issues.

      The fact of the matter is, we have a team that is better on paper than has achieved this year. We should be contending for the playoffs and we are not. Changing the owner would do nothing to address these issues. Spending more money and parting with young prospects does not guarantee success either. Lots of examples of that.

      • Andrews theory

        I disagree…

        First and foremost, Melnyk is the person that opened Pandora’s box that is his own financial challenges and he continues to discredit himself by contradicting himself at numerous intervals.

        Those inside the organization, outside the player ranks are all too familiar with his shinanigans and meddling.

        As his personal challenges escalated so did his inability to own and operate a successful pro sports organization and interact with his peers in the elite ownership community.

        When you have multiple individuals significantly underperform you need to take a deeper look at what the root cause is.

        • Mat

          Well that’s a whole lot of speculation and not much tangible proof. Who inside the organization talks about his meddling?? And how is he contradicting himself? And about what? About the stuff that none of us has any business knowing in the first place??

          And when Melnyk puts a bid to the city for a third revenue generating business, is that 1) an attempt to grow the Sens organization? or 2) an indication about financial future of the organization? Maybe its both, but I think the really bad press that has been propagated this year, many choose to believe only the latter and not one dime of the former.

          People talk like they know what its like to run billion dollar corporations. No one here knows. You bring in his personal challenges. You going to blame Karlsson’s -22 and defensive woes on his divorce as well?

          I don’t think your argument points at the root cause at all. They are just general dislikes of an individual, with no actual correlation with team performance.

          • Andrews theory

            nope

          • Mat

            Ok, well I will keep my opinion until I see actual proof, or that you make a more convincing argument.

  • Killadi Sen

    I know a lot of ppl won’t agree with my views but I think that we should trade Michalek and bring Karlsson to play on the wing with Spezza and Hemsky. He has a lot of offensive upside and is one of the best skaters in the league.

    He is always on the rush and pinching up on all the plays. He is still an effective defender and one of the stick checkers in the game. But I think we need defence-men like Weber, Chara or Doughty with size and mobility and scares the oppositions forwards. I think it would be good experiment for us to allow Karlsson to play on the wing and would make us a better defensive team as well… thoughts??

    • MB

      No one will agree with it because Michalek is a free agent.

  • Miguel

    who on here ever thought that Spezza would ever be nominated for the Selke trophy?
    Certainly not me!
    Can we ever confuse Spezza for Bereron… Nope
    but is he an amazing offensive talent… absoulutely! And anyone who says differently, is only refusing to speak the truth.
    How many teams since the 80′s have been able to win with 40-50 shots against per game? Not many.
    So I think the shitting on Spezza, Karlsson and the ones producing some of the offense is misguided.
    This teams D-zone coverage is fukin embarrassing… and no Spezza was never a d-zone specialist, yet he was a leader of a team the brought us to the Finals.
    Every team NEEDS a PPG player and offensive threat, and that we have.
    Where we completely suck damn shit is our D and our D coverage.
    Bottom line, our D was built for the 90′s, and today’s D needs to be quicker and faster, and guys like CP4 and Cowen, are really hurting our D zone coverage, they are too slow to get to defensive positioning, (easily skated around) too slow to get to open players, too slow to get to rebounds, and b/c of this they cannot make that first play out of our zone. We are constantly hemmed in our zone whenever these two are on the ice, and it does not matter who is with them, they bring everyone down.
    Its ok though we only have them for another 2 and 4 more years!

    • MB

      Every team doesn’t need a PPG player, Boston didn’t have anyone near a PPG, LA didn’t have one, it’s a myth you actually need one and even then it depends what kind of player you have producing at a PPG clip.

      Fact is you look at every cup winning team and even though they do have players like Crosby, Toews (only hit PPG once I believe), Datsyuk, Kopitar, and Bergeron all of these players are about as complete a player as you will find in the NHL. Crosby is on another level from everyone so we’ll leave him out of this.

      You can have wingers cheat a little, Kane is a good example of that, because you are not counting on them to down low in the zone and playing 200 feet at all times and even then Kane is a lot more committed to playing without the puck then he was 5 years ago.

      A #1 center cannot afford to sacrifice defense for offense, he has to be solid in all 3 zones, have the ability and willingness to actually compete in those zones, and be dependable and a leader let alone a captain.

      Also, people keep harping on the D being slow and immobile, they aren’t. Look at Boston and LA, both teams have big D men who just play within the system along with the rest of the team. Ottawa simply needs everyone pulling in the same direction and the defensive zone coverage, a team isn’t built on letting one guy do is own thing because he does it well… acutually they are called the Washington Capitals and they are in the same boat with Ovechkin as the Sens are with Spezza except Ottawa has the ability to move on without Spezza.