Thursday, July 31, 2008


A few things in the news, although neither providing much actual news.

First, Sundin's agent says there are now six teams interested. One has to think that if any of these new interested teams are a Western Conference powerhouse, he'll go there. Read that story here.

Second, McGuire posted an interesting breakdown of the Canadian NHL team prospects in WJ camp.
Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary all have two prospects vying for a place in the tournement. Ottawa and Montreal have one each, with Ottawa having the least chance of being represented by Canada at the tournament. Full story here.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Vermette arbitration

Our dreamy Antoine is scheduled for arbitration tomorrow. Will a multi-year deal be struck? Sign and trade? Who are the proper comparables?

Update: Signed.
The Sun has learned Antoine Vermette avoided arbitration.
Here is the deal.
$2.525 million next season.
$3 million in 2009-10.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Very sad news

Ottawa morning sports radio co-host Buzz died in hospital today. Never met the man but listened to him most mornings. He was a Leaf fan, and a big minor hockey fan hosting a weekly 67s show.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Not a bad guy to add

If the price is right.

Commodore Has Something To Say

A day after Spezza was all puppy dogs and ice cream with the media abut the state of the Ottawa Senators, Mike Commodore told us his version of what happened.

Which begs the question, Jason Spezza: If you can't identify complacency in the dressing room, is it because that complacency is you?

8 Million Bucks. Smile for the camera!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Fact: Leafs hire two assistant coaches.

Toronto signed former San Jose Shark assistants Tim Hunter and Rob Zettler today. Along with Wilson, Hunter and Zettler coached the Sharks to be one the leagues most stingy defensive teams, ranking first in NHL penalty killing (85.8%) and third in goals against average (2.28) last season.

With Finger, Mayers and Hagman also added to the mix, plus VESA TOSKALA ready to pick up where he left off last season, the only way to go as far as goals against is up.

It's something to look forward to.

In Ottawa news: Martin Gerber cashed his summer cheque last week and felt zero shame.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

2008-2009 Schedule

The NHL finally put out the schedule. Leaf highlights are here. Battle dates:
Battle of Ontario
In Toronto - October 25, January 3, April 11 (last game of the year)
In ottawa - November 27, February 28, March 9
The annual "Fill Scotiabank more than usual and embarass local fans" game has been scheduled for February 28's matchup which falls on a Saturday.
Don or Jay will probably update this with sens' highlights.

Also, a quick (and belated) note of congratulations to Dany Heatley Speedwagon who is undertaking the unenviable task of keeping Scarlett Ice humming at its usual high level while Sherry is working in England.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Taking the pulse

With the rumor mills cranked up to full capacity, I thought I'd step back, take a breath, and gather some crowd wisdom. Is it just me or is there a real sense of anxiety out there that is driving alot of the speculation? Leafers, feel free to jump in too.

What best describes your feelings toward the 08/09 Senators?
I guarantee they'll go deep in the playoffs
I am confident they'll make the playoffs, but a miracle trade / run might let them go deep
I am hoping for a late playoff berth
I am confident they'll miss the playoffs, but a miracle trade / run might clinch it
I guarantee they'll miss the playoffs
Free polls from

Breaking News: Jobless homeless man takes in Leaf Game.

After 41 years of charging full price to every game but never sniffing a Stanley Cup, one wonders just how bad The Leafs expect to be this season when they're giving away tickets for free.

This morning.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Tonight at 6pm on TSN

Landsberg traveled to Ottawa to meet with the outspoken netminder. Always one to speak his mind, Emery will address hot issues about being released by the Senators, his decision to play in Russia next season, his biggest regret, and his strained relationship with Ottawa GM Bryan Murray and former coach John Paddock. Landsberg will also question Emery about the Senators' collapse last season, possible plans for returning to the NHL in the future, the rumours of his off-ice excesses, and whether or not he has any last words for Sens fans.

This Just In: sens' prospects stink

Hey! I know you've all missed me lately but I am back from living the high-life on someone else's dime. I decided to catch up on NHL news over the weekend and finally made it to Erin's site and found a nice surprise:

As for the Sens' development camp -- I don't know what some of the other bloggers/media were watching, but if I were Bryan Murray, I'd be extremely concerned. Yesterday's 3-on-3 tournament provided very little encouragement from the farm. Typically, you can see a difference in skill between potential AHL call-ups/signed free agents who have a shot at making the team, and the rest of the prospects. That wasn't the case on Monday. We saw very little out of Cody Bass, Nick Foligno and Jesse Winchester -- Foligno has filled out nicely, but still screams "third-liner at best". Winchester's conditioning is extremely suspect -- we caught him on multiple occasions panting for breath while crouched over on both knees. This year's No. 1 pick, Erik Karlsson, also seemed to be struggling with similar issues. Perhaps Ian Mendes filled him up with too many meatballs.

Also worthy of note: Karlsson has the Spezza disease. He likes to skate with his head down, particularly in the defensive zone. Given that the kid is a blueliner, you can imagine how many times we saw him doing this.

So while the Leafers here can look forward to Nikolai Kulemin becoming a superstar and Luke Schenn destroying Giggles for the next decade sens can look forward to a bunch of "third liners at best". The world is upside down.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Williams a Sen

UPDATE3: NOT. Thrashers announced today that they've signed Williams.

UPDATE2: Or not not? TSN only cites a London A-Channel report. No announcement by the Thrashers yet or on
Let the speculation begin regarding the speculation.

UPDATE: Or not.
Let the speculation begin regarding the credibility of Senschirp. A shame.

'Let the speculation begin regarding the future of Antoine Vermette.'

No money announced yet. Stats here.

Is there another Redden I didn't know about?

Tom Benjamin talking about Redden:
The Sens will miss him and I think there is a real chance they will be out of the playoffs next year. Welcome to mediocrity, Ottawa fans.

From what I remember his game fell apart before the team asked to move him the first time and not vice versa.

Sens blogs

If you haven't been checking out Sens Chirp rumours blog, you should.

There are some others too that have come up over the past year. I'll be adding them to the sidebar but let me know of some of your new favs in the comments.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


Just wanted to comment on something I heard on the radio this morning. The emailer to the Team1200 warned people about Jason Smith's giveaways - including how he led the league in giveaways in his last year in Edmonton. They said people who were upset with Redden's giveaways should expect more of the same with Smith.

Here are the stats:



No doubt Smith's improvement last year was a result of him being in the later pairings and getting reduced icetime against the top lines and perhaps a lighter workload from the Edmonton days suits his 35yr old body better. Nobody is expecting him to be on a top pairing. A even strength partner in Mezsaros is appealing with some PK time with Schubert.

As for the comparison with Redden... if you don't hit at all (and you don't block shots more than the average D) you'd better not give the puck away. Seeing Redden getting creamed into the boards again and again isn't something I'm going to miss. You'd like to give him credit for taking a hit to make a play but eventually it just gets depressing.

Ray's new home

Is here.

The report says he's getting 2 million plus bonuses. I guess I hope he makes it back to the NHL though I'm not sure playing in Russia by Moscow is the right place for someone needing to focus on hockey.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

He actually had more hits than Pronger last year....

UPDATE: As Jay noted, Murray instead signed Smith. I think we've seen the last of the moves. I expect Vermette and Mezsaros will be signed as Murray should have no problem fitting them under the cap.

Mirtle's post on Morrison's signing in Anaheim brings up the Ducks' cap situation. You can see their payroll here. James mentions the often heard rumour of Schneider's departure.

Ottawa could fit Schneider's salary under the cap with Vermette at 3 and Mezsaros at 3.5. It would be very tight and you'd likely see some salary moved somehow.

Click to see the payroll/roster.


Monday, July 07, 2008

Fo shizzle

Snoop dog was in town for Bluesfest and was sporting some nice attire. Pics.

Friday, July 04, 2008

And which side are you on?

If Murray fails at landing Tampa Bay defensemen Dan Boyle, then he is telling the fans in this city that the Senators are starting a rebuilding stage for this team. After Boyle is off the trade market there isn't alot of desirable talent available that could make an impact for this Sens team which sorely needs it.

Instead of griping about Murray's perceived tentativeness, they should be applauding him for not allowing the team to be burdened by huge no-trade contracts like their Ontario cousins down Highway 7.
Boyle might be a tempting presence on the power-play but the Senators would be stuck with his no-trade clause that will follow him from Tampa Bay. Six years of a no-trade clause is nothing but a disaster waiting to happen, especially for an athlete who is already 30 years old and has had only two really good seasons in the league.

Thursday, July 03, 2008


After reading Jeremy's post here, I'm a fan. Theme song, Tucker, Downie. 'Nuff said.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


3:03PM Ottawa Senators sign UFA Forward Jarkko Ruutu to a three-year, $3.9 million contract.
2:33PM Ottawa Senators sign UFA Forward Shean Donovan to a two-year contract.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Redden for $39 million


I hope he regains the form he used to have. Six years seems a long time. He seemed to age about 10 in the past two years in Ottawa.

I guess all those rumours had some substance...

On the eve of free agency I get a link emailed to me that documents the questionable off-ice habits of certain soon-to-be-ex-Senators.

Whoever uploaded all this to Youtube has some serious balls. Check it out.