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Pushing from the Bottom

It’s nice to see that the Senators have something brewing.

For the most part I’ve been hard pressed to remember a time when the prospects have pushed the current NHLer’s this hard. We all know that some previous administrations seemed to overlook the “new guys” during training camp, mistakenly relying on the ability to “trade up” to a better team if the one they chose didn’t work out.

Let’s try and forget how “good” this has worked in the past and focus on what the Senators have been doing the past few seasons...

The Senators have been building a future that, in my opinion, will be very exciting to watch and cheer for. A Senators team that is, essentially, being pushed from the bottom.



Pushing from the bottom - just like your younger days (or current days for you young folk) when you thought you were too tired to drag your Sled to the top of the hill for the 100th time. You dropped the little pull cord into the snow and started pushing from the back, easily finishing the job of reaching the apex of that hill. Boy was that last ride sweet... it kind of made you want to push your way back up again. Most times your mother’s voice eliminated this thought, but I digress...

Here’s hoping that with the “new guys” pushing from the bottom the Senators can take us all back to that very special place where you felt that they, not only could, but would try and win every game that they played.

I’m content to watch this season with the eyes of a newborn Sens fan. I’m pressing the reset button when October 3rd comes. What kind of state is your fan mentality in as this season approaches?



And Another Thing!!!!!

Just a quick add on to my previous blog.

As I sit here on my porch, watching it rain for the first time in like two weeks on a day I booked off for vacation, enjoying a nice Gamay Noir, ( Thanks Tubby. Would not have even known what a Gamay Noir was if not for "THE BOOK") I'm still having a great day.  I feel even better about the trade than I did before after hearing an interview with the Sharks radio play by play guy, Dan Rusanowsky on the Team 1200 this afternoon. Kudos to Steve Lloyd and Jason York for  great interviews with him and with Brian Murray today.

Dan could not say enough about the character these players will bring to Ottawa, especially Cheechoo. The scoring he will add remains to be seen but Dan said that Cheech is an outstanding dressing room guy that can really bring the guys together and that Milan ( Chong?) is not far behind. For my money, that's worth so much more than Heatley's goals.

I am so pumped and optimistic about the season now.  I wanna rock!!!! ROCK!!!! neh neh neh-neh, neh nehhhhh!!!!


Thank God!!!

It's not often you see a trade of this magnitude and your initial reaction is simply one of relief! But that's the case with me right now. I'm just soooooooo happy it's done and over with.

Of course, as the season plays out we will all judge this trade to death but I think the most important part of this trade is the intangible part: clean slate. There is nothing more important, in my opinion, for the Sens this year than to put everything aside and just be a respectable hockey organization again. Over the last few years, we've gone from "model franchise" cup finalists to laughing stock, dysfunctional trailer trash. Nothing could be better for this team and it's fans than to be rid of this selfish doucher.

Now then, the trade itself. We knew all along Murray had a tough job to do, trading a very expensive player with a bad attitude and a trashed reputation. I think Murray did alright. He certainly held out as long as he absolutely could and I give him the Brass Bawls award for that, considering the incredible pressure he must have been under. It seems to me this trade must have been available to him many times this summer but he only took it when he knew there was nothing better to be had and with training camp beginning.

Michalek I like a lot. No problem with this guy at all. He's young and has lots of upside. He'll get you 25 goals and is apparently sound in all aspects of his game. A second round pick never hurts, either. Cheechoo is obviously the key to this deal and one I suspect Murray didn't really want but again, had no choice but to take. I heard someone, I believe it was Pierre McGuire but I could be wrong, say that the reason Cheechoo's numbers had dropped was because he has fought injuries and as a result had his role on the team changed. He was no longer looked to as the goal scorer. If this is true and he's healthy, and he can find some chemistry with Spezz, then maybe he can get back to a 30-40 goal guy. If he doesn't, we now have Kovalev.

And right there is another angle to this trade I really like. DEPTH!!! We FINALLY have some good scoring depth which has been an Achilles heal to this team for years. If Cheechoo can perform well we now have 2 killer scoring lines and of course the extra depth means our third and fourth lines will be that much better too.

And finally, certainly neither of these guys could be any more one dimensional than Heatley. For all his regular season goals, a guy who refuses to do anything other than stand completely still, with his stick cocked, will never be anything other than easily covered in the play-offs. Imagine what Zetterberg would do to him? He could shut Dany down in his sleep, something the Sharks are likely to discover in about 6 or 7 months. I don't see this trade helping the Sharks solve their play-off woes one bit.

In the short term, this trade may look like a win for the Sharks and as Dany (Isn't that how a girl spells Danny?) fills the net in the regular season, which I'm sure he will beside Thorton, we'll be tempted to think we may have been fleeced, especially if Cheechoo struggles. But I suspect that as we get into the spring, we may find that we now have what the Sens have needed for so long: not the better player, but the better team.

Heatley, you suck like a Leaf and I hate you for putting us through what you have, just when it looked like the team was finally coming around. I hope you blow out a knee right before the Olympics. And as Stooli would say, "Get the Hell outta heeeeryaaaah!!! Get the Hell outta heeeeryaaaah!!!"






SNEAKER Heatley Back in a Sens Uni!

Recently Easton Hockey did a catalog photo shoot and Players testing the new gear with: Getzlaf, Man Child Heatley, Chara, Gaborik, Roy, Burns, Parise, Cammalleri, etc


A few things to note ...

  1. Dany's sweater seems to have a reduced role?  Where is the A?
  2. Do you think he burned the gear when he was done being all pretty
  3. How much razing did the other players give him when putting it on?  LOL!

Reading over the Tweets ... Here is the Baby Lala specific updates ...

"Heatley's chomping down on a breakfast burrito before his catalog shot"

--> Really I couldn't tell from the Wellwood sized BELLY he got hidding out like a fugative!  An elite athlete our Dany boy is.

"Heatley's jumping out on the ice between photo shoots today, can't keep the guy off the ice right now"

--> One can only assume that another millionaire dropped some $1,000's, cause Heater only skates for $$$$.  Still love the missing letter! ... Lead the way Danny!  I wonder if your sweater will ask you for a trade for its reduced role?

At the Easton Pro Camp, Chara, Parise and Heatley just showed up, got them in our locker room putting on the new gear

--> I would have a farmers a tan too if I was fat and lazy!  Read Ray Ferraro's perspective on you're out off shape arse Danny.

"He had a terrible year last year because he wasn’t in shape. He signed a 50 million dollar contract in the summer and he kind of went on the “Summer of Dany” I called it. He had a lot of fun and he was going to ballgames and he was a half a step out of shape when he got to camp and so he had a terrible year."


Senators Conference Call

Just listened to the fans conference call with Melnyk, Murray, LeClaire and Leeder - no real surprises and nothing dramatic happened, which is entirely what you'd expect I guess. Worth noticing that I got my invite 10 minutes after the call started so there may be other stuff out there.

BM was asked about the changing shape of the Eastern Conference - said Toronto want to be the toughest team in the league and you'll have to deal with that. Montreal have got quicker and more active but he doubts they will score more goals than last year. Boston are the same as last year with a great defence and even though Pittsburgh have lost a couple of players they have a good young core. The one team that surprised him are Tampa and he believes they will be much more competitive although he does wonder how they'll work with 28 or so one way contracts. He didn't go as far as to say the balance of power had shifted but that it was much more comparable now.

He said Ottawa has to get better and he believes they will be a very competitive hockey team and that they will "build on the fact they were much better organised in the 2nd half of last year". Clouston "lead the way", Believes they will score more goals and will be much better on the powerplay with Kovalev. He would like one more big body on the blueline but expects it to be better and more mobile than last year. Importantly he said that the goaltending is in better shape than it has been for many years with the devlopment of Elliott and the signing of PLC. There is "no doubt" in BM's mind that the team is playoff bound.

LeClaire was asked about his general fitness, said he'd been skating for about a month and whilst it felt weird for the first couple of weeks being in pads again he feels very good and is "pretty close to perfect". Had a good summer workout and is excited and ready to go.

The only Ottawa player from last year that had a question specifically about him was A Train. Caller was concerned that he's a UFA at the end of the year and with all the new dmen coming up does this mean the end of A Train as a Senator. Murray loves the A Train. He is a physical, good character and is a good guy in the room even though he doesn't say an awful lot and he loves Ottawa. In a cap world harsh decisions need to be made but they are looking at moving forward with A Train beyond the end of the season and they believe that is what Volchenkov wants as well. Just because we have a load of good dmen coming through doesn't mean the end of anyone because you can't have too many.

Speaking of good young dmen, Erik Karlsson will be given every chance to make the big team this year. Murray's belief is that he'll be at worst very close to the team. Karlsson has bulked up from 158 to 172 pounds but is never going to be a big player but he will be excellent on the powerplay and plays bigger than his size in terms of his shot - a fact PLC confirms. If Karlsson doesn't make the Sens roster it has been agreed that he will do whatever the Senators thinks is best for him, whether that is Bingo or Sweden. It's likely to be Bingo because Murray believes he'll be on the team or one of the first call ups. Leclaire said that in the practices that he has had with Karlsoon he comes across as very calm and confident and is always in control. Murray commented that the farm system is much stronger than it was 2 or 3 years ago and that there are 4 or 5 players slated to be in Bingo this year that can step in and help the big team if the need arises but he wouldn't name names. The important thing is that he and Clouston both believe that the best players will be the ones called on first.

One caller mentioned players that he felt we missed out on in free agency. He specifically mentioned Moen, Bertuzzi and Boynton as players that are cap friendly and could have helped. Murray ignored the later two but said that he liked Moen and always had done, he looked at him a year or so ago but he was tied up with the Ducks so they signed Ruutu who is a similar player. Murray admitted that after the signing of Kovalev and with being unable to move Heatley his hands are to a degree tied until he makes a couple of other moves because they are over the cap. He did bemoan the lack of flexibility but did say that he didn't want to make big changes from last year's roster. Apparently no GM likes big front loaded contracts but that's the world we live in. Same with NTC's,a lot of the time, if you don't offer them you don't get the player.

There was a quick mention about the coaching changes, impressed by the new HC of Bingo should be a hardworking coach. The new assistant Lauer was hired partly because Clouston feels very comfortable working with him and feels that he will compliment him well. Luke Richardson will be doing some work with the young defencemen but is currently coaching a girls team (i had no idea Wilson had been sacked in Toronto).

Cyril Leeder spoke a bit about a few things, apparently the parking situation is going to be much better this year and has been the number one non hockey related thing on the agenda this off season. Also they are looking at a new scoreboard within the next 5 years and when it becomes a fans priority it will become an organisation priority. He likes the new scoreboard in Montreal. Las Vegas has the Hockey Awards on a 3year contract, Ottawa will look to getr involved in the negotitaions next time round, but more energy is being put to trying to get an All Star game.

PLC was aksed what he is looking forward to any particular games. Obviously the CBJ game and he is looking forward to playing in Montreal but his focus is the Rangers game first up and then the first home game. He's not so focused on particular individual games he just wnats to get back playing again. He's changed his shirt number because it'a new team and a new start and went for 33 because of Patrick Roy.

That was about it. No real questions about Heatley although the conversation about NTC's started with a mention of disgruntled players. I decided not to go into too much detail regarding the question about George Parros' moustache, but they did say I don't think it's as bad as that dude's porntache from the underground - don't know what that meant.