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The puck stops here for Leclaire: Ottawa Sun



The road back from the surgery has been long one.

But the good news is Leclaire is feeling fine. A big step for him was getting back on the ice with his new teammates with a week left in the season in April to test out his ankle. It helped his confidence and his frame of mind heading into summer training.

“We pushed it pretty hard to make sure it was okay and to make sure I could have a clear mind going into the summer,” said Leclaire. “We wanted to make sure I didn’t have any issues coming back and I felt fine then. I don’t really think about it.

“I know a lot of people are going to talk about (the surgery). That’s normal because I missed a lot of time with it. But for me, what we did at the end of the year was able to help me clear my head. I’ve just been going through a normal summer getting ready. There’s some stuff I can’t do any more because they took cartilage and bones out, but overall I don’t think about it.”

Leclaire makes his off-season home in Montreal, but he’s going to be in Ottawa regularly between now and the opening of training camp on Sept. 12. He plans on skating with Atlanta and ex-Senators centre Todd White and some other local pros in August to get ready for training camp.

StooLi: Sort of scary that PL says "there's some stuff I can't do anymore" ... but prodived he CAN give the Sens some confidence ... thats enough to get this KID watching again :P




S4 - Episode 25: Dan Tencer Goes Undergound

Look at this! Already a second summer show. Best enjoy it because barring some enormous deal, we're now officially off until the Fall.

As you know, Stooli is now butt-naked in the South Pacific Ocean, so we call up Joe from Shredder's other podcast Talking Canadian to fill the chair. We didn't know he'd also fill the studio with methane but this is what you get when you don't scout well.

Dany Heatley is front and centre again, of course. This knob has become the most hated man in Ottawa and maybe all of hockey. But thanks to our guest this week, Dan Tencer from 630 CHED in Edmonton, we get a feel for what Oiler fans think about their potential new crybaby. Dan also talks a little Oiler hockey and says the one thing that we Undergrounders love the most.

Chris Neil was awarded for showing the spirit that Heatley never would, maybe a little too well, but we seem to have gotten over it. And of course, Murray caught us all off guard by scooping Alex Kovalev from the free agent pool. It's certainly a surprising move that is being received with mixed feelings in Sensland and we are no exception. Huge discussion about this and about what Murray may have left to do.

We look at the Sens' first pick in the entry draft, the one that Burke didn't steal, as well as weigh-in on the moves other Canadian teams made. And finally, Russell professes his new man crush on Jason Spezza.

Your e-mails round out the show and likely the end of season 4. It's been another wild year with no shortage of drama. We can only hope that next season all the news about the Sens will be of the positive type. In any case, we will be back to do your bidding as the voice of you, the fans of the Ottawa Senators. We love you guys, man! Wanna hug it out?

S4 - Episode 25: Dan Tencer Goes Undergound


S4 - Episode 24: Sweatin’ and Swearin’ - The Summer Podcast

It’s been a strange spring; no Sens play-off defeat to be upset about. It certainly put the post season in a different perspective than we are used to. All three of us seemed to have different reactions to watching (or not, Stooli) the other teams battle it out for the cup.

It was a great run to the cup, maybe the best in years and as feared a few season’s back, the Penguins are now top dogs and may remain there for year’s to come. Will the Sens ever be able to reach the level of play and commitment the champs showed in winning the Grail? This is a heated topic in this show.

But as you can imagine, the real heat is on Dany Heatley, who as you all know, has demanded a trade from our beloved team. It’s a very shocking and confusing issue that Dany doesn’t seem to want to shed any light on. Was it really all about his ice time and Clouston? Or maybe he’s just mad Murray didn’t throw in another “N” for his name in his last contract. Hey, that makes about as much sense as his demands do. Regardless, we pile on him like everyone else has and take a look at what this team may look like after Murray works another Jedi mind trick on some poor fool GM. Remember Meszawful and Vermette?

We shoot it about the draft, our unsigned players, ex-Sens in the News, Roy Mlakar is an ex-Sen (karma), the dismal performance of the refs in the post-season and the soap opera of the Yotes and Balsillie.

We missed all you knuckle-heads and we’re happy to be back at it, if only for now. But with the draft, the free agency season and the likely shuffling of several Sens out of town, we’re sure we’ll be back in just a few weeks with more to flap about. Hey, it’s Canada... it’s always ok to talk hockey. Now go tan your pasty white asses!

Leafs suck!

S4 - Episode 24: Sweatin’ and Swearin’ - The Summer Podcast


5 Key Questions - Part 1

So my first full season as a Sens fan in Canadaland is over, and frankly it sucked. I’ve already taken the lion’s share of the blame for this earlier in the season so I’m not about to do it again, suffice to say I’m still really, really sorry. Moving forward there are a number of things that the Senators have to do to re-establish themselves amongst the NHL elite and there are a number of questions that fans are probably asking themselves. I’ve got 5 main questions which I’ll blog about – if allowed. This is the first of them:

How do we replace Heatley?

First off, let’s pin my colours to the mast, I’m glad Heatley asked for a trade, moving forward, if handled correctly, this could be a great thing for the Senators organisation. Most Sens fans believe that one of the big four forward contracts had to be moved, Alfredsson should be truly untouchable and I don’t see anybody touching Fisher’s contract, I mean my man crush is still going strong but he IS overpaid – so that leaves Heatley and Spezza. I still think it’s easier to replace a scoring winger than a true number one centre and I also believe that we would get more back for 15 than 19.

Another thing the Heatley request means is that in a few years we won’t have to be having another Chara/Redden debate. I know we all SAY that we wanted Chara over Redden, but we also know that isn’t completely true.

Unless we manage to move into the top 3 of the draft (or maybe top 5) we aren’t going to find a player in the draft to immediately replace Heatley. That means we are going to have to replace him via a part of the trade or free agency. It’s possible that there is a mega trade out there for Heatley, a real blockbuster where we get an established top six player, a good prospect AND a draft pick, but it’s more likely we’ll have to readjust our sights and be a bit more realistic.

The two most attractive possible trade partners that have picks above us in the draft are Colorado and Los Angeles. Of course by this I mean attractive to me, who knows what Heatley and his agents are thinking, after all these are the guys who signed an exceptionally good contract less than two years ago before starting to sulk and asking for a trade AND having the cheek to say, yes we want out of this contract and we are prepared to waive the NMC that we asked you for, but only to teams that WE want to play with.

The more I think about what Heatley has done, the more I feel let down by the manner of the request but conversely the happier I am that he HAS done it. Heatley has played for two NHL teams and he has asked for a trade twice. At least he’s consistent I suppose. In fact he’s batting 1000. I know there were tragic circumstances surrounding his request to move from Atlanta, but what are his reasons here: I don’t like the fact the coach cut my ice time and I don’t like being on the second power play unit? Oh please. I think it’s more likely that he only wants the Heat On when the Heat is positive; if there is any concerted pressure from the press or the fans then he buckles like a chocolate fireguard.

Another possible reason he wants out is that Ottawa is not and never will be HIS town; Ottawa belongs to two, possibly three people. Daniel Alfredsson, Mike Fisher and Chris Phillips - these are the playing faces of this franchise, Heatley was never going to get there – maybe he wants to be somewhere where he IS the man, but with none of the pressure of BEING the man. As we say over the pond what a big girl's blouse or chemise d'une grande fille.

What would I like to see come back for him in a trade? Well Hossa, Zetterberg and Franzen would be a start, if that doesn’t work what about Crosby and Malkin for Heatley? Hell, I’d even be prepared to throw in Chris Kelly to get those deals done.

I would like to see a multiple pieces trade along the lines I mentioned earlier – player, prospect and pick please. Realistically though if Murray pulls that off he’s a genius, we might have to settle for less, but as Meat Loaf once warbled, “two out of three ain’t bad”. Ideally we could have Frolov, Teubert or Hickey and the number 5 pick from Los Angeles, but the LA assistant GM has hardly been positive when asked questions about the character of Dany Heatley. This would be the perfect trade scenario for us, a top 6 forward, a potential top 4 d-man and a high draft pick which would probably translate to Kane or MSP.

More and more though, I hope that Bryan Murray manages to get something done with Colorado that gets us pick number three. Number three gets us whichever one of Tavares, Hedman and Duchene are still available. With that we either get the only guy in the draft who can possibly step in and replace Heatley's goals immediately, a Swedish top defence pairing that could anchor our blueline for the next 6 or 7 years, or a legitimate 1 and 2 centre pairing that would compare with any in the league (except for those pesky penguins).

I’d even be happy for Bryan Murray to trade Heatley for just the number three pick. One of those players and the fact we immediately ease our cap issues would probably be worth it, but we if could possibly get the Avalanche to throw in somebody like Chris Stewart or Milan Hejduk – that would be nice.

A different option for the Heatley trade would be to trade him straight up for a top d-man that would be better for our cap situation even if all the 7.5 gets spent on the blueline but there aren’t many of those around, maybe Phaneuf would be worth it? It would be great if we could get Nashville to part with Shea Weber or Minnesota with Brent Burns but I don’t see Heatley agreeing to go to the Predators or the Wild. There’s that pesky, and apparently very flexible, NMC coming back to bite us again.

More and more I think Heatley’s replacement is coming from free agency and a lot of people seem focused on Mike Cammaleri but as long as we have a legitimate top 6 guy playing alongside Alfie and Spezza with maybe some additional cap space we should be satisfied, let’s face facts we aren’t getting a 50 goal scorer back, a trade such as Heatley for Rick Nash is highly unlikely. Another straight up (sort of) trade I’d like to see is Boyes and Backes from St Louis, but I’m not convinced that happens and of course there is yet again that frippin’ NMC to consider.

We are going to miss his goals, but we aren’t going to miss his work ethic and we aren’t going to miss his whining. Heatley asking for a trade finally gives us some cap flexibility that we would only have got from trading away Jason Spezza, and whilst I know a lot of people would have loved that, I wouldn’t.

So long Dany, thanks for the years you gave us, but you’ve really let yourself down with the classless way you and your agents have handled this situation and the way you deliberately handcuffed the Senators by going public with your pathetic whining. I’d like to think that you have irrevocably damaged your reputation, but unfortunately sports fans don’t honestly care about that sort of thing, your new team will love you and your goals and as long as you are getting exactly what you want, when you want it, I’m sure you’ll love them too.

Pip pip and cheerio


Summer Show Coming Tomorrow!!!

Hey everyone! Russell here! I just wanted to drop a quick line in here to let you all know that we will be recording our first summer show Tuesday night! We had lots of requests to do one so here we come, with guns a'blazin'! ( That and I just got tired of seeing Ivan White's face on my website everytime I opened it! )

We'll go over the play-offs talk about all the Newsy kinda stuff and, of course, we'll weigh in on all the Sens drama going on.  Will it never end?!?! It will be pretty much a free-for-all so God only knows where this show will go or what group of people will be sending Stooli hate mail this week. 

It's been way too long and we look forward to being with you all again.

I remain, Leafs suck.