Hey everybody, it’s your favorite writer back from his month long vacation in the forests of Europe. It was a pretty good vacation, even though I discovered a new pet peeve of airplanes. Let’s not talk about that though. Back to the life I guess. Back to the happy, cheery Ottawa Senators.
First thing I realize is that Dany Heatley is still a member of the Sens. To tell you the truth, I am not surprised at all. Even though I still think he will eventually get traded, it’s becoming more a more likely that it will be at the Trade Deadline. I met a Sens Fan living in London, England and he remarked himself that Sens Fans are idiots. Mad, I asked why. His answer was “Because the only reason they’re hating Dany Heatley now is because they’re jealous of him”. I didn’t get it at that time but I’m slowly understanding that remark. It’s perfectly normal to ask for a trade in the new NHL. Dany Heatley played that card right and he wasn’t the one made the trade request public. You better bet your bucks it was Bryan Murray who did, just to start interest from around the league. Heatley however played two cards wrong. First, if you ask a trade than eventually when you get one you nix it, that’s bullshit. If you don’t talk to media until late August, you’re going to get some hate from your own fans. Murray’s deadline for a drop-down deal is the first day of training camp. Anyone who says Heatley will sit out the season is completely wrong, Heatley will likely join the Senators for his Olympic ass until the perfect deal finally comes along for Bryan Murray and co. The minute Heatley starts putting the pucks into the net, fans will be back on his side. If he stays quiet for the time being and scores goals, I’ll be happy.
The Sens made two moves during my leave of absence. They first signed 35 year old Drew Bannister out of Europe to a one year, two way contract. Bannister’s pretty old and will likely not see any time with the big club but he could add some tooth and nails on a young Binghamton defense. Bannister will likely be depended on to defend the youngsters in Bingo which is alright. It doesn’t come at a price which works financially for Ottawa. Yesterday, Jason Smith told the media he was retiring from the game. It’s a decision long expected from everybobyd close to him. You could see it last year that he just didn’t have the mentality to play in the NHL anymore. His salary drop is a big relief for Murray, who can now add one more UFA on offense. With Smith gone, the two that are going to compete for the 6th defenseman spot are Alexandre Picard and wonder kid Erik Karlsson. Everybody’s gunning for Karlsson but this guy still is not ready for the NHL. He needs to taste the hard rigours of North American hockey first before he can make the big club, in my mind. Give Picard the spot, and if Picard underperforms and Karlsson blows Murray’s socks off at the quarter-pole of the season in Bingo, than call up Karlsson. You can’t rush this kid, I know Nicklas Lidstrom was un-tested in North America and he came over and dazzled everyone, but that was 1992. This is 2009. Change your clocks kids. Today’s NHL needs more training.
I got an e-mail late last night telling me Shean Donovan would not reutrn to the club this coming season. The source says Donovan’s lack of production and the need for another top 6 forward are the resons dumping Donovan’s salary would be a smart move. Whether he will be sent down to Bingo or traded is a different question, but he’s likely gone. Donovan has helped the Sens with his speed, energy, and character, but there are two many third-line players on the roster and as stated previously the need for a scoring forward is imminent.
NHL Numbers says the Sens are now $1.457 million under the cap with the recent cap changes, but I tend to disagree. You see, NHLN has included Cody Bass’ and Christoph Schuberts’ contract in the cap, two players who won’t be making the squad this year. Bass was assured of not making the squad with the Neil re-signing and Schubert, well, he’s just gone. So if you take away their salaries and believe that Donovan won’t be sticking around, the Sens are now $3.567 under the cap. That’s good enough to sign one more top 6 forward. Here’s the UFA’s Ottawa should be looking at.
3. Nikolai Zherdev
Zherdev is the best forward on the market but he has had a long history of problems. First, threatening both the Rangers and Blue Jackets to bolt to the KHL. Secondly, his demand of $4.5 million from the Rags. And thirdly, he’s a lazy ass who will never, ever play defense. I included him because he’s awesome friend with Kovalev and he does produce but the reward is not worth the risk.
2. Petr Sykora
Sykora, part of the Cup-winning Penguins, is a guy who can produce offense but help on the backfront. He was injured for most of last season and he told the media he is starting wear off but he’s been practising in the summer and gearing up for the season, that is, if a team picks him up. He’s got the Cup bling and would be a nice addition to the club.
1. Mike Comrie
The need to re-sign Comrie is now. He will likely be re-signed because he’s still young, he can produce big-time, and he’s got a smoking girlfriend. Comrie also had an injury filled year but he’s healthy and ready to play some shinny. I don’t see the harm in taking him if he agrees to soem sort of 1 year deal worth $2 million bucks. Not bad at all if you ask me.
FanSided added three new hockey blogs during my vacation. Representing the Florida Panthers is The Rat Trick. Representing the St.Louis Blues is Bleedin’ Blue. Representing the Minnesota Wild is Gone Puck Wild. Still, SenShot is the only Canadian hockey blog on FanSided. I hear crying in 5 other cities.
Lastly, I’d like to thank Chris Cahill, my co-blogger who took over during my vacation. At least SenShot isn’t a mess now. Yay!