Sens Buzz readers, it's the end as we know it. After nearly a year on Blogspot, Sens Buzz has joined Silver Seven, The 6th Sens, Sens Chirp, and Five For Smiting in haveing their own domain name. Sens Buzz has teamed up with the FanSided network to bring a Sens blog to the FanSided network.
FanSided, I believe, is growing and I would like to be part of that. The blog is the first hockey blog from the teams of Canada, so that's a first for the Sens blogosphere. It was a difficult decision but I wanted to move on and take on new challenges.
I also wanted to expand the blog from not just a rumor site, but opinionated as well. I want to make the blog edgy. I realized the last post was controversial and I accept that after reading through it. I am sorry to everyone who was insulted by it. It's a mistake but I think I need to move on from it.
Readers, welcome to SenShot. I'll write my first post tomorrow morning but enjoy the site for now. Thanks to Zach and Adam Best for the chance and hope ever reader comes over and reads the writers of Sens Buzz at SenShot now!
PS: Another reason I leaved was because the logo I got was crazy good! Very snazzy IMO.
Seriously, just wow. People need to calm down and chillax for just a moment. Some many things can get out of hand that this just needs to stop.
First, I did not freaking come up with this! I listened to Leafs Lunch and Bill Watters said it. I didnt have much knowledge that Watters has made some outlandish accussations in the past. So, I was not the one who started this. This is something if you have a problem if you need to report to Watters.
Im sorry, I didnt want to accuse those players because they are probably my favorite players of all-time. I just lookedon the Sens roster and made some suggestions, thats all. Last time I remebered, everybody is entitled to their opinion. If you disagree with me, say it in a civil manner. I will be more than happy to reply to that.
To the one that said about my credibility, if you havent realized, Colorado and Los Angeles always were interested in Heatley, something every Sens blogger said, but dropped out. I have said fro the past month Minnesota, San Jose, and Edmonton are the only teams interested right now in Heatley. Secondly, it was Auld and Caporusso for Russell. If you add in Caporusso, that makes it a very even trade.
People need to stop trolling around on every blog they find first. Think before you right. If you dont like this blog, then dont come. Its your own fault if you still keep coming in. If seen too many trollers hurt a bloggers credibility that I will not stand to have it happen to me.
Jesus, some people need to get a life.
Coming Soon to a Blog Near you: SGESBA
As reported first by Leafs Lunch AM and Another Ottawa Senators Blog, Bill Watters stated on Leafs Lunch that the reason Dany Heatley wants to leave the city of Ottawa and the Ottawa Senators is because he wants to escape "the rampant drug use of players within the Sens' organization".
Holy fuckers. I am stunned. Sens' players using drugs? Are you kidding me? Is this true? AOSB says that it may not be true but either way I am totally disgusted at the Sens. Watters says "Numerous Sens players were involved in an alleged purchase of some of that Peruvian marching powder". That is shocking. This looks bad for Ottawa and the NHL. Maybe I finally understand why Heatley would want to leave Ottawa. He probably didn't want to get involved in anything on the record about this if the alleged drug use came about. But, what if Dany Heatley used drugs too?
When you look at the Sens players, I can't see much players using drugs. Maybe Chris Neil, even though he was injured for most of the year. Nick Foligno is a guy that pops up unfortunately. The guy came out of nowhere after the start of the second half and looked bigger than ever. Anton Volchenkov? Dare I say it, Daniel Alfredsson? Wow, I can't believe I just said that.
Also, a rumor to throw out there. Eaves was traded to Boston and then bought out. Whichever team he goes to, if he goes to one, will be paying $1.4 mil/year, for 2 years. I'm guessing Murray will have mild interest.
What in interesting off-season this has been for the Sens and Sens fans.
Hey Sens Buzz followers. In a couple of days, you will witness the biggest announcement since Graeme and Tim over at The 6th Sens joined Bloguin and since the Sens signed Geoff Kinrade.
It's called SGESBA. Coming soon to a blog near you (yes, this blog doofus!).
As I posted on the "Latest Buzz on the Sens" sidebar to your left, the Washington Ovechk...err...Washington Capitals are heavily considering Alexandre Picard as a good 1-2 punch with Norris Trophy runner up Mike Green.
The Capitals, after Green, have NO offensive defensemen and a bunch of defensive defenseman. They do have John Carlson in their prospect pool but Hockey's Future says he'll need 2-3 more years to join the roster full-time. Picard had 15 points in 47 games last year which isn't much but if he can play with Mike Green and the high-octane Capitals offense, he can get 40+ points. Picard also played in the 06-07 season with the Flyers and racked up 23 points in 66 games.
Many of you are probably asking what the reutrn would be. I would guess that Bryan Murray would ask at least for a 4th round pick. If he would go further and ask for a 3rd rounder, I'm betting George McPhee would relunctantly agree.
I do have an update on Brian Elliott. Expect him to re-sign(finally) on the weekend. Both sides have agreed on a 3 year, $3 million contract which would pay Elliott $1 million/year, the same salary Auld had. I think the deal is solid, and it guarantees we'll be looking at a LeClaire-Elliott tandem for quite some time now.
In other news, the Sens named Brad Lauer the new assistant coach of the team. For you who aren't familiar with Lauer, he played for the Sens back in the good ol' days. He also was an assistant with Clouston back in Kootenay. The Sens also named Chris Schwarz conditioning coach and Dom Nicoletta assistant athletic therapist.
Let's go back in time in Ottawa Senators history. Era 1998-2006. 3 General Managers by the name of Rick Dudley, Marshall Johnston, and John Muckler were at helm during that time. Dudley lasted 1 year, Johnston 2 years, and Muckler 6 years. All three GM's had a notorious rep at drafting. All three of them weren't afraid to take some European player out of the forests, namely Russian players. The Sens were successful during these times but the future looked bleak. They drafted way too many Russians who never played a single minute for Ottawa. Some might say that is the reason of the demise of our beloved Senators.
After a trip to the Cup Finals, Muckler is finally fired after constant years of complaining from Sens fans to fire the old-timer. Bryan Murray took over and so far, has done a solid job. He sometimes misses the mark on his trades, but at drafting, he's one of the best in the biz. So far, Murray has been at helm for 3 Drafts. In total the team has made 20 picks from 2007-2009. When at helm with the Ducks and Wings, Murray has be known to draft mainly Canadians, Americans, and Swedes. That continues here in Ottawa.
Players From Canada- 8/20- 40%
Players From USA- 6/20- 30%
Players from Sweden- 5/20- 25%
Well that doesn't add up, eh? There's still 5 % left, which if you're a math geek, you know that means 1 player left. Yes, in 2007, Murray drafted a Russian(gasp!). He comes by the name of Ruslan Bashkirov.
Born in March of 1989, Ruslan had always impressed scouts whenever he played. In 2006, Ruslan made the switch to the Q, and played for the Quebec Remparts. Playing 60 games that season, Bashkirov recorded 67 points, mainly 30 goals and 37 assists. Many teams were impressed with his decision to play in the QMJHL, and many scouts were baffled at his pure skill. Bashkirov had one of the best hands in the Q, and a very strong shot. Director of Central Scouting E.J. McGuire had this to say about Bashkirov 2 months before the 2007 Draft:
" He(Ruslan) has the ability to become a Top 6 Forward in the league in a few years. His work ethic is also something to be amazed at and his willingness to be the best on the ice just gives you the impression that he wants to play in the NHL. His consistency has been an issue for much of his junior career, but the team that drafts him can mold him very well in my opinion. I see Ruslan as the next Alexei Kovalev if he decides to stay in Canada next year"
The season had ended and the Remparts lost in the playoffs. 1 week later, Ruslan made an announcement, something that changed his hockey career and the scouts perception on him.
Ruslan declared he was homesick, and wanted to play with his twin brother Roman on Atlanat Mytischi in the KHL. Many saw this as a step back for the young Russian. Many had declared him as a late first round pick. Now, because of his declaration to the KHL, many saw him fall tremendously.
As happened with Alexei Cherepanov that same year, people were scared of the Russians because of the lack of a transfer agreement between the KHL and the NHL. The first round ended, and Bashkirov still wasn't picked. He and his family pondered and even Ruslan himself wondered if the decision to join the KHL was the right one. His agent, however, re-assured him that is was the right one and that he was going to get drafted.
Bashkirov met Cherepanov after he was drafted and congratulated him. After some talk, Bashkirov asked Alex what if he was drafted by the Rangers, and Cherepanov smiled and just said "I'd rather face off against you".
The second day of the draft kicked off early. After 15 picks went through, Rusland started to get frustrated. I remember watching the second round on the NHL Network and Ray Ferraro predicting the Buffalo Sabres would take Ruslan Bashkirov with the 59th overall pick. I was thinking with myself, thank god, we won't have the urge to draft another Russian now. Contrary, with the 59th pick, Buffalo took Drew Schiestel. The Ottawa Senators were on the clock, and many were expecting them to draft a defenseman after drafting Jim O'Brien with the 29th overall pick. However, Ottawa took yet another Russian, and his name is Ruslan Bashkirov.
After hearing his name, Ruslan hugged his parents and twin brother Roman, and went to the podium. With smiles around, Ruslan put on a Sens jersey, something he wished he would wear full-time in a few years.
Even though Murray is known for drafting Russians, he took a gamble on Bashkirov, even though he knew he was playing in the KHL next year. Bashkirov had sniper abilities something Ottawa saw and admired. Murray hoped he could convince Ruslan to come back to Canada after 2008. He never did.
Bashkirov played once again in the KHL in 2008, this time with Ladya Toglatti. Some fans hope he returns, and I bet there's still something in Ruslan that hopes he returns himself.
I am of the opinion that you don't need to have 6 top 6 forwards to ice a good team. But you should have 4 top 6 forwards and two of them should be centers. Having two top quality centers makes it tougher to shutdown two lines. Just look at the Stanley Cup champions since 2000.
09 - Malkin-Crosby
08 - Datsyuk-Zetterberg (Listed as a winger but he essentially plays C)
07 - Getzlaf-McDonald - Getzlaf was an emerging star and McDonald put up 78 points.
06 - Brind'Amour-Staal
04 - Richards-Lecavlier
03 - The exception to the rule
02 - Fedorov-Yzerman
01 - Sakic-Forsberg
00 - Modano-Nieuwendyk
That list has at least a bakers dozen worth of Hall of Famers. How many Cups did Gretzky win without Messier? How many did Lemieux win without Francais?
Just look at the list below of the second line center point leaders from every team and you'll see of the 11 teams that had a 50 point player from the center position only one of those teams did not make the playoffs.
1. Penguins - Crosby - 103 / Staal 49 2. Flyers - Richards - 80 3. Bruins - Krejci - 73
1. Devils Travis Zajac - 62 2. Sharks - Pavelski - 59 3. Canucks - Kessler - 59 4. Red Wings - Hudler - 57 5. Capitals - Laich - 53 6. Hurricanes - Brind'Amour 51 7. Thrashers - Little - 51 8. Blues - Perron - 50
1. Stars - Richards - 48 2. Flames - Conroy - 48 3. Sabers - Connolly - 47 4. Leafs - Grabovski - 47 5. Lightning - Stamkos - 46 6. Panthers - Horton - 45 7. Hawks - 8. Sharp - 44
1. Kings - Handzus - 42 2. Predators - Legwand - 42 3. Oilers - Gagner - 41 4. Rangers - Dubinsky - 41 5. Coyotes - Reinprecht - 41 6. Canadiens - Plekanec - 39
7. Wild - Belanger - 36 8. Jackets - Malhotra - 35 9. Islanders - Neilsson - 33 10. Ducks - Ebbett - 32 11. Senators - Fisher - 32 12. Avalance - Arnason - 22
Last year the Senators had the 2nd worst production from their 2nd line center. Fisher is capable of being an average second line center capable of 45 - 50 points, in the two previous seasons he got 48 & 47 points, but don't expect more than 50 points cause it's likely not going to happen. If Ottawa had a 2nd line center then Fisher would be able to play his 3rd line role, which he is better suited too and he would likely be one of the best at his position for that role, instead of dissapointing on the 2nd line. It's easier to put a 3rd line player on the wing with two top line players than a 3rd line player at center and expect the wingers to carry the line.
I'm not saying that for the Senators to win they need a Hall of Famer, but wouldn't it help to get a quality second line center? One that could put up say 50 - 55 points and could have good chemistry with either Heatley or Alfredsson. But wait what if the Senators already had this type of player one that averaged .63 PPG good for 51 points in an 82 game schedule. And what if this player has since averaged .66 PPG since leaving the Senators good for 54 points in an 82 game schedule. And what if this players salary was a manageable 2.375 and he'd likely take a home town discount since he was born and raised in Kanata. Hmm .. what if the Senators just kept Todd White, would their secondary scoring issue be solved?