This ain't your father's season preview son. This is part one of a five part The 6th Sens exclusive series that will preview your Ottawa Senators.
Without further ado...
When we first started writing this blog over the past year or so we did so for a few reasons. First of all, boredom and psychedelic drugs. Secondly, there wasn't a lot of enticing Senators stuff out there to read. Thankfully, blogs have become much more socially acceptable things to admit to writing these days and are no longer considered social suicide. As a result, they are becoming more and more prevalent and influential. Nowadays, it seems like there's a lot of Senators material that's being pumped out faster than a Chinese baby factory (without the drowning, but still male dominated).
Fortunately, the two of us developed a strong rapport based on the inter workings of the Ottawa Senators which usually started in serious conversation and ended in laughter. So being two young, strapping and brash men we would take our banter to the internet and see how it played out publicly.
Now, we don't want to come across as the be all to end of Senators literature. We're more like the toilet Hemingway would have thrown up in, or at least spoken to while the room was spinning. Fact is, while many people hate the mainstream media there are many options available (not that we have to tell you, you're reading a blog!). It's a great alternative to the wikipedia and "just Google it" crowd who consume information with as much thought process as cracking a bag of chips. There's a variety of opinions from everyday folks like us and the others listed below in this entry. Sure, we may not have media passes or eat free popcorn in a pressbox but that doesn't make an opinion more pertinent. We simply encourage fans to perform due diligence, (If this term confuses you, contact Gerald Norton, or make like Glenn Kulka and consult a thesaurus.) and foster some perspective that should help create constructive and at the very least, interesting discussion.
At the end of the day we're just an alternative. And we're glad that you read us. Now buy a t-shirt and tell your friends to click the ads. We know where your get your water cooler discussion, pay it back.
Here's a variety of other blogs that will either make you the Zach Morris of the water cooler discussion or the Screech. Use them wisely.
Think of Sensay as the Iliad of the Senators online world. It's author, Gerald Norton, can weave a tale like no other and despite a wordiness that may not appeal to the unintelligent Sens fan, GN's verbosity is delivered fluidly without ever feeling contrived - a talent that Glenn Kulka can only dream of possessing.
Because of his intellect, we're not surprised that GN: loves his statistics; is a sort of fantasy hockey savant; and remains grounded in the harsh realities of being a Senators fan. Hell, we wouldn't even be surprised if he was working on translating volumes 1 to 5 (Dany of Ottawa) of his blog into Latin and volumes 6-10 (The Balsillic Epic) into ancient Waterloo'ian text.
And while this blog can rear many different heads on any given day depending on which law school text book GN feels like summarizing or what egregious gaffe the Senators have just committed, we prefer it when GN sticks to his coverage of the Senators. We realize that it was a slow summer, but through Sensay's thorough psychoanalysis of Jim Balsillie and Gary Bettman, we now feel like we know exactly how these men take their coffee.
Our old friend Alabama Panda writes a cute blog filled with the types of things you would write in your notebook in grade 6.
He loves speculation, managerial and personnel suggestions, pencilling in line combinations, and hosting his weekly live chats. He has recently adopted a co-author leaving us to wonder how two Robin's can manage a blog without a Batman. We'd also stake our reputation on him having a massive hockey card collection. The name is a peculiar hybrid of the words Sens and Shot and we're not really sure how they fit or what the author is going for. We're tempted to ask Gerald Norton to write a 3,000 word essay explaining the URL.
Five for Smiting:
According to Senators Lost Cojone's site, he and three other sites form the exclusive Ottawa Blog Collective. How do you become part of this OBC? We're not entirely sure but like Dany Heatley, we're fucking resentful of this old guard. (Just kidding. Well, sort of.)
Anyways, this site is a pleasure to read, even when we can only ever understand about 3 out of every 10 words SLC uses. Fortunately, his blogs are so concise and well structured that we usually only have to look up between 10 and twenty words per entry. If you want to read something that's riddled with passion, historical context and local colour, look no further. You can also learn a number of new curse words and foul terminology that can be used to impress young children and educated adults alike next time you get a case of the too many 300 level libations.
And piss off, we're not contractually obligated to say that he runs one of our favorite sites because he's part of the Bloguin brethren. Honest.
The official Ottawa Senators blog is basically a less formal press release. It's full of positive reinforcement and feel good stories about people's hometowns and local connections. This is the type of blog you would take home to meet your mother only to have her say, "Wow this girl's a stiff". This blog is boring and corporate and should be renamed "Tow The Line". It is only worth reading if you liked the Liberal Red Book.
If you ask us, Sens Chirp is great because it serves a sect of the Sens Army population that we couldn't possibly appease - the obsessive compulsive fans who NEED gossip, speculation and rumours. Even though the concept as an anonymous personality for scuttlebutt and insider news lacks originality, Sens Chirp deserves to be recognized for the great rapport he has for utilizing a polite and eternally optimistic view. (General Observation: His popularity could also stem from the fact that he usually breaks news 10 minutes before it can be seen on TSN. And for those 10 minutes, his readers are the coolest guys and gals at their work. We're in the know!!!)
The Sens Prospector:
This site is unique to the Sens blogosphere in that it strictly provides lengthy and extensive coverage of Ottawa's farm system. Okay, even we can admit that it can be kind of depressing to read about Ottawa's system given the lack of high-end prospects. (It's like reading a blog about everything you've done wrong in your life.) However, this site is great for referring people who are in your fantasy hockey league to before draft day so that they buy into the hype of guys who will only play 6 minutes a night instead of drafting some real studs. "Didn't you know? Peter Regin has great opportunity to be the second line center in Ottawa when the season starts. SLEEPER."
Despite the fact that we don't necessarily agree with all of his drawn conclusions, Jeremy Milks sets the bar with impassioned analysis that rarely requires the use of F-Bombs to articulate an opinion or argument. (Case in point: Black Aces is an unapologetic Neil supporter. Regardless of how much that unproductive, 4th line middleweight ginger earns.)
The home of the No Habs No!campaign is renowned for their famous child-like letters and monetary gifts that are sent to NHL players who score game-winning goals against les Canadiens. If you're interested in seeing what a serial killer's handwriting resembles, check it out. Also, walk on eggshells when discussing Peter's departure from Sens Army. He does not like to be called a gold-digger. This blog is still top notch and hopefully Ben receives some alimony from time to time.
When we first received an email from the author Duff, we actually thought, "Ah fuck, another Sens blog." Amazingly, this site's name isn't apropos. This isn't just another Sens blog, it's an entertaining read that deserves to be read. Well, at least it was until their prized Q&A guest, John Buccigross, began to Tweet about fabricated trade scenarios.
Silver Seven is a very professionally written blog written by Peter R. (formerly of Sens Army) and Darren M. At times we wonder if they are actually trying to topple the AP and CP news-wire market with their timely, well written and easily digested recaps, previews and information about recent transactions. One day we fully expect to open a Yahoo! box score and see a (SS) tag next to the story title. It also happens to have one of the best blog names out there, although we don't appreciate the numerical one upping of our own site. (It's competitive like those rival abdominal Exercise DVDs.) For this reason, discussions are now underway for us to rename our site "Tim and Graeme Plus Eight". They have also managed to have more ads on their site than ours, no small feat.
Once a whipping boy of The 6th Sens, this author was a freelance blogger once wrote for Hockeybarn.com and the MVN. Apparently, Colin Jeffrey has since forayed into turncoat blogger status. Yes, since being publicly shat on by Tim, Jeffrey recognized the potential for writing as part of a respected blog network. And after unsuccessfully campaigning for our job (read our comments), Colin has sold out on the Senators fan base and instead will author a Leafs blog for the Bloguin network. (If you ask us,we think we should be entitled to commission here.)
Now Colin can proudly stand alone on his pedestal so that he can be seen and be acknowledged as the Leafs and former Sens Blogger that everyone hates. We are crossing our fingers that his picture featuring his pink glow-stick necklace accompanies his transition. If you're a fan of Belinda Stronach, flip flops and traitors, you should enjoy his musings.
Mark Christopher -HockeyBuzz:
Mark "Eff Buffalo" Christopher has really come out of nowhere to be one of Eklund's lapdogs. Say what you want about Hockeybuzz and it's credibility, but we actually enjoy Christopher's work. Just recently, Mark came out of the closet as a All-American Rejects fan, next week we hope he tells us all about how Billy Talent signed his chest.
Erin Nicks - The Universal Cynic:
Aside from inherent talent, the universal cynic, Erin Nicks, also bears the distinction of being a credentialed writer. We're not sure what's more impressive - her writing and musical tastes or the fact that she was employed by a testosterone dominated publication like the Sun to cover the Senators. Erin - we need to start a blog called "Beat on the Brat - Senators highlights and mid-80's punk"
Kevin Lee - SportsTalkBuzz:
As an eternal pessimist, we're not even sure that Kevin's a Senators fan. Regardless, Sportstalkbuzz is the home of former HockeyBuzz Senators columnist who has negative connotations stemming from breaking the signing of Jason Williams and guaranteeing that Jason Spezza would be dealt this summer. (Neither occurred).
When Kevin broke away from HB and started his own website, we anticipated some of the same old juicy gossip and rumours that he was known for. Instead, most of his Senators information has consisted of gossip pertaining to the Binghamton Senators. To compound matters, his postings have become less and less frequent. However, he'll be the first to say "You read it here first", when he reports things like athletic therapist promotions and the signings of minor league goalies.
Despite all this, we're just disappointed that his work has become as infrequent as one of his valid rumours.