With 32 games left in the regular season and owners of the fourth worst record in the NHL, you can forgive fans for partaking in some scoreboard gazing and for hoping that those teams that are close to the Senators in the standings will win.
For the first time in years, fans are no longer curious about finding a steal of a pick in the middle of the first round. Instead, they're clamouring for a can't-miss prospect that can have some immediate dividends and be counted on to play next season. Of course it has not helped matters that the whole Jeff Skinner's only 18 years old love-fest has played itself out the course of the All-Star weekend. (Note: How mundane was it to listen to people remark at how young Skinner looks? It's the Phil Kessel corollary: You just need to put him anywhere in the vicinity of one of the oldest looking 23-year olds.)
Fortunately, Ottawa's in an enviable position. Assuming that the standings remain relatively static, the odds of the Senators securing a lottery pick are pretty good. When you take into account reports that teams like the Devils, Islanders and Oilers favour defenceman Adam Larsson, the opportunity for the Senators to select a forward who fills a need should be there. And now that it's become clear that the organization will be a seller at the NHL Trade Deadline, with the names that are being kicked around rumour mill, the organization should be able to line the system with more picks and prospects.
Or better yet, these same assets could be packaged with Ottawa's 1st rounder so that the organization can move up in the draft and select the player that they covet. Because in retrospect, hoping that a guy like Skinner would slide to you is the sort of thing that could have been avoided last year had they not flipped their two second round picks for rentals like Matt Cullen and Andy Sutton.
This is me aggregating all of the information that I can find via Twitter and via a Google News search:
- One email from Nolookdroppass, Check it -- not only are we number 30 (on TSN's Power Rankings), but Leclaire isn't even listed as a key injury...amazing!
- Reported everywhere: Colin Greening and Robin Lehner have been recalled from Binghamton. Both are expected to be in the lineup tomorrow night against the Devils. @ScottMacArthur believes that Jarkko Ruutu will sit out with a lower body injury. According to Don Brennan, Greening's expected to play on a line with Jesse Winchester and Peter Regin.
- Bobby Butler was named as the AHL All-Star Game MVP after he scored a goal and had three assists.
- In response to David Martin's failed attempt at humour in the Ottawa Citizen, @TaoofStieb tweets That's the worst article that I almost read. The entire city of Ottawa is dumber for it having been published.
- On the morning of January 7th, I tweeted If Chiarelli offered Murray Toronto's 1st + Marc Savard for Fisher, Phillips, Wiercioch and a 2nd. Who'd say no first? The tweet provoked some responses which eventually led to me tweeting that Boston's a team I see making a play for Phillips. Re-unite him with Z. The idea of Boston being a fit for Phillips was echoed by Bruce Garrioch and now it's getting some rung on NESN. If in the event that a Boston trade actually comes to fruition, I will retire from the rumour business with a better success rate than Eklund.
- Over at Senators Extra, James Gordon mentions that statistically speakin, Erik Karlsson had a quiet All-Star Game performance. Is this surprising? Even in an All-Star Game format, they have problems with point production. It has just been that kind of season.
- And while you're over at Senators Extra, why not take the time to read this article that I penned in October. You know, before the season was ever in doubt.
- The Tampa Bay Lightning have revealed some new logos and jerseys today that will be implemented next season. According to the Lightning Strikes blog, it sounds as if GM Steve Yzerman had a lot of input into the details or at least into the idea of trying to create a classic look that will endure for a long time. Yzerman pushed for a jersey re-design? Maybe he should have received stronger consideration for the gig here. Anyways, I've included the Tampa designs below. Check them out:
As much as I like Savard as a player.. that's a risky trade on Ottawa's part. His career is in jeoprady -- or he is one more hard hit away from retirement. Yes that #1 pick (Toronto's) would be great.. but that could be the only thing Ottawa ended up with.. and they gave a lot in Fisher, Phillips, Weircoch & a 2nd. I would not give up on Weircoch yet. Substitute another Boston player (good) one.. then maybe.
Ryder will be off Boston's cap the end of this season.. so they could take on Fisher's contract. Take Weircoch out of the transaction and Savard out of Boston's.. make it Toronto's 1st + a prospect (or Wheeler) for Fisher, Phillips and a 2nd.
Boston needs to load up to beat the Flyers.. will Fisher & Phillips fill that role?
Everytime I see Chara play -- I curse John Muckler. He screwed this team big time. Fans complain about Murray's trades -- what about the loss of Chara, Hossa trade for douchebag Heatley, Havlat traded for absolutely nothing, a former #1 pick that was Tim Gleason for Brian Smolinski, Brooks Laich for Peter Bondra -- at least Murray is not trading prospects away.
Will Ruutu and Winchester both be out tonight? Thought I read on Twitter that Winnie is out for personal reasons?
The All Star Game was depressing in general. Nice to see Erik Karlsson get plenty of ice time, but let's look at the depressing side of things:
Havlat - Broken at times, perhaps, but should have stayed
Chara - No comment
Karlsson passing to Chara during the skills comp.
Kopitar - Brian Lee
Marc Staal - Brian Lee
@robotvsunicorn Thanks for depressing me with that AS Game comment.
@robotvsunicorn Yeah, Winch (personal) and Ruutu (lower body) are out. They're going with 7 D tonight. Lehner gets the nod in the pipes... surprised that fans haven't been outraged that we've been deprived of another Brodeur/Brodeur match up.
Not sure I'd do that Boston trade. Savard looks like he might not play much, if ever so that's a lost asset. Toronto's pick could be a keeper though, but that's still a lot to give for an unproven prospect and a guy who likely won't reach 80+ points again and has a serious cap hit too. I'd rather the team just keep losing, personally.
Speaking of that, keeping Spezza on the shelf, or at least the fourth line would help our chances of sucking.
I might have liked Tampa's new look had it been in black and white. Blue and white makes them look like Maple Leaf wannabe's and who in their right mind would want to be even vaguely associated with the Leafs? Have to wonder if the new look might be risking developing their own brand of the blue-and-white disease.
The short answer is tha even with the oval, I find the logo a touch too simplistic.
The longer answer is the following excerpt from something I recently posted elsewhere on the same issue:
"While there is striking simplicity to their minimalistic logo, I'm old fashioned --- or simply old --- enough to prefer something with a bit more design to it, and potential to develop a touch of heraldtry over the years.
Sure, Montreal has merely two letters, but it's how they are combined, and employ the team colours, that sets this logo apart. The Bruins have but one letter, but the significance is that it has a stylized element to make it distinctive.
Same for the Detroit wing, the Toronto leaf, the New York shield and one of my all-time favourites, the Chicago chieftain.
Of course I could go on through all the post-original-six logos but that would be a really long post.
Forunately I pretty much like them all.
In parting, I will mention two teams whose logos show the extremes between simplicity and complexity.
The Minnesota North Stars were another team whose logo was a single letter. But it was how the star (later adopted/continued by Dallas) was incorporated with the N that made the logo distinctive.
The current Minnesota team, The Wild have one of those interesting double-level logos that are hard to appreciate unless you look at a static version.
In case you haven't noticed, the logo has the appropriate river, tree line, sunset and even a North star, suggesting the wilderness for which the state is known.
But also, when viewed as a whole, it's the profile of a wild beast's head, with the river as the mouth and the star as the eye, etc.
I like that, though it's hard to fully appreciate when seen in motion."
@SensiBill I wouldn't mind seeing the Sens use the silhouette of a spartan helmet for a new logo.