For an organization that could probably use some good PR as the season goes down the shitter, their unwillingness to recall Corey Locke and give him a shot at the NHL level seems out of touch... but not as out of touch as those who think that Locke can make a difference at the NHL level.
In case you have not heard, Jim O'Brien has been recalled by the organization to fill the injured Alexei Kovalev's spot on the roster. I can already envision the anger and resentment that will foster itself in those nostalgic, bleeding heart fans who wanted to see the former CHL player of the year get an opportunity to play with the Senators.
On Twitter, the Ottawa Sun's sports section editor, Tim Baines (@TimCBaines) tweeted:
Corey Locke is the AHL's top scorer. The Senators aren't impressed. To replace Alex Kovalev Tuesday, Jim O'Brien will be called up. Why?
Over the next few days, you can fully expect Sun Media to drive this issue into the ground. This is of course, the same news organization that has fellated former 67s players like Brendan Bell, Zenon Kenopka and once infamously dropped trou on the Senators for passing up on Matt Zultek to draft Marian Hossa.
But to answer Baines' question, I will explain my own selfish reason for wanting to see Locke get the call: it will quell the groundswell of support for a player who has been deemed too small, too soft and too slow to play significant even strength minutes by his fourth NHL organization.
Locke was signed by the organization to play at the NHL level. Instead he designed to fulfill his role as an offensive AHL journeyman who will appease the fans in Binghamton and help create a winning environment for Ottawa's prospects at the minor league level.
With all due respect to Locke, I'm loathe to endorse a 6-year AHL veteran player on the sole basis that some morons would prefer to see a player who has the right Ottawa hockey roots than the right talent.
As weird as it is to say because he is a John Muckler draft pick, the organization did the right thing by calling up Jim O'Brien. Although he's not the feel good story, it looks like he'll actually have a future with the organization in two to three years time.
A Thought on the Rozsival Trade
After being told repeatedly by Bryan Murray that the Senators cannot complete a trade because a deal has to be matched dollar-for-dollar, the New York Rangers went out today and moved Michal Roszival to the Phoenix Coyotes for Wojtek Wolski.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not shitting on Murray for missing the boat on any of the involved players. However, this is the third trade involving an expensive defenceman, Hannan and Wisniewski being the others, who was moved in a non dollar-for-dollar deal.
In some terrible asset management, the Coyotes dealt Peter Mueller to Colorado for Wolski and then eventually shipped Wolski's less expensive cap hit and expiring contract to the Rangers for a second pairing defenceman who carries a $5-million cap hit this season and next.
To emphasize how shitty this trade was for Phoenix, one Rangers fan submitted this photo to the Rangers blog Bleeding All Blue.
The thing bothering me now is that the whole "bring up Locke" argument has taken over Sens nation. To be honest, I could care less maybe Im being too harsh here but I doubt any of these two will help us now and neither of them will be part of our future unless we continue our path of mediocricity.
I'd like too see something happen with the Sens, anything! Loss after loss, and the only thing changing is players getting injured. I know the season is already lost but hell even the Leafs are waking up and playing some hockey. Oh well guess it's Spezza's fault......
@SensDew19 People complain about it because it's something that the organization can actually control. If Locke was called up and didn't produce, it'd be back to questioning why the team can't bury its chances.
As a senators fan I can only sit and shake my head. I understand Locke has been "deemed" too small and slow to play at the NHL level but you can't help but wonder how much of an evaluation can really be made when he's only played 4 games. He has led in scoring in every level he has played at and with the season this team is having evaluating ALL of your assets before the end of the season is what is in order. The worst thing that happens is you show your fans and your organization that in fact the leading scorer in your farm teams league is only that, a farm hand. I'm not rooting for him for the fact that he has ottawa roots, it more has to do with the fact that he ALWAYS is in the lead for scoring and in my opinion hasn't been given a valid shot. I'm sure at the very least he puts in a much more solid effort than a certain #27 he happens to be replacing.
@s3nsfan First of all, great comment and thanks for registering with the site. I do have to ask though, how many games would you give Locke to prove that he can be a NHL caliber player? What's an appropriate sample size of games?
As much as we talk about the development of prospects at the NHL level, it's equally as important to create a winning culture and environment at the AHL level.