Bananas, it feels good to be writing down some hockey-related blurbs that that deal with the promise of new games.
In the wake of the lockout ending, the Senators organization conducted their first press conference this afternoon featuring President Cyril Leeder and head coach Paul MacLean. The media addressed a number of items that were so eloquently captured in 140 characters or less by the likes of Sylvain St-Laurent (@syl_st_laurent), Daniel Slater (dslatertv), Ken Warren (@citizenkwarren), and Don Brennan (@sundonib). Midseason form fellas.
Amongst the news, here’s what we know:
- Leeder indicated that the 48-game NHL season would conclude on April 25th or 26th, but had no information pertaining to its start date. (Note: speculation is that it will start on January 19th.)
- Paul MacLean affirmed that fewer than 30 players would participate in camp, however, he remained noncommittal when answering questions as to whether both Ben Bishop and Robin Lehner would be invited to camp.
- While emphasizing that Craig Anderson would remain the team’s number one goalie, MacLean expressed confidence in both Bishop and Lehner to perform and said that the best goaltender would get the opportunity to play. The cynical side of me looks at Bishop’s one-way deal, the fact that Lehner has never demonstrated an ability to be a workhorse in the AHL’s regular season and makes me think that it’s Bishop’s job to lose.
- Although the organization laid off 35 employees during the lockout, they have been called back. Another 25 employees were hired to account for the start of the NHL season.
- The Senators’ season ticket base is down by 800 from 11,300 to 10,500, a 7% drop. This is certainly a different number than what the organization told the Globe and Mail last week, which reported, "the Ottawa Senators have had less than 1 per cent of their 11,300 season ticket base walk away". Leeder expressed confidence in being able to get back to that benchmark and exceeding it; announcing a goal to eventually reach 13,000 season ticket holders. Although he's been saying that for some time now.
More on Cody Ceci's trade to the Owen Sound Attack and GM Bryan Murray's appearance on the Team 1200 later.