If you've been a regular visitor of this website or follow us (@6thsens) on Twitter, odds are that you've probably noticed me man-crushing on what Kyle Turris has been able to do in limited minutes for the Phoenix Coyotes over the past few months.
Rather than pen another piece that chastises the manner in which Dave Tippett utilizes his roster’s young talent and neglects player development for short-term success, I figured I would use this opportunity to look at another player who would be a fantastic for the Senators – restricted free agent center TJ Oshie.
Admittedly, I don’t even know if St. Louis is listening to offers on him but they may be more inclined to see what teams are willing to offer after Oshie missed a team practice late in the season and was suspended for two games for his “unexcused absence”. And as The Hockey News’ Lyle Richardson explains, the Blues could have payroll complications if management is expected to keep its payroll close to next season’s anticipated floor of $46 million while the club is up for sale.
As St. Louis Today reported, Oshie’s had somewhat of a chequered past...
As a junior at North Dakota, he was suspended for one game in January 2008 after being arrested for disorderly conduct. New Hampshire senior Mike Radja, now playing in Germany, also was arrested in the incident which took place at 2:28 in the morning.
At the time, Oshie was serving probation for a previous arrest, a situation in which he and teammate Jonathan Toews - now with the Blackhawks - were arrested for being minors in a bar.
His talent however, is unquestionable.
And in the days when professional athletes are fighting cabbies over 20 cents or are implicated in dog fighting scandals or are sending pictures of their cocks to female journalists, Oshie’s endeavours pale in comparison.
Besides, who hasn’t missed a day of work because they were too hungover to function properly?
World Championship Lines
Per TSN's Brent Wallace, here are the line combos and defensive pairings for Team Canada:
As Tim mentioned on Twitter, it probably won't take too long for those top two lines to be broken up. They're less defensively reliable than Frank Lessard is during his summer league season.
Ottawa Likes Huberdeau?
According to one CBC.ca mock draft by Mark Seidel, the Senators have scouted Saint John's (QJMHL) Jonathan Huberdeau more than any other team.
From James Gordon's transcript of Melnyk's April 8th meeting with the Ottawa media regarding his infamous "got rid of the bad guys" quote:
How the question was asked, because I have never, ever, ever, even in the worst possible darkest days, when we had some real issues with certain players that you know about, did I go out and badmouth a player. And I wouldn’t. In this case the question was in the context of management and it was almost in half a joke, like yeah, we got rid of the bad guys. And trust me, when it comes to players, there’s no one who cares about them more than I do. The Fisher trade, I don’t know if Bryan spoke about that to you as an example…we gave up a lot to put Mike into Nashville. We could have gotten a lot more for him shipping him off to at least three other cities that were really after him, but you know what? This is a quality individual who is a leader, who I thought of him as a friend and I said, ‘you know what? Bryan, make the call to Nashville. That’s where (wife Carrie Underwood) lives and see what you can do for this guy.’ So we were picking out what can we do for the players who have served us in a good way, and I would do the same thing for any other players that has been with us. As you know, on an ongoing basis, I have always tried to host them at the farm…we do whatever we can. Go take a look at the dressing room, the things that we’ve given them, the tools that we’ve given them. It’s the same thing with the junior team. So it was definitely, I was not talking about the players. Let’s make that very, very clear. Alright?
Okay, so if you take Mr. Melnyk at his word, it's not the players. He even offers his Facebook status with Mike Fisher as evidence that he cares about his players. (Now whether you choose to ignore the fact that trading Mike to Nashville precluded the Senators from receiving a better return and indicates that Melnyk puts a soon-to-be-former player's welfare -- even though he's a millionaire athlete with a gorgeous trophy wife -- above the best interests of his fans and the organization's rebuilding effort, well that's up to you.)
So then, who else could it be?
If it's not the players, it must be the employees.
For an organization whose undisputed greatest player ever and face of the franchise is Swedish, in some ways it's surprising past management didn't do more to surround the Captain with a few of his countrymen. Sure, Dackell and Arvedson were around for a time, and who can forget the annual PJ Axelsson to Ottawa dance? Yet for much of the last decade Alfie has continued to skate alone as the lone Senators representative from Sweden.
The Murray regime by comparison seems determined to make up for lost time. Since 2008, of the 21 draft picks the Senators have made, 7 have been Swedes (including the Rundblad-Tarasenko trade). Much of this focus can be attributed to the influence of Anders Forsberg, a now former Sens scout and current head coach of Skelleftea in the Swedish Elite League (SEL). Anders came to the organization on the recommendation of a Detroit contact of Bryan’s, one Håkan Andersson (arguably the most famous scout in the business, who's made a name for himself plucking Datsyuk, Franzen and Zetterberg out of obscurity). As the story goes, it was largely due to Anders and Pierre Dorion’s influence that Bryan was swayed to trade up in ’08 to select Karlsson. Randy Lee recounted the deliberations on the team1200; "(Bryan)...wanted to take some big Canadian kid” but ultimately Anders won out in spite of “Erik looking like a paper boy”.
That decision has few critics today, and Senator management has gone on to select or trade for fellow Tre Kronor compatriots Robin Lehner, David Rundblad, Jakob Silfverberg and Andre Pettersson among others. In light of Ottawa appearing to fashion itself a new Detroit of sorts or in Silfverberg’s words “the Swedish colony in the Canadian Capital”. It seemed as good a time as any to reach out to someone familiar with the Swedish Elite League, and who better than @steffeG (aka SG for the purposes of this interview) an excellent tweeter on all things SEL, who also happens to be a Sens fan.no comments
Not usually among the “Big Names Forwards” (Nugent-Hopkins, Landeskog, Strome, Huberdeau, Couturier) discussion in this coming draft when the Senators select number 6 is a guy who may be deserving of more attention, Swedish centre Mika Zibanejad. He’s currently making the rounds on some high profile scouting rankings being ranked 10th on Bob Mackenzie’s April rankings, number two on the April CSS European skaters rankings and number 14 on ISS’s March rankings. This large centre (6’2, 191lbs) may be an interesting player to watch as the draft approaches.no comments
Bloguiin brothers in arms The Pens Blog are running a playoff fantasy hockey game that they've used a couple times before, for the 2010 playoffs and the 2010 Olympics, and although we weren't invited, from what we hear it's been pretty successful and a lot of fun. The added incentive is they're giving away $3700 in cash prizes, including a $1000 grand prize.
What better for way for Sens fans to soften the blow of watching the playoffs from the bleachers. Sens fans should be pretty good at guessing odds by now so we should have no trouble with this.
Real easy, something even I could figure out and I'm terrible with this stuff.
You pick one player per team and get points based on how well he does; game goes through the entire playoffs.
You can visit http://rinkotology.com for more details.
The Pens Blog post about Rinkotology is here.
Hook it up.
As I was rudely interrupted while enjoying a raucous candidates debate last night with the news that Senators will make the 6th selection in the 2011 I was a little bummed out at first knowing that the worst case scenario had unfolded. I was in fact out of Sun Chips and my beloved Senators were now drafting in the lowest possible slot for their regular season ranking. It lasted a minute or two until I saw a hockey community collectively step out onto the ledge and dare to jump. It may have been the worst case scenario but it’s still palatable. I can count 24 other teams who would prefer to have our draft slot (but not our tee time). The manic depression and outright anger blew me away. Here’s my take on the colossal sigh that was the 2011 lottery.
When Graeme asked last Thursday if I'd be interested in contributing a few posts the following week, I welcomed the invitation anticipating a time of frenzied speculation with all sort of shiny new GM throwing their hat into the ring. Or so I thought that's the spectacle we'd be observing. Of course hours later any questions were laid to rest at a shotgun press conference announcing Bryan Murray's 3-year contract extension. A fait accompli with a game to go...sigh. Putting aside whether Bryan's performance was deserving of the contract he received, my main gripe was with the process. I guess it was naive to assume the rumours were legit or at least concrete that Eugene was going to examine the organization from top to bottom after the season.
At this point it feels like excoriating Melnyk is as fruitless an endeavor as one can engage in, the phrase tilting at windmills comes to mind. The Euge may appear and speak like a two-bit politician (his propensity for the word game-changer a dead giveaway on that front) but at the end of the day he's a businessman and the Senators his toy. All that said, with the pile of pronouncements he's made into microphones in the midst of this election I wouldn't blame anyone for remarking "That man should be publicly accountable."
For brevity's sake this Scanlan piece more or less echoes my thinking.
The inevitable has happened and I take full advantage by getting in the last of my Carvel power play and Clouston suit digs before they're as dated and ineffective as well...
But let me start by saying in all seriousness I'll miss the Little General and would have liked to have seen what he could have done under different circumstances and have to admit I have always been very impressed by his obvious commitment and unabashed dedication to his profession and craft and wish him well and a quick return to the NHL. I always thought he approached every game with the same intensity and avid attention to detail that were required to coach at this level (note: thought). I really believed when he first started here that we may have finally found a fit and although as time rolled along it became all too apparent the team and Cory were moving in different directions.
As a strange aside, I had great impression of Cory right from the get go. When he was first hired as the coach I saw him out shopping with an individual who was looking at a pair of boots in a storefront. From where I was seated I watched as this individual eyed these boots to no end and was clearly vocalizing their impressions of the footwear to Cory. Cory stood there staring off into the distance seemingly paying little attention to the discussion at hand. I wanted to go wish him good luck but I never did. He was in the zone. It occurs to me years later that the only thing going through his mind was hockey (or maybe something about KISS, either way it's awesome). It's never cool to see someone lose their job (little bit easier to stomach if they make six figures I guess) and wanted to make sure this wasn't taken out of context but I'm not an employment counsellor so with the formalities out of the way, lets get cuttin'.