All eyes on P.K. with clock ticking

- July 30th, 2014

The arbitration hearing for P.K. Subban is set for Friday.
It won’t get there. It can’t get there. The guy has too much talent, he has too much heart and he has no shortage of desire. Subban is one of the guys the Habs should build their team around.
I think he’s a tremendous talent and a excellent player.
I don’t honestly believe the Montreal Canadiens want to go into an arbitration hearing with Subban they know they are going to lose.
The last guy to get awarded $7.5 million was Shea Weber.
Subban is going to get more. He will easily get $8 million and is seeking $8.5 million. On the open market, he’d be a $10 million player.
The Habs don’t need this battle. Their fanbase doesn’t want it.
My guess is he settles for an eight year deal worth $64 million.
I told Doug Hempstead if Subban doesn’t get that contract then I owe him a coffee. I just don’t see the Habs want to make this battle personal.
Get it done and get it done quickly. I really believe Habs’ GM Marc Bergevin will. That makes the most sense. Subban’s agent Don Meehan is a dealmaker.

Bryan battling cancer

- July 7th, 2014

The Senators confirmed the sad news today about GM Bryan Murray.
The diagnosis came recently of cancer. He informed the scouting staff after the draft. He had more more meetings in the last week to outline what route would be taken.
Murray elected to work through the draft and free agency with all this going on. Keep Bryan Murray in your thoughts. He is a good man who has spent his lifetime in hockey.
Here is a copy of the news release:

The Ottawa Senators announced today that General Manager and President of Hockey Operations Bryan Murray has been recently diagnosed with cancer. The Senators organization issued the following statement:
“Mr. Murray is undergoing further testing and will begin treatment immediately for this condition as prescribed by the team’s doctors in collaboration with specialists.

Mr. Murray’s treatment schedule may require him to be away from the Senators office periodically. During his periodic absence, assistant general managers Pierre Dorion and Randy Lee will be responsible for managing the Ottawa Senators hockey operations department.

On behalf of the entire Senators family, the team is asking that the thoughts, prayers and support of the entire hockey community are with Bryan and his family.

The Senators and Mr. Murray ask that you please respect his family’s privacy during this time.

There will be no further comment from the Senators organization.”

Spezza gone to Dallas

- July 1st, 2014

BRUCE GARRIOCH
Ottawa Sun

Jason Spezza will be reach for the Stars.
As the Ottawa Sun reported first, the Senators kicked off the fireworks on July 1 by dealing their disgruntled captain to Dallas for winger Alex Chiasson along with prospects Alex Guptill, Nicholas Paul of North Bay and a second-rounder next year.
Spezza asked for a deal in April and finally got his wish after a trade fell through on the weekend. Chiasson is the centrepiece of the deal for the Senators. He had 13 goals and 35 assists last season with the Stars.
The Stars and Blues were the last two teams left in the hunt for Spezza. The club has a $7 million cap hit and will make $4 million in real salary. The Senators aren’t done, they will make more deals today.
GM Bryan Murray said on the weekend he would continue to try to get a deal done.
“We’ll continue to talk and over the course of time I’m sure the people that miss out on July 1 will come knocking but we’ll have to wait and see,” said Murray as the draft wrapped up.
“He’s got a year left on a contract. If we can find a good package _ something that is somewhat comparable _ and I’ve said all along we won’t get full value. Jason’s an 80-to-90 point guy and you don’t get that kind of return in any kind of trade in this league today.
“I’m hoping that we get something fair in return for the player.”

bruce.garrioch@sunmedia.ca
Twitter: @sungarrioch

Uh-oh

- June 29th, 2014

PHILADELPHIA _ Well, that didn’t go quite as planned.
For two months the Senators were hoping to trade captain Jason Spezza at the NHL entry draft.
Nothing happened.
Not quite the case.
Spezza rejected a deal to go the Predators. Not quite in the same fashion that Dany Heatley wouldn’t go to Edmonton but there are some similarities. Spezza would not take Nashville off his list.
That strikes me as odd. You would think Mike Fisher would maybe pick up the phone and try to sell Spezza on the city. You can’t make a guy do what he doesn’t want to do.
Part of the problem with the Predators is their image. For some reason people don’t consider them a serious contender. Not true. They’ve got some good talent but definitely need more scoring. David Poile is one of the more aggressive GM’s in the league. He has conviction.
Spezza musn’t think he can win there. That can be the only explanation.
You get the sense this whole Spezza trade scenario is about to turn ugly, very ugly. He hasn’t said a word. Won’t answer calls. Those close to him say he’s pretty much gone underground.
His agent Rick Curran told me the other day he and his camp will be happy to speak when Spezza is dealt. My thinking is they break the silence at some point here. We all know Spezza can’t come to camp. A deal will get done before September. The draft was a good pressure point.
Heading home. Take care.

Been awhile

- June 21st, 2014

Sorry for the delay coming in here.
Was run around this month. Trying to get some holidays in plus was back and forth between Montreal plus the final two games of the Stanley Cup final.
Not much of a final. Anti-climatic really. We expected the Kings to win and they did.
So now what?
We wait for Jason Spezza to be dealt.
You have to think he will go at the draft.
Not sure they will get what everybody thinks they will.
I assume they will want a player, prospect and No. 1 pick.
There has to be more than St. Louis and Anaheim involved here.
Headed to the draft. Will do a better job keeping this updated through free agency.
From there going to take some holidays.
Nice to have the football team back.
Oh and here’s their schedule released on Sunday:

2014-15 Ottawa Senators regular-season schedule (all times Eastern and subject to change)
Thursday, Oct. 9, at Nashville, 8 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 11, at Tampa Bay, 7 p.m.
Monday, Oct. 13, at Florida, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 16, vs. Colorado, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 18, vs. Columbus, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 22, vs. Toronto, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 25, vs. New Jersey, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 26, at Chicago, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 28, at Columbus, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 30, vs. Chicago, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 1, at Boston, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 4, vs. Detroit, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 6, vs. Minnesota, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 8, vs. Winnipeg, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 11, at Vancouver, 10 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 13, at Edmonton, 9:30 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 15, at Calgary, 10 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 20, vs. Nashville, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 22, vs. St. Louis, 3 p.m.
Monday, Nov. 24, at Detroit, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 25, at St. Louis, 8 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 28, at Florida, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 29, at Tampa Bay, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 2, at N.Y. Islanders, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 4, vs. N.Y. Islanders, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 6, at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 7, vs. Vancouver, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 11, vs. Los Angeles, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 13, at Boston, 1 p.m.
Wednesday, Dec. 17, at New Jersey, 7 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 19, vs. Anaheim, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 20, at Montreal, 7 p.m.
Monday, Dec. 22, at Washington, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 27, vs. Detroit, 7 p.m.
Monday, Dec. 29, vs. Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 3, at Boston, 1 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 4, vs. Tampa Bay, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 6, at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 8, at Colorado, 9 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 10, at Arizona, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 13, at Dallas, 8:30 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 15, vs. Montreal, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 17, vs. Carolina, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 20, at N.Y. Rangers, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 21, vs. Toronto, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 29, vs. Dallas, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 31, vs. Arizona, 3 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 3, at New Jersey, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 5, vs. Washington, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 7, vs. Columbus, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 10, at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 12, vs. Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 14, vs. Edmonton, 2 p.m.
Monday, Feb. 16, vs. Carolina, 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 18, vs. Montreal, 7 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 20, at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 21, vs. Florida, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 25, at Anaheim, 10 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 26, at Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 28, at San Jose, 10:30 p.m.
Tuesday, March 3, at Minnesota, 8 p.m.
Wednesday, March 4, at Winnipeg, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, March 6, vs. Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 8, vs. Calgary, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, March 10, vs. Boston, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, March 12, at Montreal, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, March 13, at N.Y. Islanders, 7 p.m.
Sunday, March 15, vs. Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, March 17, at Carolina, 7 p.m.
Thursday, March 19, vs. Boston, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 21, vs. Toronto, 7 p.m.
Monday, March 23, vs. San Jose, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, March 26, vs. N.Y. Rangers, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 28, at Toronto, 7 p.m.
Sunday, March 29, vs. Florida, 5 p.m.
Tuesday, March 31, at Detroit, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, April 2, vs. Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 4, vs. Washington, 7 p.m.
Sunday, April 5, at Toronto, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, April 7, vs. Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, April 9, at N.Y. Rangers, 7 p.m.
Saturday, April 11, at Philadelphia, 12:30 p.m.