Archive for May, 2012

OK last prediction

- May 30th, 2012

I’m taking the Los Angeles Kings in 6. I don’t know why.
I just think they’re going to win.
The New Jersey Devils have been excellent in the playoffs.
I just think the Kings have shown they can beat every opponent handily.

Under the B….Luke Richardson

- May 23rd, 2012

No surprise at all that Luke Richardson will be introduced as the head coach of the American Hockey League Binghamton Senators, in a 3 p.m. press conference in Bingo this afternoon.
The job appeared to be his for the taking.
Richardson, a veteran of 20 NHL seasons and an assistant coach in Ottawa for the last three, is a highly respected man. He’s got a strong work ethic and he’s a good communicator. Looking for someone to say something bad about him? You won’t find the person. All he lacks is head coaching experience at the pro level (he has coached girls teams) but that shouldn’t be a roadblock between him and success.
Richardson will do a good job helping the young talent develop, especially the defencemen.
If the Senators are going to fill the job he held in Ottawa – and if they are looking to hire another ex-player for it – I have some suggestions.
1. Jason York, a former Senators defenceman like Luke, does radio, TV and writes a column for the Sun. But he might be interested in the challenge. If so, he’s certainly worth consideration.
2. Shaun Van Allen has coached the defence at Carleton University for the last couple of years. He’s a smart hockey guy and also a good communicator.
3. Todd White, another ex-Senator who has gone into the media, would probably be a good fit as well. I see White getting into the management side of things at some point. but this could be a stepping stone he’d have to consider.

And down goes Canada

- May 17th, 2012

So, how are we all feeling about Canada being eliminated by Slovakia at the world championship this morning?
Distraught?
Upset?
Disillusioned?
Shouldn’t be too crushed, as it’s not like the country’s best players were representing. Still, Canada did have a pretty strong lineup, and you would have expected its road to at least go beyond the quarter-finals.
I’d like to know why the powers that be decided to pick Ryan Getzlaf as the captain. You know, the 11-goal scorer this season who led the Anaheim Ducks all the way to a 25th place finish. The guy that was reported to be partying up and threatening citizens over in Europe after a game one night. The guy that was on the ice for the game-tying goal and in the box for the winner today.
There’s some leadership for you, eh?
John Tavares would have been a better choice. Or Duncan Keith. Or just about anybody else, in my opinion.
In fact, I wouldn’t have even had Getzlaf on the team. I would have told him to go home as soon as Jason Spezza became available and offered his services.
But maybe that’s just me….

My top 5

- May 17th, 2012

I wrote a story on this. Thought I’d post it here. Discuss amongst yourselves. I’m taking some time off. Will try to make sure Don moderates the comments.

Will Bryan Murray go shopping this summer?

The Senators GM probably wants to get his own house in order before making that decision. He has to find out if captain Daniel Alfredsson will return and also must sign defenceman Erik Karlsson.

Then, Murray has to decide whether he’s going to keep unrestricted free agents Matt Carkner, Zenon Kenopka and Filip Kuba. Getting a new deal for pending restricted free agent winger Nick Foligno also is a priority.

With $37 million committed for next season, the Senators will have to decide if they’re going to be big spenders on July 1. Owner Eugene Melnyk has indicated they won’t be a cap team again. However, there is room to buy.

The Senators want more scoring support up front and a defensive defenceman for the back end. Here’s a list of five free agents they should look at:

No. 1 Zach Parise, C, New Jersey Devils

He will be the No. 1 free agent on the market and the Senators’ chances are slim.

But they will make a pitch. Parise’s going to make more than the $6 million he pulled down this season. If the club wants to add scoring, Murray, at the very least, has to make a phone call.

With 31-39-69 points in 82 games this season, Parise has helped lead the Devils to the third round of the playoffs against the New York Rangers. He certainly would take some of the scoring pressure off Jason Spezza.

The competition will be fierce. Parise will want to go to a team that’s going to push for a Stanley Cup. The Senators have shown they’re back in the race. This one is worth a try.

2. Chris Kelly, C, Boston Bruins

He won his Stanley Cup. Now, it is time for him to come home.

Kelly was dealt during the purge in 2011, but the Senators didn’t really want to get rid of him. The club was going nowhere under then-coach Cory Clouston and Murray had a chance to give a good soldier an opportunity to win.

It’s no accident Kelly brought the Stanley Cup back here last summer to celebrate with family and friends. He kept his home in Barrhaven and there’s a strong belief he wouldn’t mind coming back.

He would have success playing under coach Paul MacLean’s system and the club could use his leadership. Bringing Kelly back is a move that makes sense for both sides.

3. Bryan Allen, D, Carolina Hurricanes

The Senators are going to need a defensive defenceman.

They have to decide whether they’re going to retain Kuba and Carkner or let them walk away as UFA’s. It’s hard to say what route they’ll take, but Allen could be had for a reasonable price if they opt to go to the free-agent market.

He wasn’t dealt at the deadline so it might make sense for him to stay put in Carolina. He’s popular in the dressing room and had a minus-1 rating on a team that struggled in all areas most of the season.

Allen had a cap hit of $2.9 million this season. He’ll have interest on the market, but is a realistic choice.

4. David Jones, RW, Colorado Avalanche

The 27-year-old made $2.5 million this season.

He had 20-17-37 points in 72 games last season. You’d have to think he’d thrive and have success playing on the right side of Spezza. The Senators just need a little more production from that top line.

Bobby Butler was supposed to be that man for Ottawa, but it didn’t work out. Jones is a guy who has played in the league and knows what it takes to score goals. Spezza is the kind of guy who can get Jones the puck.

Scouts believe Jones’ best years still could be ahead of him.

No. 5 Jiri Hudler, C, Detroit Red Wings

You have to think Hudler might decide to stay where he’s comfortable and had plenty of success in his career.

It’s difficult for any player to leave Motown, but Hudler is coming off a 25-25-50-point season in 82 games and may want to cash in on his success. He is familiar with MacLean, a former Red Wings assistant coach, and could work well in a second-line role.

After making $2.7 million this season, Hudler is going to be in for a healthy raise. There may not be room for him in Detroit because the Wings are expected to make a pitch for Parise along with defenceman Ryan Suter.

Hudler could be a nice fit for the Senators, but he’ll attract plenty of interest even with the CBA set to expire.

Clouston: He has a problem!

- May 15th, 2012

Cory Clouston has been sent packing by the Brandon Wheat Kings.
After signing a two-year deal with the Western Hockey League club last season, the former Senators coach was fired Tuesday by GM Kelly McCrimmon. Clouston was fired by the Senators at the end of last season.
“I have given a great deal of thought to our coaching situation for the upcoming season,” said McCrimmon in a statement posted on the club’s website.
“I do not want uncertainty with this and as a result have decided we will not have Cory return. He will perhaps have opportunities to coach professionally, failing that, we will honor the second year of his contract.”
The club went 39-28-1-4 last season, but was knocked out in the second round of the WHL playoffs by the eventual league champion Edmonton Oil Kings.