Back, with apologies

- January 8th, 2013

Yes, we’re guilty of virtually ignoring this blog. Probably because there was no real hockey to write about and we knew you were getting more than enough of the lockout crap on the rest of the web site and in the paper.
But it’s over now, and so is our negligence of Off The Posts.
Meanwhile, the Senators would also like to apologize for their disappearance the last three months.
Here’s how they did it Monday:
The first promise to the fans was made by Senators coach Paul MacLean.
“Thank you for your patience,” he said when asked what message he’d like to send to the team’s faithful. “It’s been frustrating for all of us. Come and watch us play, because we’re going to come and we’re going to play. And we’re going to play for the fans. They’ve been so good to us.
“I’m looking forward, and I know the players are looking forward, to getting out here and just playing.”
And trying to make everyone forget a113-day nightmare.
“I don’t think the lockout was necessary,” Senators player rep Chris Phillips said when asked if NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was to blame for the 113-day shutdown. “We were ready to lace up and play and work through a new agreement. I guess that’s his call, or a group decision on that side. I don’t think it was necessary.”
Asked if fans will be forgiving enough to get back to the rinks, Phillips was unsure.
“We’ll see when the puck is dropped. I hope not,” he said. “It was very frustrating for everybody. I’m sure it’s not going to happen on the ice but hopefully they will come out.
“The reality is we need the fans. They are a big part of the game. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to survive.”
Daniel Alfredsson echoed the sentiments.
“I think there are a lot of bad feelings out there,” he said. “As far as we go, we’re going to do the best we can on the ice to put a good product out there. As far as us being a small market team, we need our fans. Hopefully they will come back and do it quick.”
Phillips, meanwhile, said players got the best deal they could get without having to give up an entire season.
“That’s really your goal, at the end of the day,” he said. “See what you can get, but still being able to get on the ice.
“The deal is what it is, were going to have to deal with what’s in there. It was give and take, all the way along. That’s what negotiating is. Now we can go back to playing hockey.”
And stop talking about a CBA that should have been signed 114 days ago.

don.brennan@sunmedia.ca

Categories: Hockey

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13 comments

  1. Bobby Goodman says:

    If that were true, wouldn’t it free you up to respond to the ones who have been loyally supporting this blog? And, the reality is, there has been real hockey to talk about!

    The WJHC just finished and we get nothing but the tired predictable stories of support for Hokey Canada and their “Program of Excellence”. Move left or right and dig an inch…there are many stories to write about!

    - how could Mackinnon improve his draft position if he was already number one (and he played 6-8 minutes a game with bums).
    - why did the “tremendous” coaching staff have him on the 4th line playing 6-8 mintes a game?
    - does Salmond sound like someone who really supports change?
    - why didn’t the best hockey players go to Russia
    - couldn’t Ceci at 6-2 been much better than the diminitive Murphy (who plays for the Coach in the OHL)
    - Why Spott-off (and didn’t he say he wouldn’t accept any mistakes, but the team made many!)
    - Why not Hunter

    Also Don, there is more real hockey, the AHL where many real hockey players are playing. We bloggers have asked questions and had things to say but as you say, we have been ignored. Dave was going to share a recap of a game but who cares many days later. Why not tell us who support this site things like:

    - what really is going on with Zibanejad who has now missed 16 games (isn’t it consipicuous no one in media land have a thing to say about him…id he suffer a major injury when he had his teeth pulled)
    - what has gone on with the guy who scored 23 goals last year and was pegged as (by the man who is an “excellent jedge of talent – Murray) Spezza’s right winger for the next 10 years

    To announce that you are back now rings as hollow as your same message last year. The coaches, owners and players much like criminals are sorry when it is over. The only real honesty I’ve heard was from Oli Jokinen who said he was embarrassed.

    Fans, like me, Murph, Dave, Pav, Mikey, Kev, Potts and others have been taken for granted. This used to be a thriving spot with many contributors but most have left. It is a damn shame but I understand why. I know it is only a “Blog” but it is the Sun’s Blog, you and Bruce are the principal hosts and like my Father would say, if it is worth putting your name on it, make sure its your best.

    Things have changed Don, its Teusday (Bruce’s story still sits ingnored with but 9 posts).

  2. Daniel Murphy says:

    Now that an abbreviated hockey season is going to start, can someone tell me what my expectations for Senator success or failure should be? Are we still in a re-building phase and making the playoffs would be a bonus? Is this going to be year 2 or year 3 of a 5 year rebuilding plan?

    If we are considered to be legit contenders, what improvements to the team should we make? Do we try and trade Anderson? Do we dangle Bishop out there? Is our defence suspect?

    Out of curiousity, how does a team like Notre Dame get ranked #1 and is then declared 9.5 point underdogs against a team that is ranked #2? If Notre dame is an underdog, then does common sense and logic not tell us that Alabama is a better team and if that is the case, why does the silly BCS system tell me the opposite?

  3. Mike8888 says:

    If the NHL teams are really “sorry” for the lockout then they should reduce ticket prices to 50% for at least half of their home games.

    Hey Kevin,
    Most of us like the Bingo updates.

  4. PaV says:

    Bobby, we have been taken for granted. I am holding my groud, I will not go to a game this season. The NHL and NHLPA will take years to recover to the damage that this lockout has caused.

    Don’t bet oo hard on Bruce and Don. There wasn’t that much to talk about. I didn’t want to sit here and read posts about the lockout. The WJHC was ok. I knew Canada was going to tank. The USA team just had more in them than Canada. I don’t like the ‘rust’ crap that gets thrown around.

  5. OD99 says:

    Well my New Year Resolution (as it has been for many years in a row) is to try and get healthier and lose some weight…let’s hope that Don and Bruce are better at sticking to their resolution than I am ;)

    Although it was ridiculous and a waste of time the lock-out is done and I am happy to forget it and start watching some hockey – from my couch. My Senators “ticket guy” is a super dude and he contacted me on Sunday to see if I would come back this season. We are going to talk and see what they will offer but at this stage I think I will hold my ground for at least this season. With my travel, a condenses schedule and a baby on the way end of March I think it would be hard to get out to many games anyway.

    I am actually looking forward to picking only a few games I would like to see and enjoying them rather than sometimes having to scramble to make it to games I have tickets for but is almost a hassle to get to.

    So now we get to see which new faces will be in the Senators line-up and how the team will be shaped in the coming years. The defense is going to be shaky now matter what in my opinion but the forwards just might surprise us and score even more goals per game than last years squad.

    I am particularly interested in seeing how Regin is going to play as well as Latendresse. Hard to say where they are going to play, especially with Silf almost a shoe-in to get top 6 minutes but one of them will be on first or second line and will be expected to produce. I think Latendresse will be with Alfie and Turris but it will all come down to how well he stayed in shape in the off season. He has the hands to snipe a few goals but I think he is boom or bust.

    I expect the tandem of Anderson and Bishop to remain the starter and back-up with Lehner playing his final season in the AHL.

    D is going to be tough…Wiercioch, Benoit and Borocop will fight to see who makes the NHL but I could actually see either Wier or Benoit slide into the 4 slot with Gonchar and potentially Boro as the 7. I think of 2 of the 3 have to be on the team to start the season.

    Team D will be huge if the Sens are going to compete but I have no idea right now what to expect. They barely made the 8th spot last season with a few players having what I have to assume is above average seasons so can they play well enough as a team to get in again?

    Do we want them to make it in again? If they sucked bad I would be fine with that as well since there are a lot of top end talent players going to be available early in this upcoming draft. Jones, that Russian kid, some of the Swedes and of course the young Canucks would all look good in the Sens system. Jones is looking like he is going to be a true franchise D – so big and such a good skater…once he fills out and learns to be a bit meaner he is going to be a beast.

    Thanks Mike, whether LaffNation wants to see my Bingo updates or not I expect to keep providing them from time to time even with the NHL ready to…

  6. Bobby Goodman says:

    Congratulations on the baby coming Dave and I do enjoy your updates.

  7. PaV says:

    OD99, your ticket guy must like you more than me, I have heard nothing! ;-)

    I am not sure if the SENS will make the post-season. It depends on how the ‘youth’ of this team plays out. We did have a lot of players playing down in Bigo and some overseas, so hopefully that will help the rest of the team shake off any ‘rust’.

    With a 48 game season, I think this is the best chance that Laff Nation has to make the post season. Maybe if the score Roberto they will be able to get that push in to the post season.

    Everyone is talking about the SENS toughness. That they are not tough enough with the loss of some of our fighters. I am not sure. Time will tell, but I cannot see Neil and Smith being that intimidating presence as Carks was.

  8. KevinF says:

    Never said there was anything wrong with the Bingo updates fellas, anyone with a computer and a little knowledge or at the very least a credit card can watch all the ahl they desire all on their own. Just poking a little fun at the Norfolk gloating.Glad to see my ol pal Dave responded with humor, rather than the tired fury and school yard name calling, encouraging! There may be reason to stop by here after all.

  9. Bobby Goodman says:

    So Lord Burke got tossed…the new owners, as it turned out, have more truclence than the team he built. Now it is time for Nonis. Nonis, you know him because he was the one who broke down and cried when Burke left him on his own in Vancouver. He is the guy who Burke hired, again, to assist him in Toronto. What Nonis has accomplished in his Hockey Management career is unclear. He brought Luongo to Vancouver but as a prominent writer said today, the next two years with Nonis were the most boring years in their history and like Burke there, did little to challenge for a Cup. It is said that Nonis was the one ” who really did the day to day business of a GM in Toronto; if that is true, is it something to be proud of (I would take Seguin straight-up over Kessel). Has Kadri worked for the Leafs? Was Tim Connoly a good “hockey deal”? What about Armstrong (now gone). Will the new Caoch be the difference (I don’t think so!). Is there first draft choice consistent with the tough direction preaced by Lord Burke. Have they found a goalie in the last 4 years? Was the Polack Pylon a great investment (I understand the team may buy-out Komisarek). Phaneuf was great but the team missed the post season the last 4 years!

    Everyone seems to be surprised by his firing but I am not and indeed predicted it. All Leaf fans should be celebrating the move. I am not sure Nonis is a good choice though and I know he has no truculence in him…at the annoucement I thought he was going to cry again.

    Is Tyler Bozak and Nazim Kadri really steep price to pay for Luongo? Kadri has potential but it would be a big risk for Toronto to get Luongo. I think he is a good goalie (.915 sv% last year) but his best years are behind him and he doesn’t perform when it counts. The best reason to stay away from him however is his contract whick is absurd (and who authored that contract?).

  10. OD99 says:

    Thanks for the congrats Bobby, things are going to be a little hectic in a couple of months…

    Pav, did you cancel your season tickets during the lock-out? They didn’t want to let me cancel but eventually relented…I haven’t spoken to my guy yet but I am sure I will later this week so I will let you know what they are offering. I only get a flex 40 as well, not a full season package.

    Kevin not sure what you are referring too, you must be going way back but if I did gloat I am sure if was for good reason – the B Sens have had some players be pleasant surprises (and yes I am aware of franchises moving). “Tired fury and…name calling”? Me? I guess certain people can bring it out but I haven’t felt fury here ever – haven’t even been irked in many, many months on here.

    Bobby, I think the timing of the Burke firing is what has people scratching their heads – obviously his record is reason enough to be fired but he did do some very good things in the last couple of years and I think the Leafs are trending in the right direction, particularly with their prospects and their salary cap situation. That said, I am glad to see his pompous ass gone.

    Actually in Toronto this week and was out to lunch with a client when the news came down, lots of stunned faces and the talk shows just full of people completely confused as to what the heck happened. At this stage I don’t care about the Leafs and am only interested in how the Senators season will go – so many questions marks all around.

  11. Visitor - Pierre D. says:

    “Fans, like me, Murph, Dave, Pav, Mikey, Kev, Potts and others have been taken for granted. This used to be a thriving spot with many contributors but most have left. It is a damn shame but I understand why. I know it is only a “Blog” but it is the Sun’s Blog, you and Bruce are the principal hosts and like my Father would say, if it is worth putting your name on it, make sure its your best. ”

    What, no love for the Visitor :P

    Reading Phillips’ comments made me want to bang my head against the nearby wall.
    Chris, the reason they locked you out rather than let you play is simple: The LAST time a league played under Fehr was Major League Baseball in the 90s and they went on strike and cancelled the playoffs and World Series!
    Does Phillips REALLY think the owners aren’t cognizant of Fehr’s tactics? By locking THEM out the NHL was in full control from day one and that’s what they wanted.

    As for the fans being back, FAT CHANCE, at least here, for the first month or so. Tampa Bay sold 200 season ticekts for $200 each. Pittsburgh is having signed jersey giveaways at games, Dallas is letting kids in free until March! What are the Senators doing? Free admision for kids against the Panthers, fine if you have kids but what about a general promotion? Seeing two mediocre teams facing each other…on a Monday…not a great home opener to be sure.

    As for Burke, he got canned because he was too outspoken for Bell Media. He’ll have a press conference today though to explain his side.

    As for Erik Karlsson….I just shake my head. Pink Babs shirts? Boston Red Sox caps? We have local teams here he can represent. We have artists in Ottawa who can probably give him a T-Shirt. Why be so flamboyant? Is Karlsson aware of where he lives? We aren’t flamboyant and flashy here! This is a quiet town, we go to work then come back home, maybe get a few drinks and that’s it. Look at our captain Daniel Alfredsson. He isn’t flashy! He goes to work, does his job, goes home or goes out with the guys but never draws attention to himself.
    Someone HAS to rein in Karlsson off the ice because I don’t want another Emery scenario where I hear EK is partying and dancing at all hours. And someone has to rein him in ON the ice because our GA has been absolutely putrid of late and his job is to DEFEND as well as START THE OFFENSE. Do NOT be surprised if Erik is the new whipping boy in town, just too flashy.

    As for the team in general, I expect a 5-10 finish in the East. The team clearly showed it can flip a switch last March when it nearly clinched the North East crown. Our “D” looks slow outside EK and soft as a whole, looking forward to Borowiecki.

    Anderson? A head case as always and he’s never won a single playoff round so I don’t see why he isn’t nicer to Don! Once he has a pedigree he can be a diva.

    Missed all of you, missed complaining about everything.
    GO SENS GO!

  12. KevinF says:

    “Nice road win for the lads against a Norfolk team that had an 18 game home winning streak going (earlier this season they had their 32 game winning streak snapped).”

    That’s what I was referring to Dave, just having a little fun with you, I’m sure you would agree that the nice road win, while it did come against Norfolk, did not come against the team that set the bulk of those records

  13. OD99 says:

    Glad to see you haven’t changed Vis.

    I personally couldn’t care less about what fashion sense the players have and am confident it has no bearing whatsoever on what they do off the ice. Karlsson got married this summer and has no history of being a party goer so just take him for what he is. A 22 year old Swede (as you can see by how most of them dress they have style and aren’t afraid to show it).

    I also don’t think we should be too quick to change the reining Norris Trophy winners game…there are 6 other D that can worry about keeping the puck out of our net, not to mention 4 other skaters to help out.

    Why is Anderson a head case?

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