Cry me a river

- December 4th, 2012

Sure the Senators want to maintain a good relationship with the Swedish Ice Hockey Federation. But just as sure as Christmas will come and go, so will any bitter feelings the Swedes have over Ottawa’s decision to keep Mika Zibanejad from going to the world championship.
Ottawa is good for Sweden, just as Sweden is good for Ottawa. Swedes love it here. They love to play here. They love to live here. The officials in Sweden can’t keep the Senators from drafting players in their country. They can’t keep them from reporting to the Senators. So they’re disappointed in Bryan Murray’s decision. So what?
All that aside, the Swedes are being just as selfish as they believe the Senators are for leaving Zibanejad in Binghamton over the holiday season. They’re not at all thinking about what’s best for the kid, the player. They’re only thinking of themselves.
Fact is, even Zibanejad knows remaining in the AHL for those two or three weeks is best for his development. Even he wants to stay and continue to learn the North American game.
Going to Russia for two or three weeks, he’d miss about a dozen B-Sens games. That’s a big chunk of the season. And I’m not sure who it was….I think former player turned radio guy Jason York…who pointed out that the fatigue factor in crossing time zones for such a high intensity tournament, then jetting back, would increase the likelihood of injury for the player. His body would be more susceptible to potential damage. I agree. Missing 12 games is one thing, but missing a month or two…or a season, that would be a huge setback for Zibanejad.
Anyway, even if you don’t, it’s hard to argue that Zibanejad wouldn’t be a better player now had he been able to play major junior hockey last season. He’d be more familiar with a game that is quite different from that played on the wide open ice surfaces of Europe. The Senators know it. Zibanejad knows it.
He needs to play with men on the small surface more than he needs to skate in another world championship, even if it meant winning another gold medal for Sweden.
The Senators have and will continue to invest a lot of money in Zibanejad, the purpose being to get him ready for the NHL and give their team a better chance at one day winning a championship of their own. Missing a dozen games further slows a process that was already delayed by the fact he had to play in Sweden last year.
Also, the Senators should have more loyalty to the fans in Binghamton than the fans in Sweden. Because of the lockout, the Binghamton fans are getting an opportunity to see players now that they won’t see much of in the future. They shouldn’t be deprived of watching Zibanejad – even if it is for three weeks – and they shouldn’t be deprived of this golden opportunity their team has at taking a run at another Calder Trophy. That’s the kind of championship hockey that will most help Zibanejad’s development.
Zibanejad makes Binghamton better now. He’ll make it even better in the weeks and months ahead, because he’ll be better, because the Senators made the decision to keep him in North America now.

Categories: Hockey

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6 comments

  1. Mike8888 says:

    I disagree Don. I believe all junior aged players should be made available for the World Juniors no matter where they are playing at the time. For many players, this tournament would be the highlight of their careers. Obviously, not even all first rounders have successful pro careers. Will a month a way really have any significant affect on a player’s developement?

  2. PaV says:

    I highly doubt this comment will be approved.. but here is my RANT for the day.
    ‘Grossie’ and ‘Simmer’ on the afternoon drive….. If I hear ‘Simmer’ say that he lived in the states, or played over in Europe one more time, I am going to rip my radio from my car. Also, what insightful questions ‘Simmer’ had for the young lad who was named to the WJC yesterday (name escapes me..) but he was on and ‘Simmer’ asks him ‘how does it feel that his teammate wasn’t chosen to be on the team’. Really? REALLY? What kind of question is that? He was put in a tough spot. What do you expect him to say? ‘He is a loser and doesn’t deserve to play?’ – Real insight there Simmie. ‘Grossie’ is no better but at least I can tolerate him… somewhat.
    Now… on to their wonderful interview with Daniel Briere who is playing in Berlin right now. He has the nerve to compliment how amazing it is playing in Berlin, and how they are ‘rock stars’ and how the fans are amazing. He was blown away that at the end of each game the players come out and salute the fans… and how an amazing feeling it is… and blah blah blah… the interview made me not want to watch an NHL game again. If Daniel Briere cannot acknowledge the fans here in Canada and the States and pay them one fricken compliment in the whole interview, then he has lost all my respect. These are the guys who pay your over-paid salary! Then we have to hear from ‘Simmie’ on how he feels is great that players are going over (taking peoples jobs away) and playing overseas because it just helps ‘grow’ the game and the culture is so amazing and he has to ask Daniel Briere about how the food is what is his favorite dish….. is this what passes as ‘good radio’ these days?

  3. Bobby Goodman says:

    Apparently playing in Sweden last year was a handicap for Zibanejad and slowed down his development? Seriously? It didn’t hurt Andre Petersson who came directly from a large ice surface to a small one and scored 23 goals playing for the worst team in the 30 team league (and he is much smaller than Zibby who is 6-2″ and 200lbs). It is a silly thing to say. Colorado’s Landeskog adjusted quickly! We can all agree that the SEL is a far cry from the AHL and as testimony just look at what Sly is doing this year compared to last. We can also look at Rund’sbad’s numbers. What was it about playing in Sweden that actually slowed down Zibby’s development? Some will rationalize until dooms day but the fact is, Zibby is not a goal scorer (he had all of 5 goals and he may do the same in Bingo) and I think it is unfair to expect him to score goals. So again I ask, what kind of hockey player will he be and exactly what is expected from him?

    To suggest that allowing Zibanejad to play in the WJHC “wouldn’t be fair to the Binghampton fans” is silly and what is even sillier is the notion that he makes Bingo better? How is that? I know stats are useless to some but wrap your mind around Zibby’s numbers that are contributing to Bingo’s success this year; he has scored only 1g, added 6a and sports a -3 in 16 games! Someone, anyone explain how this is development!

    I am certain if the Murrays told Zibby he was allowed to go, he would jump at the opportunity and be forever grateful…to suggest otherwise is again, very silly! Isn’t it interesting that we never heard anyone suggest Karlsson, Spezza and Turris were all taking a huge risk of injury due to the Time Zone Fatigue Factor (TZFF). Every year many NHL teams allow their best players to go oversees and play in the WHC, yet, I never heard a whisper about the TZFF…have you?

    I would also like to know exactly how Zibby being away for 3 weeks might compromise Bingo’s chances of winning the Calder Cup? This notion is bizarre! Upon his return the team would have more than 2 months left int he schedule and, they will most certainly make the post season. Will the team miss his one goal and 6 assists playing with the teams best and given every opportunity to succeed on the club evry game? I suspect Zibby wants much more from his game and I really wonder why he is playing professional hockey in North America at all. Was it his great stats last year that gave the Murrays confidence he was ready? C’mon…allow the kid to be a kid and have some fun; he will be old much longer than he will be a young teenager! If the team was truly interested in his development they wouldn’t be robbing him of his yute. Mikey is right on and I know in my heart most agree.

  4. Daniel Murphy says:

    Glad to hear something positive out of the NHL negotiations which led me thinking to the following queries..

    1) If the NHL resumes shortly, will the LA Kings be still suffering from the dreaded Stanley Cup hangover?

    2) If the Sens start poorly, can we blame the dreaded rust factor? If so, how come every team will not suffer from the rust factor?

    3. Will many players be considered fatigued for playing overseas, in the AHL etc…? I am not sure how long it takes for an athlete to get over that dreaded 6.5 hour first class flight from Europe to North America however I am sure the jet leg will be raised often.

    4. Will this year count as a full year with respect to the Sens re-building plan? How long is the plan?

    5. I suggested a long time ago with the arrival of Lehner and Bishop that the Sens considered trading Anderson to a goalie starved team for prospects. Is this a good idea? The clowns on TGOR discussed this as a viable option a few weeks ago.

    Anyway, I hope something is settled soon and that we get some NHL hockey in the New Year.

  5. Visitor - Pierre D. says:

    Agree with Pav, Team 1200 is just abominable.

    SImmer, when I heard this name I thought it was CHARLIE and I would love to hear from him, I refer to as Simpy as he sounds like a simpleton with a collection of Calle Johansson sports cards bringing up irrelevant franchises like the Capitals and Leafs. The high voice + faux arrogance of both hosts makes it utterly unlistenable! I listen to TSN Montreal or Toronto for a good sports take, and CKAC for Ron Fournier, who is at least entertaining and humourous while being a complete homer.

    I loved Yorkie’s comment on Zib. Zib should not play because he scored the winning goal and he has nothing more to prove. Following Yorkie’s logic, we should not expect Crosby, Doughty, Luongo et al. to suit up for the Olympics because they have nothing to prove! York must have spent more time in bars than he did on the ice (and his coming on the air admittedly hung over after a trip to vegas was embarassing!) because that has to be one of the most ridiculous things I’ve heard! Winners want to WIN! It’s a truism! They want not one but TWO gold medals, they want another Stanley Cup, they want more Hart or Norris trophies. That’s what drives you.
    Zib is lost in Bingo and the Murrays already tried to trade him for Rick Nash so you know this line about him adapating in the AHL is a crock! If they are so ready to trade him (and Lehner was allegedly part of that offer) then why not let him play in Russia? Is this Time Zone Foofaraw a big deal for Gonchar as he is playing in the KHL? How about for Karlsson in Finland? No, this is just the Murrays wanting him in the AHL and that’s fine but they should have taken Couturier, who was NHL ready!

    I am reading on one of the Senators blogs that God might retire and who will mentor the kids from Sweden?
    HELLO? Ottawa is the Capital of CANADA. Yes, we welcome Swedes here, and Russians, and Slovaks, and Americans! As long as they play a TEAM GAME and win and succeed in the playoffs (most important of all!) they will be praised and the softball radio media will not be the ones asking hard questions if they flop year after year, needing a rumoured trade to get them to step up their playoff performances!

    As for the lockout, I’m more sure than ever it will last all year and so much the bettter! A 60-game season would be great but the Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahmbulance from each team’s media corps would be blaring with excuses if their locals were absent from the post-season.

    Happy birthday Bryan Murray, thanks for the prospects but I hope a new GM (non-Murray) comes soon to put the focus on the NHL post-season!
    Merry Christmas/Happy Whatever everyone!

  6. Bobby Goodman says:

    Right on Pierre-er, Pav-er, Murpher

    York (Yorks or Yorkie) is another, shameless in their support of any decision, but the makes it worse when he contributes nonsense. It is my contention that most hockey players and especially those Juniors who were selected high in the draft, have something to prove every time they lace it up! I strongly suspect Zibby would love to have the opportunity to be named to the WJHC Allstar Team. Nothing to prove? Absolute nonsense.

    I wonder where/when Zibby announced he was better off staying iin Bingo? I know he said he was under contract with the Sens and will do what they ask. He is a bright kid and I expected nothing less from him but who here doesn’t really think the 19 year old wouldn’t prefer to part of the WJHC, in Russia on the world stage and representing his country? I wonder if all the ‘eez understand that they lose credibility everytime they show their blind acceptance of anything Sens?

    Pierre-er, Zibb-er is lost in Bingo; he is making an effort each and every shift, every night but his is indeed lost. He go into the corners, he hits and he is shooting/getting his chances but, he is not producing. If he is better here as a 19 year old, why was it better for Sly as a 21 year old to return to Sweden to play and star in the SEL last year??? Can someone, anyone explain that to me?

    The Murray’s have been here for a long time and have struck gold with one Swede who has proven he can play in the NHL (what remains to be seen is can he make a contribution when it is truly needed). Certainly Coutourier would have been a better choice for Ottawa but I guess the Murray’s favor 5 goals in the SEL than 14 in the best league in the world playing against the best every night! I for one, prefer a Canadian all things being equal. I have to assume, based a Sens blog, that Canucks don’t require mentoring. Si that good or bad???

    I never undood Brian Murray’s fascination with Swedes (and soft, offensive defencemen) but it is a reality. So, why would he deny an opportunity to promote good will. Why cultivate a bad relationship? This has absolutely nothing to do with “crying” or “whining” but has everything to do with what is right, just and fair (to the hockey player and his country’s program). For those who support Murray’s decision I ask what they would prefer to be doing as a 19 year old, riding the busses in the AHL or participating in the most glamorous/prestigous event in amateur hockey!

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