Stuff from “Smashville”

- January 10th, 2014

Sitting at the Bridgestone Arena waiting for the Senators to take the ice for their afternoon practice. The only other people in the stands at the moment are three of the team’s corporate clients, Le Droit’s Sly St-Laurent, TSN1200′s Dave “The Voice” Schreiber, some sketchy dude in a toque and now, the Citizen’s Ken Warren.
Pierre Dorion, the Senators director of player personnel, joined the team in Nashville today. He wasn’t originally scheduled to be here. Clearly, GM Bryan Murray has summoned him. The new assistant GM? Not formally, but it’s still expected that he and Randy Lee, the team’s director of development and hockey administration, will co-handled the duties.
We all suspected Murray would get the job in Buffalo when he didn’t make this trip. Everyone loves Nashville. Fun, fun.
I sent Tim a text the other night from Denver. Told him a guy had asked me if he was the new Sabres GM. I told Tim I replied to the guy, either he’s got the job or he’s suffering a grave illness – and if he’s suffering a grave illness he’d still be here.
Tim laughed at that one.
Tim is one of the grumpiest guys I’ve ever met. We had some heated arguments over the years. But I also have a ton of respect for him, and I think he even has a little for me.
I’ll miss having him around. I like the miserable SOB.
Quick tale out of school, from our escapades last night.
The bartender at Tootsies came over to clear the table we had just settled into. One of the guys asked her to bring us a round. She did, and was back in about six seconds with the beer.
“What took you?” I asked
“Bleep you,” she replied.
That was the only time I was told yesterday.
Senators are starting to take the ice, led by assistant coaches Rick Wamsley and Jason Smith, and defencemen Patrick Wiercioch and Eric Gryba.
I’ll check back later.

Categories: Hockey

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15 comments

  1. ChokerHater says:

    Say hi to Mike Fisher for us all in Ottawa (one of the bad guys) Nice to see him doing well lately and that the coach really likes his style of play. Buy yourself a cowboy hat Don and you’ll fit right in. By the way, what is a toque?
    Don’t call it that down there, they’ll look at you kind of funny

  2. PaV says:

    Choke you should get your facts right…. Wait sorry that would mean you would use logic.

    Kev here is hoping the Leavs end the slide tonight.

    Good win last night by the Sens. Both goals were flukes but we managed to pull one out.,11 out of 12 pts isn’t too bad.

  3. Bobby Goodman says:

    As sad as it was to learn that Winnipeg fired thier coach (who saw that comining?) it was somewhat amusing as well. The Jets GM said the team wasn’t “trending ” in the right direction. Really? 99.9999% of the time, a Coach is fired because the team is ‘trending” in the wrong direction (losses). Only once did I see a successful coach get wacked with a glorious record which to this day, remains unexplained (despite guiding the Devils 47–24–8 record Lamoriello said he didn’t feel Julien had it ready for the playoffs). Right!

    I wasn’t a big Noel fan, but he was doomed from the get go. There are a couple of players who made his coaching-life difficult (B4 and Kane) and it was Cheveldayoff’s refusal to do the right thing that contrubuted greatly to the play of the hockey club and eventually the Coach’s firing! Watching Andrew Ladd’s interview you could see the pain on his face and as the Captian he took responsibility on behalf of him and his teammates for Noel’s dismissal. On the other hand, there was B4 who looked entirely unaffected, even bored and offered: “it is the business”.

    I’m not sure what Maurice can do and neither does the GM (he has a contract until the end of the year). Will Buff now make an effort? What about Kane? I don’t really know for sure but it is possible they will because it may be possible their plan worked (to rid themseleves of Noel)! Either way, there is some rot on that hockey club and some of leaders have pointed it out but Cheveldayoff has refused to address it. He cites Maurice’s credits: “he has coached a bunch of hockey clubs, different skillsets, different styles, with young players and veterans…” who hasn’t??? I like Maurice but he has coached a few teams now and had to go to Russia to find work!

    Whether Maurice is a good coch or not, his problem(s) will be the same as the ones Noel faced. Players need to have a passion for winning. They need to be willing to put their names on it every game! They must take responsibility and they need to be team oriented. From what I have seen, these two (B4 and Kane) don’t fall into that category and it is a damn shame because they are so damn talented. Buff could win a Norris if he wanted to make the effort/sacrifice. But the team continues to turn a blind eye to his behaviour and it starts every year at training camp and continues on through the year. Although he is listed as 255 many say he could tip the scales at 280. Even if that is true, he’s still amazing but he needs a heart transplant. I liken Kane’s game to that of Seguin; both are young, fast, skilled and fearless (Kane is probably tougher). But whereas Seguin has emerged as a sensation in Dallas, Kane is playing far below his potential in Winnipeg. Perhaps that may be the issue. Perhaps they don’t want to be in Winnipeg and want a trade out. I think Cheveldayoff (and Ownership) should accommodate them!

  4. OD99 says:

    That game in Nashville was the best Zibby has played as a Senator in my mind. He worked hard, carried the puck, made some moves, drove the net and played physical. In short, he did everything you would want a young early draft pick to do (except score in regulation).

    He looked as calm as could be in the shoot-out too…casually skated in and picked his spot.

    Andy was very good too and made the big saves when needed…if Karlsson had a bit of luck he would have had a couple of goals too.

    Speaking of luck – Stone just missed on that back-handed one-timer from Spezza. I don’t think he realized he had enough time to stop it and and shovel it in to the open net. Spezza and Stone certainly have some chemistry but it is sad to see how quickly Spezza’s game is slipping. His curl at the blueline is getting sniffed out easily and he just can’t create that much separation to make his plays. If this is the new Spezza he is still a contributor but hard to think he was 4th in scoring 2 years ago as he really isn’t the same player.

    Cowen looked pretty awful on a few plays out there but he is certainly much better than he was early in the season…can they keep it going in Minny? I hope so, I am going to be there to see it live.

  5. ChokerHater says:

    So Don and Bruce, if the farmer get promoted to president, where does that leave Cryil Leeder?

    @PaV,
    and other insult, and no explanation
    Is Fisher not doing well?
    He was dumped and then called a bad guy
    So what facts
    You are such an insulting person
    I’ll bet you’ve got lots of friends eh

  6. PaV says:

    Choke, I actually have a lot of friends. Do you ever ever read what you write? The ‘English’ that you type in is horrible. You don’t back up anything up with fact, unless is some Ottawa Hall of Famer that you claim to know. Fisher wasn’t traded because he was a ‘bad guy’ if he was a ‘bad guy’ Murray would have moved him somewhere other than Nashville. He did it out of respect for Fisher – Fisher is doing great in Nashville and he is missed in Ottawa in many many many ways. But I don’t expect you to have any sort supporting facts to back up your statements. I do however expect you to use poor grammar, type in broken sentences and make comments which have no facts but hearsay. Where was he called a bad guy? Show us. Give us the link. Show us some sort of proof. Who said it? When was it said? Or was this told to you by some imaginary person? We are still waiting for the link to show that the SENS were going to be sold – as you stated a few weeks back. Again, back up your statements. I can tell you that everything read, said and done after Fishers departure showed that Murray traded him for various reasons, none of which is because he is a bad guy.

    But we can reply on you to refer to Murray as a farmer – you are good for that Choke.

    Sens have a point in the last 7 games – here is hoping they can continue tonight.

  7. Bobby Goodman says:

    We were spoiled years ago when the Sens were perennial favourites to challenge for the Prize. Now, in lean times, we have stooped to inventing reasons to celebrate players and the team. Zibanisbad, the Shooter, can deliver 2 shots on net, win only 44% of his faceoffs, have no goals, no assists and finish with minus 1 yet some will say he played well!

    Bryan Murray is a nice man, make no mistake, but IMHO he hasnt’ been good for the Organization. As coach, with the best team in NHL, he lost to Buffalo in the second round of the playoffs in ’06 and lost the Cup to Anaheim in ’07 (because he wouldn’t dress players who would protect the stars). As GM, Bryan keeps getting extensions even though his record is less than stellar: lost in the 1st round in ’08, didn’t make the post season in ’09, lost in the 1st round ’10, didn’t make the playoffs in ’11, lost in the first round in ’12 and lost in the 2nd round in ’13! Is this what some will call success? Why is he still with the hockey club and how is he being measured?

    I get that there are keen fans who will celebrate anything (out of desperation I suspect) this hockey club in the 3rd year of the 3 year “rebuild” is no where near what the GM promises (“competitive with the League’s best”).

    It is fascinating how the media will publish only the good moves made by Bryan, but damn he should have some to celebrate, afterallm he’s been the GM since ’07! Hear are some of the blunders:

    - first order of business as GM to sign: Smith, Richardson, Robitaille and Lapointe

    - Sending Eaves and Corvo away for Stillman and Commodore. Both left the organization the next year and didn’t have nice things to say. Both have been out of the NHL for a while, Eaves is playing for Detroit and Corvo, is back in Ottawa!?

    - as part of the package, a 1st round pick was sent to Ilanders for Comrie and Campoli (Comrie was here for only a brief time and was disasterous)

    - a 2nd round pick was traded away for Cullen (he didn’t stay with club and left before the next playing year). The GM told everyone he was coming back but even DAs like me knew it wasn’t going to happen.

    - a 2nd round pick was sent away to acquire the big, slow Sutton and he too lasted that playing year only. The GM insisted he was going to stay as well.

    - a 1st round pick was sent away for Rund’sbad. St Louis selected Tarasenko who now. as a 21 year old has 16 goals and is now starring. When it was obvious Rund’sbad was…bad…he was traded away for Turris.

    - the Team had Pascal Leclaire (5m a year), Kovalev and Gonchar (5m each), Latendresse and Jarko Ruutu.

    - Cowan and Zibanisbad were not the great picks

    - NCAA players on the team have not been very good: Greening (he he got a 2m, 3 yearm no trade contract), Wiercoch – who sits half the time), Gryba who that can’t trade, Butler who they tried to make successful (like Zzzz), Winchester (who was awful, but got an 2 year extension).

  8. Bobby Goodman says:

    Cont’d

    As I said, Byran Murray is a great guy, but that doesn’t matter a lick in the business of NHL hockey were winning is the most important measurement. With his newphew gone, he has promoted two directors to AGM (I don’t know who will replace them in their previous roles…if anyone). Lee, has gone from Video Guy, to strength and conditioning coach, to Assistant Coach to Director of Player Development (or something to that effect) to Asistant General Manager in a meteoric fashion! The GM has had a history of finding, singing and firing horrible coaches. He has signed players to absurd contracts: Spezza, Fisher, Emery (who he couldn’t trade and had to buy out…along with others like Leclaire), Gonchar, Kovalev, Greening etc,

    Murray hasn’t cultivated the most professional atmosphere in Ottawa. Some who have left and nothing good to say, He has a habit of using the media to publicly air player disputes in an effort to gain support. He has fosered an environment where there exists (still) a distinct double standard of play and conduct! I have said it before and will say it again, with the way this club has been run, I am certain that Ottawa would not be on a short list for any star free agents.

    We fans now celebrate mediocrity (I shouldn’t say we, ’cause I don’t). On the farm there are some dandy American Hockey League players but are they NHLers? Bryan Murray doens’t think so. Petersson, the guy who would be Spezza’s winger for 10 years can’t make the team. Hoffman, the 2nd leading scorer in the AHL can’t make the team. Boro, the Baby Sens Captain can’t make the team, neither can Grant. Pageau is only with the team out of desperation and we can all concede he isn’t an NHLer. Stone his smart and has some skill but is far too slow for the best league in the world. Greening is now trying and I give him credit, to redefine himself as a player who is willing to fight but his play has been awful. Michalek has fallen of the map. Kassian is a big, slow fighter and brings nothing else to the team.

    Murray traded away Noesen and Silfverberg to acquire Ryan and I will wager he wont sign with the Sens. The draft picks haven’t panned out. Aside from Karlsson, who has really shined? This hockey club has only 2 going to the Olympics, doesn’t that speak to the strength of the hockey club? The team hovers around .500 and will struggle to make the playoffs yet we read in the papers that Murray wants to win a Cup before he retires!!!??? I am sure he does but lets get real here.

    The club has strung some victories together, most take that as a sign things are getting better, they aren’t. I look back at where the team was before Murray arrived, competing for dvision and league titles, among the league leaders in many categories, goals, points, wins etc. Now the team is among the league leaders in other ways: goals scored against, shots allowed, losses, penalties (needless penalties due to chasing).

    And yet, Murray resigns.

  9. PaV says:

    See Choke – Bobby backs everything up with fact – repetitive as it can get – he backs his comments up with fact – give it a try!

  10. ChokerHater says:

    and PaV you criticize him like you criticize everyone, and you
    take your cheap shots at him like you take at everyone
    must be fun living with you, I sure hope you don’t have kids.
    And by the way, you can shove your English language insult too
    you shouldn’t try to teach English
    unless it’s ESL

  11. OD99 says:

    A shut-out victory…Karlsson with 2 assists but Spezza with 2 shots and no points (again) and 20% in the circle.

    That must mean that Karlsson was amazing and Spezza was garbage because I just read that “some people” are so ridiculous as to insinuate that a player who finishes with 2 shots and no points actually played well…I certainly hope that the people who have independent thought and hockey smarts will call out all of Spezza’s shortcomings and educate us all on what a bad season he is having. He now sits at a disgusting -15!!!!

    Bobby, wondering if you want to go back and continue our discussion from earlier – sure would be nice.

    http://blogs.canoe.ca/offtheposts/hockey/the-home-of-hockey/

    My reply to you is the last post.

  12. PaV says:

    Oh poor Choke, so special. Have kids? See going after family is just plain uneducated, in grown up land we use our words – but I expect that low brow comments from you. At least I can form a sentence and not sound like a three year old. :-)

  13. PaV says:

    OD99 – notice how we have yet to see any link to the SENS being sold? I haven’t seen any link to Fisher being a ‘bad guy’ have you? :-)

  14. Bobby Goodman says:

    Whereas I will look at many factors to determine a players contribution Dave, you (and your kind) do not. I don’t think Karly deserved 1st and state why. No, the selections mean squat but…they do offer some insight as to how the media have all teamed up to like Puddy “suppot the team”. It doens’t matter if they’re worthy or not. It is part of the incessant marketting/promotion/propoganda campaign that you and your friends eat up. If it sustains you, great! I prefer legitimacy. No Dave, Karly wasn’t spectacular and again not, Spezza wasn’t

    From the first shift, Spezza was skating, showed some jump, carried the puck and made plays. He set up Greening who has cement hands and although he may be a member of some secret society for the intelectually gifted who graduated from prestigous schools, he has no smarts on the ice. Stone is an American Leaguer who will struggle at the NHL level.

    Karly was dandy with the man advantage, playing with Turris, MacArthur, Ryan and Spezza and his tail end assists are testimony to how creative he was! However, like always, when the game was 5 on 5, he showed us very little. I wonder how many points Turris might have had last night (or all year) playing with Stone and Greening? I wonder how many points he would have had playing with: Neil, Smith, Grant, Pageau, Greening, Michalek, Stone and others. In spite of thay, they guy you so love to hate (again Dave, it doesn’t hurt me like it does you) Spezza, has 30 points. And, he has been plagued with injuries and….coming back from back surgery!

    No one is setting Spezza up for goals Dave. His shots are the result of his efforts most of the time.

  15. Bobby Goodman says:

    You need to look beyond the obvious Dave. You also need to be honest. Unlike you, I am not offended by the truth. Watching young players pick and choose is never a reason for celebration. Just as I call out B4, OV and Kane, I can also call out Zzzzz and Karly. You celebrate them because…..they are Senators. As much as I concede Karly is gifted, he is missing the most important piece, passion/compete/will/hatred of loses all because he doesn’t possess a heart. That’s fine with you. If you and your kind can continually vilify Spezza for being great on this team all these years, I can only imagine what you would be saying if he quit on plays, didn’t make an effort, shied away from corners with guys like Ennis, led the league in give aways, was 264th (at last count) in plus minus among his peers, swore in a media scrum, refused take any resonsibility for his bad play and…then avoid the media. You and your kind would have heated up the tar and killed 1000 chickens to harvest the feathers!

    I don’t think Spezza is having a horrible season Dave. He is simply not having a great season and the reason why have been said, often: he has been hampered by injuries, he is coming off of back surgery and he plays with those who do not possess the requisite skills to play with play maker! This is a concept that might be too much for you and your kind to understand. As for his plus/minus, he is guilty of some of that buth he has played most of the year with Michalek who continues to increase his number. Spezza is minus 15 and Karly, who plays the easiest game of any other player in the league, all offense, all the time is minus 10! As I said, there are 260+ defencemen with better plus minus than him but….why look at the facts. But, even if you choose to ignore the numbers Dave, you only need to look at his absence in every tough game. You only have to look at embarrasing and shameless avoidance of the corners. You may be proud in the way he goes down and immediately look at the referee…I don’t (even Potsie was disgusted).

    It could be different if Karly tried and took pride in his work. He has all the talent in the world. As for Zzzzz, he doesn’t. Yet, you love him anyway, the same way you loved em all that were here including: Daisey the Air Rifle (and endorsed him playing while Smitty didn’t even dress), Butler, Da Costa, Rund’sbad, Cowan, Gryba, Lundin, Latendresse, Gilroy, Pageau, Wiercoch et al!

    You are a good soldier Dave (you and your kind) and the Senator Organization is very greatful. You love the fact that Ottawa flounders to make the play offs and if they do, they either go out in the first round or they lose embarrassingly in the second. This is great hockey as far as you are concerned. I say fabulous, you are blessed it captures your imagination and feeds your enthusiasm. I want more…I want the team to be good again. You and friends don’t care.

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