The Hamburglar, Big Mac and more…

- February 17th, 2015

Andrew “The Hamburglar” Hammond will make his first NHL start when the host the Montreal Canadiens Wednesday, but that’s only the main story I’m working on. Some pretty interesting sidebar stuff too.
The Senators made it official by calling up Chris Driedger to be his backup. I should say here that Driedger is being summoned because there are no other options. Craig Anderson continues to be sidelined by a hand bruise (it’s almost been a month now) and Robin Lehner is, well, being evaluated.
That’s the only update the Senators provided on Lehner and Clarke MacArthur, who collided and were injured in Monday’s loss to Carolina. The Senators refused to reveal the state secret that is the origin of their injuries, whether it be a shoulder or a knee or, especially with MacArthur, a possible concussion.
Driedger, a 20-year-old, third round pick of Ottawa’s in 2012, appears to be having a rough first season as a pro. With Evansville of the ECHL, he has a 8-25-2 record with a 3.75 GAA and .888 save percentage. Maybe the defence is lousy, I don’t know. But he’s the only other goalie the Senators available for an NHL contract, so “he’s next in the pecking order”, as Super Dave Cameron said.
The Senators have one other move to make, with Big Mac out, and this one might have already been announced by the time I hit send.
I think they’re going to call up Matt Puempel, a LW like MacArthur, and give him his first NHL chance. But that’s just my guess. They could also call up Cole Schneider, a right winger who is having a good season, or Jean-Gabriel Pageau (and move Curtis Lazar back to centre) or Colin Greening.
At first I thought it might be possible they’d just move Mark Borowiecki up and give him his first shot as a left winger. It has been discussed, apparently. But Super Dave said they were calling somebody up, so we’ll go with that.
I think it will be Puempel because it’s past time to look at the young prospects and see what they can do at this level. Puempel is my guess because he’s a left winger and a first rounder … Schneider, an undrafted 24-year old, has 16 goals and is tied with Puempel for third in B-Sens scoring, with 31 points.
Stay tuned.

Methot signs

- February 16th, 2015

Marc Methot will be a stay-at-home defenceman.
The Senators confirmed Monday they’ve signed the veteran defenceman to a four-year contract extension worth an average of $4.9 million per-season. The deal includes a 10-team no-trade clause.
The decision to keep Methot means he won’t be dealt at the NHL trade deadline March 2 and keeps a reliable blueliner beside Erik Karlsson. The two have good chemistry and the Senators didn’t want him going anywhere.
Methot, an Ottawa native, told reporters last week he didn’t want to go anywhere. The two sides had a difficult time agreeing on term because Methot’s camp originally wanted a six-year deal and the Senators didn’t want to go further than four. They finally got down to brass tacks when Methot agreed to go to four years.
“When you look at Columbus, maybe not so much this season, they kind of had a big rebuild but a lot of their young guys had a great run last year,” said Methot last Tuesday.
“It’s no different here. We have a lot of good young players that are coming in and the team is growing. People need to be aware with guys like (Mike Hoffman, Mika Zibanejad, Curtis Lazar and Cody Ceci) that’s a good sign. At the same time, there’s a lot of growing pains and we’re going through that right now. Unfortunately, for them to get better, they have to play a lot. You go through these patches. You’d like to think our future looks bright.”
The future looks bright with Methot on the blueline.

Hi Folks

- February 15th, 2015

The Senators have Sunday off.
I’m at the Binghamton-Toronto Marlies game at the Canadian Tire Centre as I write this. The Senators have some roster decisions to make, specifically with Chris Neil gone for about a month with a broken thumb.
That means a forward will be recalled after this game. It sure sounds like the plan is to leave Jean-Gabriel Pageau in Binghamton for awhile. Who know? He may even help Binghamton make the playoffs. They are in tough.
The Senators are in the midst of a five-game homestand that will go a long way in deciding what they do at the NHL trade deadline. They are working hard to sign defenceman Marc Methot and it sounds like progress is being made on that front. I think it’s important they keep him.
They want to keep the actual discussions quiet because we know they took a turn for the worse in September and if they can get this done under a cloak of silence without daily updates then everybody will be happy. As long as they keep talking then that’s good news.
A lot of rambling here today I know but I haven’t been here in awhile. Do you think they should sign Marc Methot? I do.

No Kane here

- February 12th, 2015

The Senators made a pitch for Evander Kane.
They were serious about trying to bring him in as a top six forward. There may be concerns but those exist about every player. The Senators liked the look of this one.
Kane has scored 30 goals in this league though it should be noted his production has gone down steadily since he did that and he had overstayed his welcome in Winnipeg.
The Sabres paid the price to get him and the reality is they didn’t have to give up a lot to get him. Tyler Myers was a big piece but Drew Stafford is an unrestricted free agent. The two prospects? Who knows they’ll work out.
The Senators weren’t big on giving up young players to make this deal work and they certainly didn’t have the draft picks to make this happen. Tim Murray had three picks in the first round to make this deal right.
You wonder what direction the Senators are going to take here. Are they going to sell off a lot of assets at the deadline? I doubt it. Teams don’t want to take players with a year left on their contracts.
By the way, I do think Dave Cameron will be back next year and I’m not convinced Bryan Murray is going anywhere. Unless his health won’t allow it, I think he wants to stay on the job. I really do. He’s at the office every day, he’s still working the phones and as I tell everyone he is doing well _ battling through every day.

Ceci sits

- February 10th, 2015

BUFFALO _ Cody Ceci was forced to sit and watch Tuesday night.
After posting a minus-4 performance in a 4-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets Saturday at home, the Senators’ defenceman was a healthy scratch against the Buffalo Sabres for only the second time since being called up in Dec., 2013.
While coach Dave Cameron told reporters he was using the club’s “depth”, the decision was made to give Ceci, one of Ottawa’s top four defenceman, which mean Patrick Wiercioch returned.
“Everything you do is in the best interests of the player and the team,” said Cameron following the morning skate. “You make some tough decisions.
“But those are the two criteria we go by all the time: What’s best for the player and doesn’t hurt the team. Can the team survive it? It’s an opportunity for somebody else and that’s what goes into all those decisions.”
The last time Ceci sat was on March 30 last season with former 67’s teammate Sean Monahan and the Calgary Flames in Ottawa. Ceci has been one of the club’s steadiest performers all season and the decision to sit him was a bit of surprise given the fact Jared Cowen was minus-3.