Friday, September 04, 2009

Best Former Sens - Right Wing

Alright, second installment of the best former Sens roster. Today, we're looking at the right wingers. There was a time where we were simply too strong on the right side and while we couldn't afford him anyway, Marty Havlat had a rough time either playing on the third line behind Alfie and Hossa or trying to move to the left side, which he said he hated. The first two guys in the list today are pretty obvious and perennial All-Stars, while the second two are a clear indication of just how young this franchise really is. Without further ado, your former Right Wing Sens that cracked our roster.

Right Wing

1. Marian Hossa: (467 games, 188g, 202a, 390pts, 243PIM, 1997-2004, 0.8351pts per game)
Any argument here? I remember the day quite well when we shipped Hossa out of town. Muckler was in Toronto along with Hossa and his agent, allegedly working in the hotel lobby in the morning before arbitration. Rejoice! We've agreed on a contract, 3 years, $18M, Hossa is staying! Domage, you've been Mucklered out to Atlanta for this great Canadian superstar, a prairie boy that wants to play in the spotlight and doesn't care about money. (crickets). Hossa's agent kinda led him out of town and learned the hard way that you don't muck around with the Mucks. No problem for Hossa, he's only been in the Finals the last two years (don't ask how it went) and is settling in for a lifetime contract on a solid Chicago team. While in Ottawa, he was plagued as a regular season star, though I guess we say that about every single Senator for the last 13 years, save Alfie in the Finals run. Hossa had the best breakout speed of anyone I've seen and was strong, to boot. I never liked, though, his poor passing abilities. I know he's a goal scorer, but even in the Finals last year, he'd gain the blue line and not really know where to look to find a teammate. Regardless, his time in Ottawa was solid and I can say with confidence that more than half of the Sens fans out there now wish Muckler had never made that trade five years ago.

2. Martin Havlat: (298 games, 105g, 130a, 235pts, 166PIM, 2000-2006, 0.7886pts per game)
Havlat was like Marian Gaborik Lite. Amazing talent and a complete and utter inability to play a full season, though he hung on for a while last year in Chicago. If he wasn't suspended for kicking a groin or a cross check to the face, he was putting up a four-spot against the Buffalo Slugs. That's how I remember him - either kicking someone or scoring sickening goals. Master of the dipsy doodle, Havlat never really seemed to get his wings in Ottawa, either because he played behind two better right wingers or because Jacques didn't appreciate the poor backchecking. By the end of Havlat's time in Ottawa, when Muckler said he'd trade him away before he'd lose him as a UFA like he did Chara, half of Ottawa didn't even mind to see him go. The guy was made of papier maché out there and honestly must have nothing left in his shoulders. It would be great to see him light it up in Minnesota this year. He's 80 point potential if he can get in a rhythm and play 80 games. But for his time in Ottawa, while a superb talent, he was too injured too often. Good luck this year, Boots!

3. Andreas Dackell: (401 games, 65g, 115a, 180pts, 104PIM, 1996-2001, 0.4489pts per game)
I'll always remember Dackell for being...hold on, I probably won't remember him at all! AD was like our early version of Chris Kelly, except even more boring. I think the reason he put in so many games in Ottawa is that his 'style' of play was what Jacques Martin dreamed of. Slightly above average speed, European hands, and a complete focus on neutral zone play. If you're trying to think of something great that Dackell did, you'd better put on a fresh pot of coffee. Seriously, though, he was a decent player, performed his duties without complaining, and earned a living. Okay, I found one highlight that is worth watching just to see the welt on the poor guy's head. If you're trying to track him down, he's been with Brynas in the Swedish Elite League for the past five years. Does he have Bob Goodenow's head on a dartboard since the lockout essentially put an end to his services here? Or was it more the chance to move home and keep playing hockey in your native tongue?

4. Mike Peluso: (81 games, 15g, 10a, 25pts, 318pts, 1992-1993, 0.3086 points per game)
I was so excited to put this guy in the list! How bad are we at right wing when our fourth best one is a goon that played one season? In a year where Ottawa was just thrilled to have an NHL team, we had some pretty sweet cult heroes: Marshy, Sly Turgeon, Cunneyworth, and best of all, Mike Peluso. Seriously, how great was it to have a grizzled captain, an iconic curly-haired defenceman, some French dude named Sly, and one of the toughest guys in the league? Peluso was traded after the one year for a package of Billington, Mallette, and some other stuff and went on to win a Cup with the Devils. One of my favourite stats, aside from the 318 penalty minutes in Ottawa, are his playoff stats with St. Louis in 1996-97, which reads 5 games, 25 PIM. Good on Dennis Vial to try and earn the hearts of Sens fans in taking over fighting duties. He was no Denis Lambert, but he did his best to make us forget Peluso. Question - Peluso c. 1993 versus McGrattan c. 2006. Who wins?

Honourable mention to Andre Roy for being a tough little guy and for getting shipped out of town under awful pretenses. Thanks for kicking off what has been never ending rumours about this team's social habits. Roy is, though, a grinder that keeps finding a way to stay in the league and for that, he deserves a ton of credit. Apologies to Andrew McBain for not making the list outside of this one line telling you that he didn't make the list.

Later - the left wingers.


pynch said...

A quick "Did You Know"...

Did you know Dackell has tiny feet? I was able to get a pair of his size 6 skates that I used for about 5 years until the rivets came out. That always put Dackell into my top Sens of all time!

Master Of Puppets said...

You didn't think Bondra was better than Peluso? or did he not make it for the short time he was a Sen?

23 reg season games 14 pts, 7 playoff - 0 pts

Look ma! we had another former 50 goal scorer (52 actually - twice with the Caps).

He did fare a little better with Atlanta the following year.

Hope to hell Alexei doesn't go the way of Bondra ... he was 35 when we picked him up as a rental for the infamous 1st rnd loss to the Fkn Laffs (The one that cemented Lalime as a non-playoff goaltender). Although Belfour robbed us of a couple games too.

Maybe honourable mention as a right winger with solid star credentials who never meshed with the team, nor provided the playoff oomf expected of him.

Master Of Puppets said...

OK so I missed the part in your previous blog about cutting out players with less than 50 games. Warrants a mention as best rentals on paper the Sens have had, IMHO.

Begs the question - would he have performed better if he was kept on for another year and given a chance to mesh with the team?

duff said...

Bondra was definitely a great rental and I had higher hopes for him. It shows that it is tough to fit into a new system when you've only known one franchise for 13 years, as was his case. Straka and Demitra are just as good in the "less than 50 games" club, methinks.

Master Of Puppets said...

True that - we had some good players (last names ending in 'a') slip through our fingers - those two were at the beginning of their careers though. The ones that got away as it were. What is it with players from Eastern Europe and being injury-prone (Havlat, Straka, Demitra)?

My LW prediction:
1. McEachern
2. Prospal
3. Arvedson
4. Lambert (for the PIMs)

Honorable mention to Cunneyworth.

The Sens have an uncanny ability to make mediocrity look good - Schaefer, Zamuner, Varada

Hope that's not the case with Foligno. (Say no to mediocrity Nick, Just say no!)

Surprise LW for the trivia buffs who meets the 50 game cutoff - Tormanen. Huh? Remember him?

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