Saturday, September 12, 2009

Consider this, in hindsight that is

The saga is over, thank goodness. And among new faces, we're left with the ongoing debate of whether "we won" the Heatley trade. Everyone has, and is entitled to, their opinion. We'll be harping on this topic until the season starts, at which point we'll analyze the trade game in and game out. Fun!

So, in the spirit of analysis, I'd like to recap a few of this summer's events and raise a question.

Note: this post assumes some things in hindsight. Because reality played out, we don't know if the following is or would have been true. Consider that, bare with me, think, and comment.

Three months ago, news came to light that Dany Heatley wanted out of Ottawa. Our 50-goal man, Assistant Captain, and first line winger was unhappy. He demanded a trade and the world new it. Yikes!

Bryan Murray had a lot to consider. And needed to react.

So, Bryan made a splash and picked up one of the most skilled, yet most inconsistent, forwards in the league. Introducing Alex Kovalev.

Fans debate. Heatley remains adament that he wants out.

Edmonton wants Heatley, a trade is on the table! Fans get excited about Cogs and Penner. Heatley doesn't get as excited. The trade is made...void.

The season approaches and moving Heatley becomes ever more challenging. 6 weeks to go, 5 weeks to go, 3 weeks to progress. Uh oh. We're now over the cap and it looks more and more like Heatley may possibly hit the ice as a Senator this season.

Jason Smith "retires". Interesting.

The cap is safe, Heatley can stay! Time goes on, Heatley speaks, fans are rattled, time dwindles.

September 12, 2009 - Heatley is traded for Michalek and Cheechoo (and a 2nd liner, but don`t worry about that for the sake of this post). Fans are excited! Fans are pissed! Bloggers get busy. Spezza deals with reality.

And here we are, debating the trade. Heatley for Michalek and Cheechoo. Hmmm.

Finally I reach my point...

If the Heatley debacle never existed, if he was happy in Ottawa and never wanted out, would BM have gone out and signed Kovalev? If Kovelev had never signed, and Ottawa wasn't over the cap, would Gator have "retired" (this assumes, of course, that Gator retired to leave Ottawa cap room)?

Assume the answers above are no. In that case, we enter camp with Heatley and Smith, without Michalek, Cheechoo and Kovalev. The question is, what would you prefer? Consider that the former doesn't include and circus show that we had all summer. We're essentially the same team as we were at the end of last season, but with the addition of Leclaire. The latter, of course, adds three new forwards while saying bye-bye to one (albeit a good one).

Is Ottawa better now - with Kovalev, Michalek and Cheechoo? Or were they better at the end of last season?


According to TSN, done deal. Analysis coming. Michlek is a stud, but Cheechoo is the Penner. Michalek makes $4.3M and Cheechoo is $3M, so this saves less than 200K. Curious to see if Murray can go and get a defenceman now of equal salary via trade, like Anton Babchuk.

Also, let's start thinking about forward lines!

Trade winds blowing at SBP

Booboo says trade could be this afternoon. Check the Ottawa Sun for more. Dreger's twitter said Chicago and SJ are frontrunners.

Let's Get Physical! Plus, Jarret Stoll is hurt

Just a short one this morning for a shout out to the opening of training camp. Players are in for physicals today and will hit the ice Sunday. Sadly, though, the boys at the Sun will focus 100% on how the Heatley meetings go with his teammates. On the bright side, since the media probably won't be able to find a new line of questioning about the same topic, maybe they can burn off these questions in September and October will be lighter for them. I know that's wishful thinking, but I'd rather the players and Heatley face the music this week and next and then we can all focus on hockey come October 3rd.

In another story, Matthew Berry says Jarret Stoll has awful arthritis that is very much affecting his ability to play. He's on medication to manage this, but it is still news that we didn't know a few days ago when we all thought Stoll was a Senator. I certainly wish the best for the guy as it is a shame to see a young hockey player affected by this. On the other hand, and I hate to be the insensitive one here, it absolutely changes his trade value. Lucky for us, Dean Lombardi called the trade rumour 'total bull'.

Back to the Sens - here's to a terrific and competitive training camp that produces a great team and a great season! God Bless the return of Senators hockey!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Murray denies three-way trade with Kings and Sharks

One more update at 10:17 - Dean Lombardi reached out to Bucci and said "it is total bull". I guess that's a no. So Heatley will skip the golf tournament so as to not create a distraction, but it we can all take a breath and get used to him being here on Saturday for physicals.

(Update at 10:08) Even though the GMs deny the trade, still thought enough of it to post it, as well. Garrioch is getting all kinds of street cred tonight. I mean, the trade hasn't happened, but his story from 24 hours ago is getting picked up across the US now. Now if only the trade would actually happen, and perhaps the Sharks could throw a pick our way, too.

I started thinking about this a bit more and it isn't as bad as I originally thought. Considering we had kinda come to terms with the Edmonton trade return, we're not far off. Stoll is far more useful to us than Penner, in my opinion. Good competitor, no worries about him being fat, etc. Frolov has more potential than Cogliano. Cogs is good, but small. Frolov has consistency issues but solid hands and is on the verge of a 60 point season. What we're missing is the Smid piece. Can we get a top prospect like a Teubert? Or a bubble player from SJ?

One othe guy that interests me is Carolina's Anton Babchuk who is absolutely about to be traded after turning down a $1M qualifying offer. He's a 6'5" defenceman with a howitzer of a shot, but perhaps he has dressing room issues as he's been said to be unhappy there for a while. Not sure if he's a good guy in a logjam, or he's a problem player we don't need.

Update, sort of (9:55pm): Stoll is signed for three more years at a cap hit of $3.6M, Frolov is signed for just this year at $2.9M. Combined, they are good for $6.5M. If this deal happens, it sure would be nice to know if Frolov is re-signing, eh?

For those following their Internet tonight, ESPN's hockey analyst and friend to Another Sens Blog, John Buccigross, is citing sources saying the deal is done. Kudos to the guys at for spotting this on the wire.

Murray has vehemently denied this, saying only that he's talked to a few teams today but that no deal is close. So what is going to give on this? I know I'm biased for Bucci because he's a cool dude, but would he print that the deal has been made when it is in fact nowhere close? Or is Murray just watching his words now while they wait on both Heatley and Marleau to waive no-trade clauses? Don't forget, Marleau still needs to bless this and folks, LA is not that close to San Jose. The benefit for him would be that he's going to have to leave SJ either now or next summer as a free agent. Given that, why not catch on with an up and coming Kings team and settle in as the #2 centre behind Kopitar for the foreseeable future? They have a much brighter outlook than his Sharks!

But we're getting ahead of ourselves again. Let's see if Murray is just being cautious or if Bucci is jumping the gun.

The Final Hours - Some Final Thoughts

As per Duff's note below, the hours before camp are dwindling and we're left with a final rumour that nobody seems to like. Personally, I don't like rumours. I hear enough of them every day and rarely are they ever true. Everyone has a 'solid source', which may be true, but in that case these sources are mostly wrong. I guess it's a 'boy calling wolf' syndrome, but I digress.

The benefit of rumours is that they spark discussion, debate and deliberation (and alliteration, apparently). The latter is where I'm eventually going...

We all fear there's truth to this (rumoured) deal (for the sake of this, let's say it's a legit option) and immediately poo-poo it as awful. Correct? Stoll and Frolov (Stolov?) is not a reasonable return for Heatley. Correct. BUT, we're overlooking a key piece to this deal. Not only would we get Stolov, but perhaps more importantly we lose Heatley.

Like almost everyone else, I'm swallowing my early summer words and realizing he will likely suit up for Ottawa this year. I'm coming to terms with it and looking on the bright side. "This gives us two balances scoring lines!", "He can't dog it cause he's poised to make Team Canada", and the optimism goes on. But at the end of the day, I think about his presence in the room and how it'll affect the team, I think of the media/fans ripping him a new one, and the distraction that will cause to the team. These issues are inevitable poisons that will bring us down.

I hope I'm wrong. I hope Dany comes out and says "I was brainwashed. I'm sorry. My agents are fired and I'm donating half my salary to Ottawa Minor Hockey and CHEO. I love Ottawa, the fans, the SBP, Clouston, Beavertails and the Museum of Science and Tech. Alfie is my hero and the fans my inspiration. I'll win you the Cup."

But that ain't gonna happen.

So, the Stolov deal (now I kinda hope this deal is true just for the name) looks unfair on paper BUT could be extremely beneficial long term.

Put on your General Manager hat. If you were GM for a day, would you take a deal like this just to unload Heatley from the dressing room? Or is Heatley too important of a hockey player that you rather have him on opening day than a couple of second liners with one playoff series between the two?

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

The Final Hours - Terrible Trade Coming?

Start calling him Bruce 'Marleau to the Kings' Garrioch, as Booboo has heard rumblings of a three-way deal that involves Stoll and Frolov to Ottawa, Heatley to the Sharks, and Marleau to the Kings. No confirmation from Murray, even though it sounds like Garrioch has been joined at the hip with him throughout the entire rookie tournament. Murray said he talked to a few teams Tuesday and didn't hear back from anyone Wednesday, thus is expecting Heater in Kanata on Friday for golf.

So at one moment, we're being told that trade talks are as dry as the desert and Heatley has his bags packed for YOW. The next moment, we're hearing this three-way deal might keep everyone happy, since Marleau can waive his NTC and just drive down the coast to SoCal (instead of having to move East). This is one of the only trades that would actually have fans wishing we could have gotten Dustin Penner! Frolov is Alex Kovalev Lite and Stoll is the runaway groom. At least Comrie is still with his hollywood girlfriend!

On a side note, I was talking with a buddy tonight about how badly the publicity of this trade request hurt the actual trade return. The scenario we came up was, what if you woke up one day in early June and read that Dany Heatley the happy Senator had been traded to Edmonton for Penner, Cogliano, and Smid. You would honestly flip out. You'd burn down the arena! Am I wrong?

Garrioch went on to get a pretty good Q&A with Murray on a few topics. Nothing groundbreaking, but reading through it, I found myself getting really excited about this season. Even if Heatley is here, I'm pumped about Pascal and the offensive blueliners and Spezza. The article seems to be that whole 'the summer is over and the ice is ready' kind of thing. The first preseason game is less than a week away!

I'm personally at a point now where I just want to see hockey again. If #15 laces up for us and the players accept him back in the room, then we move on. Who isn't so exasperated with this that they've put their hurt feelings aside? Sure, Heatley will have a tough time with fans and the Ottawa Sun writers, but he's a professional and they'll be just fine on the ice. If Heatley does miraculously get traded in the next few days, then we get some new bodies in the room and all the more reason to be excited.

Seriously, is there anyone out there whose anger over Heatley is still greater than their excitement at just getting back to hockey?

Best Former Sens - And Now The Goalies

Defence was a bit tougher than I thought toward the bottom of that list. Guys like Shaw and MacIver are on par with guys like Pitlick, Laukkanen, Kravchuk and so on. I stand by the picks, though, and use their status as original Sens to propel them into the top six.

So we finally reach the goalies. First, I'll go over the parameters one last time for those that didn't start at the beginning of this series. We're putting together a roster of FORMER Sens that played at least 50 games in Ottawa. Current players are exempt, as are guys that didn't dress for enough games in town. For the goalies, I'll also list out all the eligible players so that we can get some discussion going before heading to camp this weekend.

Eligible netminders:
Damian Rhodes
Martin Gerber
Don Beaupre
Patrick Lalime
Ray Emery
Ron Tugnutt
Craig Billington
Peter Sidorkiewicz

Here are my top two:

1. Ray Emery: (134 games, 71W, 40L, 14OTL, 8SO, 2.71 GAA, .907 SV)

I'm going to be honest with you, I went back and forth on whether or not this guy was the number one. At the end of the day, though, he was strong enough to backstop us into the Finals, further than any other goalie in Ottawa modern day history. His detractors will say that everyone just rode Alfie's coattails but regardless of that opinion, Emery didn't cave. In my opinion, we let this one get away. Ray Emery was one of the cockiest SOBs to dress for us in 15 years and we let it get away. What does it take to be a goalie in a hockey market that has a history of shoddy goaltending, where the media and fans will criticize everything from your practices to your driving to your pre-game posse? It takes a player with incredible swagger and confidence. Instead of just trying to nurture his talent and absorb his arrogance into something creative, we basically cast him as different and a distraction. The team that went to the Finals wasn't nearly as good as the teams that faced Toronto and lost four times, but our goalie made the saves he was expected to make. Mark my words - we will regret the broken relationship we had with Emery. I am fully aware that it is a two-way street and he didn't do nearly enough to keep his job coming back from injury. But our organization didn't help the matter and Murray has gone as far as to say that Paddock let these guys slide into such terrible habits that we still haven't recovered. I hope Pascal has that swagger, too, because Emery has been the only goalie in Ottawa that can handle the heat of the playoffs in Hockey Country.

2. Patrick Lalime (283 games, 146W, 100L, 30T, 30SO, 2.32 GAA, .913 SV)

Here's what is funny about this one. When I started this exercise, I was sure as shat that Tugger would be my guy in the number two spot. In fact, I'm still a bit torn over it. Here's why - on one hand, we have to prepare in case Emery has a meltdown and we need to turn to our backup in the playoffs. I love Tugger as a poised goalie that was with us in those early playoff years. But the more I thought about it, Tugger didn't win a single playoff series with us. Patty-cakes, on the other hand, was an extremely reliable goalie both in the regular season and in the playoffs. Sure, he lost to Toronto a few times, but it is hard to argue with his numbers: 41 playoff games, 21-20, 1.77 GAA, .926 SV. How many goalies have such superior numbers in the post-season as that? Now, I'll be the first to jump on this and say that he padded some stats against the Islanders a few times and couldn't win when it mattered. But even in the Toronto debacles, it was really only that one Joe Nieuwendyk game that stunk (and yes, it was a game seven). Lalime was the victim of backstopping a team that couldn't score for its life in the playoffs. Rarely was he the cause of those failures, but he certainly did take the blame. So the reason that he makes it on this list ahead of Tugger is because if Emery runs a senior citizen off the road and calls him an old bag of bones, we can turn to our longest serving goalie in history and ask him to recreate that magic that led to 3 straight shutouts in the Philly series of 2002. I'll take that chance over Tugger's 0 playoff series wins any day.

Honourable Mention:
You guessed it - Ron Tugnutt. 72-51-25 was his W-L-T line with the Sens, including a 2.32 GAA and .908 save percentage. Tugger was epic in that 1996-97 season when we lost in seven games to the Sabres. Remember that goal that trickled off his glove in Buffalo to clinch the series for the Slugs? Agghhhhhhhhhh! I was upset when he was shipped out with Laukkanen for Tom Barrasso in 2000, though I guess it was inevitable since Tugger hadn't won a playoff series and T-Bar was still shining his two Cup rings with the Penguins. Still, Tugger was the voice of reason for us back then and I never felt like he cost us games.

The only other shout out I'll give is to Damian Rhodes. I don't think he's worth his uniform, but outside of Emery and Lalime, he is the ONLY Sens goalie to win a playoff series. FYI, during our streak of 11 straight seasons in the playoffs, we won a whopping 8 series. 4 to Emery, 3 to Lalime, and 1 to Rhodes.

Okay, let's hear it from the Don Beaupre fans! Or Billington? Gerbage? Seriously, the only challenge here is whether Lalime makes it ahead of Tugger and I think the playoff history justifies Patty. Thoughts?

And one more for the road:

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Best Former Sens - All Skaters

Okay, before the goalies are released tomorrow, here's a look at the starting lines in our Best Former Sens series. Remember, former modern day Sens with 50 games in Ottawa.

1st line: McEachern-Yashin-Hossa
2nd line: Arvedson-White-Havlat
3rd line: Prospal-Smolinski-Dackell
4th line: Cunneyworth-Kudelski-Peluso

1st pairing: Chara-Redden
2nd pairing: Duchesne-Meszaros
3rd pairing: MacIver-Shaw

Those lines kinda lack depth, but that fourth line would be interesting to play. You might get an elbow in the corner from Cunney, a sniper shot from the slot from Kudelski, or a punch in the teeth from Peluso. Talent-wise, Prospal would probably bump up to the second line with White and Havlat and that would be a pretty decent group for secondary scoring. Arvedson/Smoke/Dackell would be a fierce checking line like Pahlsson/Moen/Niedermeyer were against us in the Finals. That defence is rock solid, too.

Goalies are out first thing Wednesday morning.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Best Former Sens - Defence

Wow, can you believe that training camp opens this weekend? The longest offseason in 12 years will soon be at an end and I really hope that the good vibe surrounding this team in March/April can find its way back this month. I'm not going to say that I look forward to moving past the Heatley saga because to be honest, the excitement of the trade request is what got us through this summer! Imagine how long this would have been if we hadn't had anything to talk about between April and now? Thanks, Dany, for keeping us busy!

Back to our roster of former Sens. We've gone through the forward ranks and put together a decent group of 12 along with a nice taxi squad. We're now at the blue line and these ones are pretty cut and dry, as far as I'm concerned. The only place where it gets blurry is when you get into that 6th spot and you have to decide between recent Sens on good teams, or original Sens on bad teams. Who has what it takes to round out our top six that can eat up some minutes but won't be upset at not getting all the accolades?


1. Zdeno Chara: (299 games, 51g, 95a, 146pts, 554 PIM, 2001-2006, 0.4883 pts per game)

Plain as day, Zee is the one that got away. At this point in time, there isn't a single person out there that doesn't realize we signed the wrong $6.5M defenceman when he and Redden were up for contract together. It isn't that Redden was bad (spoiler alert - he's on this list), but you just don't let a 6'9" player that can skate, hit, shoot, and lead get away. I am one of the few people that misses pieces of John Muckler, but this one was just plain stupid. It doesn't even take hindsight, really. Wade Reddens are born and bred all across Canada - average size, decent skater, good vision. Awesome, thanks. When you have a player with Chara's physical attributes, you know that he is a once in a lifetime player. And spare me the 'he wanted to be a captain' BS. Had we called him first with the $6.5M offer, this team would be in a much different place right now. After joining us as an add-on to the Spezza/Yashin trade, we taught him to skate and he's now busy winning Eastern Conferences and Norris Trophies. One knock on him, though - is he a captain that can win when it counts? So far, no.

2. Wade Redden: (838 games, 101g, 309a, 410pts, 576 PIM, 1996-2008, 0.4893 pts per game)

I'm tempted to pull my punches on this one because Redden did so much more for us than we're going to give him credit. This was a guy that lost his mother during the playoffs one year against Tampa and came back with a goal and assist in his first game back. While we all hate talking about community involvement, few were better at providing opportunities throughout the city than Wade. And he was no slouch on the ice, once upon a time. Just because he left us in terrible condition on a contract that he no longer warranted, don't let it diguise the fact that he was often seen as one of the best passers in the league. To see where he is today is an absolute shame, to be honest, because he was our perfect powerplay QB. There are so many theories to explain is epic fall from grace, but it just seems that the game moved on and his legs haven't kept up. If we're talking about a top pairing of former Sens, though, Redden is an absolute must on this team.

3. Steve Duchesne: (140 games, 31g, 52a, 83pts, 80 PIM, 1995-1997, 0.5929 pts per game)

The first of two players on this list with some of the most clutch goals in Sens history, Du-Du-Du-Duchesne was the real deal for us. We had him for some of his decent years and even though he was a journeyman, he really left his mark on this franchise. True, he never found the magic that pushed him to an 82 point season in Quebec, he still earned his keep in Kanata. In addition to putting up solid numbers in his two seasons, he scored what was without a doubt, the greatest goal in Senators history up to that point (don't worry, I remember the goals since then...). This video not only serves as a shout out to Duchesne, but I think it really acts as a great primer for training camp opening this weekend. This is one of those 'where were you when' moments in Sens history. For this clutch goal and his strong career, Duchense cracks our top four on the blue line.

4. Andrej Meszaros: (246 games, 26g, 84a, 110pts, 213 PIM, 2005-2008, 0.4472 pts per game)

Some might argue that Meszy didn't do enough in his short time here to earn this spot, but I think that is just bitterness speaking. Plus, we did alright with that trade, didn't we? Considering we basically landed Campoli, Kuba, and Picard for him, win goes to Ottawa. And the fact remains that he was an above average player for us. Part of it is from playing with a better version of Wade Redden and part of it is from being a talent. He never missed a game with us and didn't really have any overwhelming weaknesses in his game. He followed the money and might have a decent time with guys like Hedman and Ohlund now, though I still think he and his agents made a mistake asking for too much too soon. Solid player that might not get the chance to fully develop in a weak organization.

5. Norm MacIver: (161 games, 24g, 73a, 97pts, 120 PIM, 1992-1995, 0.6025 pts per game)

The best of our early blueliners, MacIver was a no-brainer to make this roster. An undrafted college grad, this dude was our leading scorer in our first year. Whether that is a knock on how bad the forwards were or a testament to how good MacIver was is for your own debate at the pub. What can't be argued is that he put up 63 points that season and was a beacon of excitement in a statistically tough inaugural season. A quick FYI, he also scored the last ever goal for the Winnipeg Jets. The 63 points in Ottawa in 92-93 was his best offensive season. He was an assistant in the Bruins organization for a couple of seasons and is now an amateur scout with the Blackhawks. Here's a non-MacIver video, but still fun to check out the hairstyles that technically occurred in the 90s! Civic Centre rocked and that anthem singer looked familiar...

6. Brad Shaw: (149 games, 11g, 53a, 64pts, 93 PIM, 1992-1995, 0.4295 pts per game)

Okay, so Shaw wasn't a great point producer in his three seasons with us. What he does bring, though, is great leadership and coaching. He can be the mentor to Meszaros out there and advise him to take a long-term contract offer with the Sens. But seriously, he's another original Sens player that trucked through the difficult seasons when the fans really couldn't care less about winning or losing. He was a co-captain for us in 93-94 with Mark Lamb and Gord Dineen and has gone on to some decent coaching stints since, including a brief stay with the Isles as interim coach in 2006. He was never a mainstay in the NHL, often dipping to the minors, but he still managed a pair of strong years with us. His spot on this roster is also helped by his time with 67s and our love affair will all things Brian Kilrea has been around. Sadly, a google search for Brad Shaw comes up with more hits for Sex and the City character Carrie Bradshaw now than the one we're looking for. Stay with this - Brad Shaw shares the last name of Sarah Jessica Parkers character. She is married to Matthew Broderick, who we will fondly remember for his role as Ferris Bueller. In that movie, Cameron Frye is often wearing a Gordie Howe jersey (weird, because they're in Chicago). Gordie Howe had a hockey family, including his son Marty that played with the Hartford Whalers and their minor league affiliate in Binghamton. Marty's teammate during those years was none other than the number six guy on this list, Brad Shaw. BAM! Who needs Kevin Bacon?

Honourable Mentions:
There are some solid guys on this list that deserve to be mentioned.
Joe Corvo and Tom Preissing were stastically better than Shaw, but neither guy wanted to stay with the team. Preissing informed Muckler during the playoffs that he wanted out, Corvo asked numerous times for a trade before being sent to Carolina. Their names are mentioned because they could skate and because they were a part of our Cup Finalist team. Joe Corvo's goal in Game Two was one of the best moment in Sens history as it gave us our first ever 2-0 series lead and really propelled us to domination in that series.

I also think Curtis Leschyshyn was a great asset for us. Statistically, he was truly awful, but he came with a Cup ring and was a major mentor to the team's young defencemen. During some of those tough playoff losses, he was one of the ones with Alfie that had to stand in front of the microphones and speak for our shortcomings. He was a great leader for us when people were still unsure if Alfie was up to the task (obviously, we know he can handle those duties now).

Two guys that don't make the HM list are Shane Hnidy and Karel Rachunek, simply because I've said more swear words at these two guys than just about any other Senators player. Thanks for all the turnovers, guys.

That's it for the defencemen. There are at least a dozen other good players out there and I'd love to hear from you on who is unjustly left off this list.

Goalies will be up midweek.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Heatley invited to Sens camp!

Much to the surprise of Dany Heatley and his handlers, #15 must start thinking about packing his bags for Ottawa. BM told Garrioch in the Ottawa Sun today that they've sent out their standard camp mail, including the offer to Dany to help with his travel arrangements from Kelowna to Ottawa.

Murray adds that, as usual, there is nothing new to report on trade negotiations. He's still talking to the same two teams and they're still offering the same inadequate returns. Booboo does add, though, that Murray is demanding Thornton, while Doug Wilson has neither offered him nor Marleau. He also suggests that the Rags are the second team.

“Basically, what I’ve said (to other teams) is just tell me what you’re willing to do, I’ll talk to you and we’ll go from there and we’ll make a decision one way or another. But, I can’t say I’m overly optimistic now.”

Question - does the Euge, who is publicly upset and rattled by the whole saga, call Murray and just say, "get this mook out of here before camp, regardless of the return." Or does he not make any calls to the office and let Murray bring in the Heat to play through the season, distractions and all? I already know where some of you stand on this, with most people starting to think that he'll be a Senator this Fall. But if you were holding out hope of a last minute trade, this is a bit deflating for you. I'm still on the fence. A small part of me thinks that Murray just takes the garbage that Doug Wilson is offering, which is probably Cheechoo, Vlasic, and a prospect. Another part of me knows how stubborn Murray is and thinks that to prove his point, he'll just let Dany rot in town all season, knowing that there is enough character in this room to overcome the distractions.

Also, if you didn't catch it earlier, Alfie had some choice words which the Sun quickly took to mean, 'nobody wants him here'. Good on Alfie to not just give the normal 'we'll welcome him back with open arms' garbage that Fisher still lays on the table. These players should be offended by this and should expect a nice steak dinner and a commitment to leave it outside the rink.

And finally, unrelated to the Sens, a quiet move from Toronto tonight as they've reacquired their 2nd round pick from 2010. I guess one way to get Kessel out of Boston is to just give him a nice $4.6M offer sheet, since the Leafs now have their first three picks again. The Bruins are over the cap as it stands today without Kessel, which especially stinks since they're paying $2.2M in the buyouts of Glen Murray, Patrick Eaves, and Peter Schaefer. Maybe Burkie can find some offence after all! I can't wait to look back on the comments that he made about Kevin Lowe when the Oilers took Penner away on an offer sheet. You can accuse Burke of a lot of things, and being a hypocrite is definitely one of them! Putting the cart before the horse here, no question, but the table is certainly set here.

Reminder (sorry, just found the updated numbers for 2009-10 and edited this):
Amount Compensation Due
$994,433 or below - None
Over $994,433 to $1,506,716 -Third-round choice
Over $1,506,716 to $3,013,434 - Second-round choice
Over $3,013,434 to $4,520,150 - First-round and third-round choice
Over $4,520,150 to $6,026,867 - First-round, second-round and third-round choice
Over $6,026,867 to $7,533,584 - Two first-round choices, one second- and one third-round choice
Over $7,533,584 - Four first-round choices