Turris: Options now and in the future

Sunday, December 18, 2011 · 0 comments

What a difference a year makes. At this time last year the Sens top prospect at centre was probably Jim O'Brien. Since then the club has picked up Stephane Da Costa, Mika Zibanejad, and now Kyle Turris. This doesn't guarantee anything, but it at least gives the organization three new "possibles" for that much talked about 2nd line centre position over the next couple of years. Remember, even though the Sens are hanging around the 8th spot right now, this is a rebuild, what's happening now is gravy.

Having said that, don't tell that to the players or head coach Paul Maclean. As Herm Edwards told us "you play....to win.....the games". Not too long ago Peter Regin was injured, Nick Foligno was strictly a winger and Kyle Turris was holding out in Phoenix. Those are three options to fill that second line centre spot right now that weren't there couple of weeks ago.

Despite the return of Regin and the great play from Foligno of late, Turris is going to get that spot right away. The aforementioned two could very well be his wingers (until the return of Michalek). You don't trade David Rundblad and just wait and see. With Regin and Foligno back on the wing, the odd man out is obviously Bobby Butler. With Spezza and Turris as the centres, it's hard to see a scenario(barring injury or another move)where the underachieving winger plays ahead of Michalek*, Alfredsson, Regin, Foligno or Greening in the top 6.

As far as the actual trade is concerned. It's always risky when a G.M. gives up a young unproven asset with plenty of upside. Both the Sens and Coyotes are in the same boat on this one, but good on Don Maloney for creating a market/bidding war for Turris and getting a 2nd round pick. If you're Bryan Murray you can live with giving up Rundblad as it has become apparent that the big money on the blue-line will be going to Karlsson and eventually Cowen for the foreseeable future.

Like any trade of this nature, there's no way to pass judgement on it until a few years have passed. After all that's been written and said it will simply come down to which player doesn't reach his full potential.

From Nikita to Bobby

Monday, December 12, 2011 · 0 comments

Now that the Nikita Filatov experiment is over for this season (maybe for good) the question I have is, how long will the Bobby Butler experiment last? G.M. Bryan Murray and head coach Paul Maclean made it abundantly clear today, if you're a player that is expected to put up points, then you'd better do just that. Both Murray and Maclean acknowledge that's not really fair, but that's NHL hockey. They're right. Which brings us to Bobby Butler. He's worked hard all season, but what exactly is the young winger bringing if he's not scoring? He's in exactly the same position Filatov was. A young player that has been given opportunity (Butler even more-so) that has failed to take advantage.

The difference between Butler and Filatov is their contracts. Having scored just twice in 21 games (both coming in the same game), I would assume if Butler was still on entry level he would have already spent some time in Binghamton this season. He is in year one of a two year, one way contract, that pays him 900,000 this season. However, despite being on a one way, inexperience in the NHL means Butler still has to play 11 NHL games before he is no longer waiver exempt ( http://bit.ly/sLOV1M).

After once again getting his share of minutes with top 6 players (which included power play time) in recent games, Butler found himself back on the 4th line again for practice today. Now that Peter Regin is healthy, his window to show something in the top 6 has probably closed for the time being. Why not take advantage of his waiver exempt status while it still exists? See if some time in Bingo can rekindle a scoring touch saw him pot 45 goals in 106 pro games last season. Like Filatov, Butler is a young player that's expected to score. The Sens have other players to do the 'little things". It's not fair, but that's the NHL.

Sens are green but flexible

Friday, October 14, 2011 · 0 comments

Interesting tidbit in this year of rebuilding for the Ottawa Senators. There are 8 roster players that are waiver exempt. This illustrates how green the team is, but also how flexible management can be with the roster in terms of shuttling players between Ottawa and Binghamton.

Courtesy Capgeek.com's waiver calculator, here is a list of current roster players on the Senators that are waiver exempt. This shows the number of years (not including 2011-12) or games he has to play before lose his exemption (whichever he reaches first):

Bobby Butler 1 year or 30 games

Erik Condra 1 year or 31 games

Colin Greening 1 year or 32 games

Stephane Da Costa 2 years or 72 games

Mika Zibanejad 5 years or 156 games

Jared Cowen 3 years or 155 games

David Rundblad 2 years or 158 games

Erik Karlsson 1 year or 15 games

A little perspective on Patrick Lalime

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 · 2 comments

First off. Congrats to Patrick Lalime on a fine career and on his new job with RDS.

Unfortunately for Lalime, hockey fans and experts alike judge his time in Ottawa on what happened in game 7 against the Leafs in 2004. Understandable, because it was horrific. But over the years it seems people are too quick to use that period in that game to judge his body of playoff work over 4 seasons in Ottawa. It's uniformed and it's not right.

A little perspective:

-Patrick Lalime played 41 post season games with the Sens over the course of 4 years (2001-2004)
-The Sens bowed out in the 1st round in 2001, the 2nd in 2002, the 3rd in 2003 and the 1st in 2004
-Lalime's post season stats are: 21-20, 1.77 GAA, .926 SV%. Some of the best numbers of all time
-In those 41 games, the Sens averaged just 2.09 goals per game. They were shutout 9 times, and scored just one goal on 4 other occasions
-In each of those 4 regular seasons the supposedly always defense first Sens averaged 3.17 goals per game. The team was 3rd, 5th, 3rd and 1st in goals for during those regular seasons.

Anyone who puts the Sens playoff shortcomings on Patrick Lalime should take a look at the numbers and give their head a shake. How does a team expect to have playoff success if it's goals for drops by over a goal a game in the playoffs? It's a miracle they won 3 series in Lalime's time.

Sens need to clear the deck...again

Saturday, July 9, 2011 · 8 comments

OK. The title is a little misleading, but the Sens have been so busy signing and re-signing players the past couple of the weeks, they are in danger of not having a truly competitive training camp. By that I mean, they have too many one way contracts for a team that's supposed to be re-tooling.

As it stands now there are 12 one way deals at forward and another 5 on the blue-line(When you include Erik Karlsson, you can essentially make that 6). Meanwhile, Anderson and Auld are on one ways in goal. That's 20 right there. You can carry 23, but the Sens never have done that in the salary cap or the "budget" era. They historically have carried 21.

Here is your opening night line-up based on contract situations.

Michalek Spezza Alfredsson
Foligno Regin Butler
Greening Smith Condra
Winchester Konopka Neil

Kuba Karlsson
Gonchar Phillips
Lee Carkner


Here are some of the players that have serious to fair shots at making the team, but as it stands now, there's just no room.

F - Filatov, Da Costa, Zibanejad, O'Brien, Silfverberg(if he changes his mind and comes to camp)

D - Rundblad, Cowen, Borowiecki, Gryba, Wiercioch

G - Lehner (Barring injury to Anderson he'll be in Bingo, but I had to include the AHL playoff MVP)

Some of those players on 2 ways will definitely be on the team. Even though the Sens will not be spending to the cap, I can't see Eugene Melnyk being happy with burying one way money in the AHL. The point being, it's a pretty good bet Bryan Murray will be looking to shed at least a couple of one way contracts through trade prior to training camp, or at the latest, prior to the start of the season.

2011 NHL Mock Draft

Tuesday, June 21, 2011 · 3 comments

OK. Here we go. As always, this is just for fun. I'm a bit of draft geek, but do not profess to be an expert. I read all the guides, talk to scouts, writers, broadcasters....and watch some of the players. In the end, I take a stab. Enjoy...or rip to shreds.
(One obvious note: I did this mock draft assuming everyone will stay where they are in the first round. I think we all know there is zero chance of that happening. Should be fun to follow on Friday night. )

1. Edmonton Oilers
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Centre - 6'1, 170
- I don't buy that there's a top 4 in this draft that could all go number 1. Most scouts have the Red Deer centre as the best prospect in the draft.

2. Colorado Avalanche
Gabriel Landeskog - Winger - 6'1, 207
- To follow up on what was said above, I believe there is a "next 3" in this draft. They're so close, teams might draft on need rather "best player available". The Avalanche are loaded with good young centres. They acquired Erik Johnson to lead their blue-line into the future, but had to part with power winger Chris Stewart. Landeskog fills a need, and he's ready to play right now.

3. Florida Panthers
Jonathan Huberdeau - Centre - 6'1, 168
- Ever since Dale Tallon took over as G.M. in Florida he has been very open about his desire to acquire a true number one centre. The QMJHL playoff, and Memorial Cup MVP has that potential.

4. New Jersey Devils
Adam Larsson - Defense - 6'3, 200
- Along with Brodeur, The blue-line used to be trademark of the Devils. 20 years after nabbing Niedermayer with the 3rd pick, the Devils draft another stud at 4.

5. N.Y. Islanders
Dougie Hamilton - Defense - 6'4, 193
- Tavares, Grabner, Niederreiter, Okposo, Bailey, Nelson, Cizikas. The Isles have a slew of good young forwards. Hard to look past the size and skill of Hamilton to help compliment Hamonic and de Haan.

6. Ottawa Senators
Mika Zibanejad - Centre - 6'2, 191
- The Sens need to develop a centre to compliment Jason Spezza. At this point of the draft there are 3 good ones on board. I'll go with one of the biggest climbers in draft. Heavy shot, good size and speed and didn't looked out of place playing with men in Sweden. If the Sens truly do like this player, they might be able to trade down and still nab him.

7. Winnipeg (Jets?)
Sean Couturier - Centre - 6'4, 195
- This team is crying out for a star down the middle. Couturier's stock took a big hit throughout the season, but that could be due to a late '92 birthdate. Over-scouting? Some have questioned his intensity, but he has the potential to be the best player in the draft.

8. Columbus Blue Jackets
Ryan Strome - Centre - 6'0, 183
- Looking to fill the void at centre, the Jackets took Johansen last year. They add to cupboard here. The Niagara centre had a 79 point improvement to record 106 points this season, tying him with Nugent-Hopkins for most points by a draft eligible player.

9. Boston Bruins (from Toronto)
Ryan Murphy - Defense - 5'11 176
- Said to be the most dynamic offensive player in the draft. The Stanley Cup Champs have to be happy to complete the Kessel trade by taking a player that could run a power play for the next 15 years. The doubters say he's too small and won't be able to defend well enough to excel at the NHL level. We'll see.

10. Minnesota Wild
Jonas Brodin - Defense - 6'1 165
- Played regularly with men in Swedish Elite League. Known for strong hockey sense, being a good skater that makes a good first pass. Would look good on a future blue-line with fellow prospects Scandella and Cuma.

11. Colorado Avalanche (from St. Louis)
Nathan Beaulieu - Defense - 6'2, 185
- After getting Landeskog at #2 to replace Stewart in the Johnson trade, the Av's fill the void left by including Shattenkirk in that same deal by taking the highly skilled Sea Dogs blue-liner. Just needs to fill out to compete at the next level.

12. Carolina Hurricanes
Sven Bartschi - Winger - 5'11, 175
- 85 points for Portland in the regular season and another 27 in 20 playoff games. Not the biggest player in the draft but has potential to be a solid 2nd line scorer.

13. Calgary Flames
Rocco Grimaldi - Centre - 5'6, 163
- Where to begin. The Flames prospect cupboard is almost bare. The Flames gave up on an undersized future superstar 11 years ago. Why not try and right that wrong and take a flyer on this 5'6 dynamo that has some scouts saying he's the "next" Marty St.Louis. Who was the G.M. in Tampa that won a cup with St.Louis? Oh yeah, Jay Feaster.

14. Dallas Stars
Mark Scheifele - Centre - 6'2, 177
- Brad Richards is on his way out. Time to start thinking about future point producing centres in Dallas. Barrie was awful this season, but Scheifele put up a solid 75 points. Seen as a bit raw with a lot of upside. Could be just scratching the surface.

15. N.Y. Rangers
Tyler Biggs - Winger - 6'2, 210
- Head Coach John Tortorella likes hard nosed players. Biggs is physically ready to play in the NHL right now and is seen as toughest most robust player in the first round of this draft. Decent skill. Loves to hit and drop the gloves. Son of pro journeyman Don Biggs.

16. Buffalo Sabres
Duncan Siemens - Defense - 6'3, 197
- Cue the "I can't believe he was available here" quote. Nothing flashy, just solid. Has mean streak on the ice to compliment his 6'3 frame. Willing to drop the gloves. Hard shot, great skater. Good pick here. With Myers and Gragnani, the Sabres blue-line is in good hands for years to come.

17. Montreal Canadiens
Joel Armia - Winger - 6'3, 191
- Played with men in the Finnish Elite League where he scored 18 goals. Also led Fins in scoring with 13 points at U-18's. The knock is his drive or "give-a-crap-o-metre". The Habs are banking that comes with maturity. Could be a home run pick.

18. Chicago Blackhawks
JT Miller - Winger - 6'1, 198
- Might lack scoring touch to put up big numbers at next level, but Miller is a power winger with good straight away speed and good skill. Has a great work ethic. Tenacious. Enjoys physical play. Led U.S. to gold medal at U-18's with team best 13 points.

19. Edmonton (from Los Angeles)
Joe Morrow - Defense - 6'1, 196
- Gritty Edmonton native enjoys the rough stuff and is one of the better skaters in the draft. Very good puck mover and used his skilled 'mates in Portland very well. Needs work in the defensive zone, but has the tools to run a power play and be a point producer at the next level.

20. Winnipeg Jets
Mark McNeill - Centre - 6'1, 204
- This Edmonton native could also entice the Oilers but the "Jets" are glad to get him here. 32 goals, 81 points with Prince Albert in the WHL. Big, good speed, smart...this winger has a lot of tools, but some scouts question his drive. Needs to show he "wants it" on a more consistent basis. Like Armia, that could come with maturity.

21. Ottawa Senators (from Nashville)
Nicklas Jensen - Winger - 6'2, 188
- With plenty of top prospects on the blue-line, the Sens opt for another skilled forward with their 2nd 1st round pick. In his 1st year in the OHL, the Danish winger had 29 goals and 58 points for Oshawa. Good agility for a big man. Already has an NHL shot and release. Needs to be more consistent to be an impact player, but it's all there waiting for him to take it.

22. Anaheim Ducks
Jamie Oleksiak - Defense - 6'7, 244
- Look up. Way up. 6'7 and just learning how to use his size to his advantage. Decent agility and puck handling for a man his size. A bit of a project, but could be "high reward" pick down the road.

23. Pittsburgh Penguins
Oscar Klefbom - Defense - 6'4 200
- The captain of Sweden's silver medal winning team at the U-18's also played in the Swedish Elite League as a 17 year old. Competes extremely hard and leads through his tenacity and physical play. Not the best skater but has good hockey sense and moves the puck well.

24. Detroit Red Wings
Alexander Khokhlachev - Centre - 5'10, 188
- Led all draft eligible OHL rookies with 34 goals and 76 points while playing just across the river in Windsor which showed his willingness to play in North America, huge for an Russian prospect these days. Average skater with very good puck skills. Plays with a lot of jam for smaller player. September birthday means he's one of the youngest players in the draft, which scouts often see as having more room to grow than some other prospects.

25. Toronto Maple Leafs(from Philadelphia)
Ty Rattie - Winger - 5'11, 170
- Had over 100 points in his combined 87 games this season with Portland in the WHL. Good skater and puckhandler and has great offensive instincts. Like many players his age strength is a question mark, but has a really good chance to be a top 6 NHL forward.

26. Washington Capitals
Vladislav Namestnikov - Centre - 6'0, 170
- The Caps never shy away from Russians. The son of former NHLer Evgeny Namestnikov and nephew of Slava Kozlov. 68 points in rookie season with London in OHL. Has speed, agility, vision, shot....but needs to put weight on and get stronger. Could have learned a thing or two about being more physical from the Hunters.

27. Tampa Bay Lightning
Connor Murphy - Defense - 6'3, 185
- His stock fell after missing most of last 2 seasons with stress fracture in his back, but jumped back on the radar at U18's. Scored O-T winner for U.S in the gold medal game. Big, mobile defenseman with a great shot. Injuries make him a tough read, but the upside is certainly there.

28. San Jose Sharks

Shane Prince - Winger - 5'10, 181
- Doug Wilson has great respect for players that his mentor Brian Kilrea has churns out. Knowing that size and strength is the knock, Prince tested quite well at the combine. One the ice, he had 88 points in 59 games before suffering a concussion towards the end of the 67's season. One of the best play-makers in the draft.

29. Vancouver Canucks

Boone Jenner - Centre - 6'1, 194
- Can play in all situations. Gives you a bit of scoring, jam and leadership. Could top out offensively as a 2nd line centre, but could have a good career as 3rd liner that can give you a bit of everything. Character player.

30. Toronto Maple Leafs (from Boston)
Matt Puempel - Winger - 6'0, 198
- Was on his way to 40 plus goals in Peterborough before hip surgery ended his season causing him to miss the U-18's. Was OHL rookie of the year in 09-10 with 33 goals. Seen as one of the best pure scorers in the draft. Needs to improve his skating to ensure he can get to the scoring areas at the next level.

67 years Ago

Monday, June 6, 2011 · 2 comments

I posted this 1 year ago today and felt I'd share it again:

I usually stick to sports on this blog but today I feel compelled to share one soldier's story to help drive home the sacrifice that thousands of Canadians made on the beaches of Normandy 67 years ago today.

Both of my grandfathers were there. I had the privilege of going back with my maternal grandfather in 2006, where I was honoured to help him lay a wreath as part of the official ceremonies.

As we walked around the beach I tried to remember what worried me when I was 19. It probably had something to do with having enough money for pub night at Lakehead, and and that baseball's work stoppage was costing my Expos a shot at a World Series.

After landing on and surviving Juno Beach with The North Shore(New Brunswick) regiment, 19 year old Noel Stephen Horan wasn't so lucky in the coming days. While volunteering to support The Royal Winnipeg Rifles he was captured by the SS Hitler Youth Division in the nearby village Putot de Besin. As we also visited that site four years ago, he recounted that the SS had he and his fellow prisoners lined up, on their knees, to be executed. A superior officer arrived at the last second to make them prisoners rather than casualties.

Private Horan would spend the coming weeks walking(with the occasional cattle car ride) across France to his new home in Germany. While making the journey he told me they would often duck for cover as allied planes would attack not knowing some of their own were with the enemy. He remembers his captors stopping the march only to execute the prisoner standing right in front of him. The Nazis apparently had figured out that prisoner was Russian, and according to my grandfather, these Nazi's didn't take Russians prisoner.

While being held in Germany, Private Horan would turn 20 on Christmas day. Four months later the war was over and Americans arrived to liberate he and his fellow prisoners. Standing about 5'11, he weighed 95 pounds. I'm happy to say he rarely missed a meal after that before leaving us in the fall of 2008.

Five years ago we not only visited Juno Beach, but every major Canadian battlefield from both the first and second world wars. If you ever have the time and means to take such a trip, you'll be hard pressed to do anything else in your life that will make you feel more proud to be Canadian. You'll also have a greater appreciation for why we can never pay homage to what happened 67 years ago enough.

$82.00 a ticket means MTS Centre is big enough

Wednesday, June 1, 2011 · 0 comments

At 15,015, Winnipeg's MTS Centre is the smallest arena in the National Hockey League. The most obvious way to make up for this shortfall is to charge more per seat, and that's exactly what True North has done. By setting the average ticket price at $82.00, that makes the MTS centre 3rd most expensive place to watch a club hockey game in the world. Second only to Toronto($115.96) and Montreal($86.44). Ottawa is 10th at $59.74.

(I left in Atlanta just for the sake of comparing it to Winnipeg)

Average Ticket Price
1. Toronto $115.96
2. Montreal $86.44
3. Winnipeg $82.00
4. Calgary $66.68
5. Vancouver $65.20
6. Edmonton $64.87
7. Minnesota $62.63
8. Philadelphia $60.89
9. Pittsburgh $60.04
10.Ottawa $59.74
11.Rangers $58.57
12.Islanders $58.44
13.Washington $55.57
14.Chicago $55.39
15.Boston $54.94
16.Florida $54.12
17.Detroit $51.73
18.Nashville $51.04
19.New Jersey $50.83
20.Los Angeles $50.05
21.Columbus $47.66
22.San Jose $45.71
23.Anaheim $44.44
24.Atlanta $43.59
25.Carolina $41.58
26.Colorado $40.62
27.St.Louis $40.57
28.Tampa $37.73
29.Buffalo $36.43
30.Phoenix $36.15
31.Dallas $29.68

Here is the order of teams in potential ticket revenue based on sell outs. These figures are on a per game basis.

Seating Capacity x Average Ticket Price

1. Toronto $2,182,251
2. Montreal $1,838,838
3. Calgary $1,286,190
4. Winnipeg $1,231,230
5. Vancouver$1,229,672
6. Philadelphia $1,189,607
7. Ottawa $1,144,200
8. Minnesota $1,131,348
9. Edmonton $1,092,345
10.Chicago $1,092,124
11.Pittsburgh $1,085,943
12.Rangers $1,065,974
13.Detroit $1,038,014
14.Washington $1,022,376
15.Boston $965,021
16.Islanders $948,714
17.Florida $922,204
18.Los Angeles $906,805
19.New Jersey $895,878
20.Nashville $873,447
21.Columbus $864,743
22.San Jose $802,759
23.St.Louis $776,915
24.Carolina $776,714
25.Atlanta $768,230
26.Anaheim $763,212
27.Tampa $745,469
28.Colorado $731,444
29.Buffalo $680,876
30.Phoenix $619,068
31.Dallas $550,029

It should be noted the fact the 15,015 seat MTS centre is the smallest rink in the league by about 2600 seats means fewer concessions sales. However, aggressive ticket prices is just another way to help offset that. We know the NHL starved fans will pony up now, but the million dollar question of course is: Can Winnipegers stomach paying some of the highest hockey prices in the world long term?




Crohn's and Colitis Heel 'n' Wheel-A-Thon

Tuesday, May 24, 2011 · 0 comments

It's that time of year again where I hit you with a personal message on my blog(Don't worry, they're usually few and far between). The annual Crohn's and Colitis Heel 'n' Wheel-A-thon is coming up on June 12th. For those that helped me raise over $1100.00 last year, a big thank you. I am once again honoured to be the emcee, and also thrilled to see my employer Team 1200 jump on board with a presence at this year's event.

I was diagnosed with Crohn's 15 years ago at the age of 21. Many surgeries and medication changes later, I am still hopeful for a cure.

Thanks in advance for any support you might be able to give.



If you are unfamiliar with the impact Crohn's and Colitis has on Canadians, check out the CCFC webpage:


NHL Draft Lottery Primer: Sens edition

Sunday, April 10, 2011 · 3 comments

All 14 non playoff teams are eligible to win the lottery. The winning team will jump up 4 places in the draft, subsequently dropping every team they pass 1 position.

Numbers are courtesy of http://www.nhlscap.com/draft.htm

The percentage chances winning the lottery:

Edmonton 25.0% (250 combinations)
Colorado 18.8% (188 combinations)
Florida 14.2% (142 combinations)
Islanders 10.7% (107 combinations)
Ottawa 8.1% (81 combinations)
Atlanta 6.2% (62 combinations)
Columbus 4.7% (47 combinations)
New Jersey 3.6% (36 combinations)
Boston 2.7% (27 combinations)
Minnesota 2.1% (21 combinations)
Colorado 1.5% (15 combinations)
Carolina 1.1% (11 combinations)
Calgary 0.8% (8 combinations)
Dallas 0.5% (5 combinations)

Only the bottom 5 teams have a chance at the first pick. Here's how it breaks down:

-Edmonton has a 48.2% chance of retaining the top pick and a 51.8% chance of slipping to #2

-Colorado has an 18.8% chance of jumping to #1, a 42% chance of staying put at #2 and a 39.2% chance of slipping to #3

-Florida has a 14.2% chance of jumping to #1, a 56.1% chance of staying put at #3 and a 29.7% chance of slipping to #4

-The Islanders have a 10.7% chance of jumping to #1, a 66.7% chance of staying put at #4 and a 22.6% chance of slipping to #5

-Ottawa has an 8.1% chance of jumping to #1, a 74.7% chance of staying put at #5 and a 17.2% chance of slipping to #6

Not including the "lockout lottery", where every team had an equal shot at Sidney Crosby, there have been 15 draft lotteries. The last place team has won the lottery just 6 of those 15 times. However, the last place club still retained the top pick on 2 other occasions, as the lottery winner came from outside the bottom 5:

-6 times the last place team has won the lottery, including 4 of the past 5 years
-4 3rd place teams have won it: WSH 2004(Ovechkin), FLA 2002(traded, CBJ - Nash), ATL 2001(Kovalchuk), TBL 1998(Lecavalier)
-1 4th place team has won it: FLA 2003(traded, PIT - Fleury)
-2 5th place teams have won it: CHI 2007(Kane), 2000 NYI(Dipietro)
-1 7th place team has won it: LAK 1995 (3rd pick - Berg)
-1 8th place team has won it: CHI 1999 (4th pick, traded, NYR - Brendl)

Here's a look at how a Sens fan should watch the lottery unfold:

If Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly starts the show by revealing the 5th pick belongs to Boston(via Toronto), feel free to kick in your TV, as history will have been made by the 22nd place team winning the lottery. The highest seeded team to ever win. Meaning, the Sens will have definitely slipped to 6th and the rest of the show has been ruined, as we will know the other teams will stay in their respective top four positions.

If it's revealed Ottawa has retained the 5th pick, then we know one of the teams 17-21 or 27-30 has won the lottery.

If it is revealed that the Islanders have secured the 5th pick, then it's gets fun for Sens fans, if only for a moment.

4th pick - if it's New Jersey, Ottawa picks 6th. If it's Florida, the game is still afoot
3rd Pick - if it's Columbus, Ottawa picks 6th. If it's Colorado, keep playing along.

From here, Bill Daly will jump ahead and reveal the top pick. If it's Ottawa, well, you know, Sens fans are happy. If it's Edmonton, that means Atlanta has won the lottery, jumping from 6th to 2nd. The Sens will pick 6th.

Running for a cause

Monday, March 28, 2011 · 1 comments

I don't run. I just don't. I'm more of a get up, have a coffee, read the paper, kind of guy. The only time I run is if it's part of a sport,or chasing after my kids(which is another sport). Running for running doesn't appeal to me. However, I do make exceptions. I make it for my mother when I run for breast cancer, I make it for those that have it worse than I do with I.B.D, and I'm making one now for my friend Greg Hebert. Here he is emceeing my wedding less than 4 years ago.

As many of you know, Greg is the host of Business at Night on CFRA. 2011 has already been quite the year. He was married in January, turned 36 in February, and by the time the calendar flipped to March, was told he probably had 6 months to live. Greg has been battling cancer since he was 34. He's not going down with out a fight, and certainly not without trying to make a difference. For some perspective, I encourage to view Doug Hempstead's moving piece from the weekend:


Now here comes to pitch: Get involved. Make a difference. Pledge me, or any other member of Team GreggyBear. Click on the link below, and then click on any team member you see in red on the bottom right.




Gamesmanship vs Good Taste

Friday, March 25, 2011 · 2 comments

On the surface Mark Recchi's comments about the Montreal Canadiens on a Boston radio station were absurd and moronic. By saying, "they were trying to get Zdeno suspended and they embellished it a little bit", Recchi called into question how serious the organization believed Pacioretty's injuries really were. Who's charged with making that determination for the Montreal Canadiens? Dr. David Mulder, and this is the part where the words absurd and moronic come in.

Yesterday, I said Mark Recchi's comments were dumb, but he deserved a mulligan for his outstanding track record on and off the ice over a so far 22 year hall of fame career. I still believe that, and I was glad to see the classy vet own up to his "gamesmanship" last night.

However, my question now is, when does "gamesmanship" go to far? When is it inappropriate? When doesn't the ends justify the means?

In an effort to take some pressure of a co-worker, is it in good taste that Mark Recchi lied about his true feelings and in the process questioned the integrity of another organization and indirectly their physician?

This isn't the first and certainly won't be the last time these games are played. I think we all know the script. Player/Coach says/does something outrageous, questions and opinions ensue, it is later revealed it was "gamesmanship" and player/coach takes offence to anyone that believed their lie. Yawn

Just my opinion, but I think there is a "good taste line" when it comes to "gamesmanship". Whether or not Recchi crossed that line? To each their own.

Why Fisher trade transcends hockey in Ottawa

Thursday, February 10, 2011 · 2 comments

September 1999. Alexei Yashin decides he won't be honouring his contract and Sens management decides that a 19 year old centre will be forgoing his final year in Sudbury to take his spot. So yes, Sens fans, the most selfish player in club history helped launch the career of arguably the most selfless.

My simple take. Fisher's hefty contract expires after 2 more seasons when he'll be 33, and the chances of the Sens being a Stanley Cup contender before then are remote. This trade makes sense from a hockey standpoint.

However, after doing the show today I decided to look back on just what Mike Fisher meant to hockey fans here in the Ottawa area. Sure, they appreciated his work ethic and rugged style of play, but it's Mike Fisher the person that really made a connection.

I know Mike just from covering him over the years. We're not friends. Just two people that know each other through work. When I was hospitalized for a few weeks a number of years ago I received a card and Fisher sought me out to see how I was doing. When our friend Buzz passed away, there was Mike sending in emails to our shows supporting everyone at Team 1200.

Those are just a couple personal stories I can pass along, but I know there are litterally thousands of others scattered throughout our community. So even if the trade makes "hockey sense", that's why we received some phone calls and emails from irate fans saying they would not be renewing their season tickets. That's why Bryan Murray said he felt something in the pit of his stomach as he was finalizing the trade. I could list the many charities Fisher supported and appearances he made over the years, but this picture from 2007 (and the story behind it) pretty much sums up who Mike Fisher is and why so many fans are having a tough time letting go. All the best Mike.

Elgin Fraser with Mike Fisher

We'll see if Burke stays true

Monday, February 7, 2011 · 0 comments

In light of Phil Kessel's comments yesterday. Here's what Leafs G.M. Brian Burke offered NHL live in June 2009 when asked about the Sens and Dany Heatley:

"When you have players come ask you for a trade, I tell the players 'don't finish that sentence,' because once you ask, I'm going to move you, If a player wants out, you're darn right I'm going to move you. I'm not kissing anyone's ass to play in my town, so to hell with you, don't finish the sentence. My second rule is if I hear about this, you're not going anywhere."

"For a player to pop off and say he wants out or leak it, in my mind you are now no longer interested in your team. If you've done that you've handicapped them, you've handcuffed your GM."

"As long as you are on that team, you owe them to maximize the asset, and once you've taken that step, sorry I don't accept that."

We'll see. There could be a little spin doctoring to come today.

CFL Expansion Draft Format

Friday, January 21, 2011 · 0 comments

Courtesy of CFL Director of Communications Jamie Dykstra, the differences between the 2002 Renegades expansion draft and the one that will be used for the new expansion team.

First off. The draft this time will happen about a month earlier than in 2002.


2002: Member clubs could protect two quarterbacks http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifon its roster.

Now: Member clubs will be able to protect one quarterback on its roster.

Through the Canadian Draft:

2002: Ottawa did not have the option of selecting Redshirt Juniors in the CFL Canadian Draft in the year preceding its return (2001 Draft)

Now: Ottawa will select in rounds one, two, three and four of the CFL Canadian Draft in the calendar year preceding the year it begins play, possibly 2012

2002: Ottawa was given priority for the 2002 CFL Canadian Draft, meaning they held the first selections of each round. Ottawa also received a bonus selection prior to the start of the draft.

Now: Ottawa will have the first pick in every round of the CFL Canadian Draft in the calendar year in which it begins play, possibly 2013.

Import Draft

2002: Member clubs protected 9 imports.

Now: Member clubs will be able to protect 10 imports.

Non-Import Draft

2002: Member clubs protected 7 non-imports in the first round and 6 non-imports in the second round.

Now: Member clubs will be able to protect 6 non-imports in the first round and 6 non-imports in the second round.

(Member clubs may be able to protect additional non-imports if Ottawa selects a quarterback, punter or kicker from its roster)

2002: In the second round of the non-import draft, Ottawa had the opportunity to choose a team’s second round draft pick in the upcoming Canadian Draft instead of a roster player.

Now: Throughout both rounds of the non-import draft, Ottawa must select roster players.

This eliminates the opportunity for the Ottawa franchise to choose draft picks instead of known roster players.

Negotiation List

2002: The Ottawa franchise had the opportunity to choose between a negotiation list draft and establishing its own 40-man negotiation list.

Now: Ottawa may operate a Negotiation List in advance of its return to the league. Ottawa’s interim Negotiation List can include a maximum of 25 players, including a maximum of 10 quarterbacks.

About this blog

Welcome to my Healthy Scratches blog. You can hear Jason York and myself weekdays from 3-6 on Team 1200. I use this blog to expand upon some of the things we talk about on the show, and anything else that really pops into my ample head.