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.

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.