Ottawa Senators Preview Pt. II – The Mainstream Media

Welcome to part two of our 2009-10 season preview for the Ottawa Senators. Today’s foray is into the mainstream media who cover the Senators. From the unapologetic bad to the good, we’ve got it covered.

Without further ado…

According to Off The Posts “Don Brennan, Bruce Garrioch and Chris Stevenson are Ottawa’s all-star hockey writing trio”. Even though they don’t mention the league in which they are all-stars, these three use OTP as a less regulated outlet for providing little tidbits of information without the hook of employing a scantily clad Sunshine Girl to get your attention.

For staff that pens most of their articles using one sentence paragraphs, making these blog posts is a breeze and it gives them full creative control over their headlines. Thankfully, the authors all use this blog differently — Bruce Garrioch used OTPfor rapidly updating Senators fans during the Dany to Edmonton saga and we will always remember his immortal words that night, “The deal is dead”. Don Brennan on the other hand uses the blog to tell people how awesome it is when Boston fan’s chant homophobic slurs. Chris Stevenson only uses the blog when forced to when filling in for Don and Bruce when they’re on vacation.

So while it’s useful for announcing line-ups, injuries and roster changes,  it’s not quite as useful when the left hand doesn’t tell the right hand what it’s doing.

I’m not sure we should qualify Ian Mendes as a sporadic blogger or sporadic columnist. Regardless, Ian has his thumb on the pulse of the Sens Army and you can find him on the television holding down the fort for Rogers Sportsnet in Ottawa.

In between makeup sessions and projecting a calming smirk on television,  Ian finds the time to write insightful and colourful articles on pertaining to the Senators. He’s a funny guy and has an excellent memory. So even though he openly admits to never watching the movie Slapshot, the fact he was able to remember anything pleasant about Dany Heatley at all is a testament to the fact it is sometimes better to have a short memory. His material characterizes what the media should be: insightful, intelligent, at times humorous and stimulating.

He also deserves credit for making a public service announcement that reminded the Ottawa media to stay classy at Jason Spezza’s wedding. (And Ian knows what the local media is capable of, he shares the buffet line with them after all). I think Jason maybe owes him a small thank you for that one. Furthermore, the fact that he hasn’t punched his Sportsnet colleague, Mike Toth, in the face, shows more restraint than we could exercise.

If we had one complaint, it’d be this: we’re pissed Ian’s personality doesn’t shine through more on the television. Maybe it’s just a case of Rogers needing to give him more leash but we’d like to something less robotic and corporate.

James Gordon is the author for the Ottawa Citizen’s Hockey Capital and he’s one of the favourite mainstream scribes of ours. (It’s hard to knock a member of the press who has openly admitted to reading, and enjoying our blog. We like your work a lot too James.)

Suffice it to say, we have never cut up a Gordon article, and considering that’s part of our niche, it reflects on the quality of his work. Or maybe he treats his job professionally without taking himself too seriously. For example, unlike some of his colleagues who resorted to name-calling or hijacking Dany’s conference call, Gordon just asked a simple question of Dany: Just how dumb does he think we are?

James is also a man with some self-respect. While watching some interviews from the Bell 2009 Senators Charity Golf Tournament, we couldn’t help but notice a dapper looking Gordon in this TSN video. (Forward it to the 1:24’ish mark of the video. Gordon is the one in the grey top who slightly resembles Tobey Maguire’s evil Peter Parker character from Spiderman 3.) It’s nice to see a guy take some pride in his appearance during media events instead of trying to figure out if knockoff Oakley’s can be stretched around a hot air balloon. (Just watch until the end of the video,  when it freezes to understand this reference.)

Gordon’s Citizencolleagues — Wayne Scanlan, Ken Warren and Alan Panzeri are ho-hum authors. They’re well written and all, but we’re just rarely inspired by the words of these guys and it’s tough to relate to their material. Sure it’s well done and gets the point across but it’s rarely entertaining. At the end of their day reading their stuff is like watching the Jaques Martin trap, sure it’s efficient but it’s boring as fuck.

Gord Wilson isn’t a journalist. He works for the Senators as the colour guy on the Team 1200 or whatever television broadcast needs a voice. He is basically a corporate puppet. If unequivocal homerism is your thing or you like fallacious compliments of Chris Kelly’s hockey IQ, then you should definitely check out his blog. I don’t know if anyone bleeds red, black and gold onto an internet screen like Wilson but not many people are paid to either. It’s too bad that he’s reliant upon the Sens for a paycheck, because based off his usual disagreements with the members of the Sun staff during Team 1200’spre-game roundtable discussion, Wilson seems like the kind of guy we’d love to talk hockey with when drunk at a bar.

Puck Daddy is a sort of religious icon with millions flocking to the Yahoo!Mecca on a regular basis. He’s also an inspiration for every hockey blogger who has delusions of grandeur. This site has a cult following that lives and dies by the sword of Greg Wyshynski and contributors like Sean Leahy. PD is most famous in our neck of the woods for coining a nickname that’s better than Boo Boo for  Bruce ‘Malkin to the Kings’Garrioch.

Armed with 30 teams at his disposal, his flock attend sermons on a plethora of hot bed topics. For example, his popular Jersey Fouls segment is a safe way for men to talk abut fashion and relegate it to “pass or fail” status and his daily puck headlines offer up a cornucopia of links to various hockey blogs, newspapers and whatever else is relevant.

We’ve been fortunate enough to be the beneficiary of several plugs in this segment and the traffic it generates is just mind boggling.

(Note to readers: Keep an eye out in the next week or so for a PD season preview of the Ottawa Senators.)