Trying Times…

Rumours of a Mike Hoffman entry-level deal?

Corey Locke and Derek Smith signed two-way contracts?

In what can be described as mere formalities, both Peter Regin and Chris Campoli are extended qualifying offers.

Weeks after some local hack, who lives in his/her mother’s basement and throws enough crap out there until some of it sticks, wrote in April that Roman Wick had been offered a 2-way contract by the Ottawa Senators, the organization officially announced this past week that he had in fact been signed?

As if we needed any more affirmation that these in fact were the dogs days of the NHL summer. Things are so bad in the nation’s capital that when the Ottawa Sun’s photo of Carrie Underwood and Mike Fisher’s honeymoon made the front page, a sportstalk radio segment was devoted to the fact that Mike Fisher shaves his chest more than Stan Bowman shaves salary to create cap space.

Despite the criticisms thrown towards the mainstream media in this locale, messageboards are riddled with threads asking questions like, “Why do people think Mike Fisher isn’t a good second line center?” (Ed. note: Consistency. Or his historical consistency to put up the same number of points regardless of the talent who he’s lined up with.) Or, why would people want to trade any of Chris Kelly, Chris Neil or Jarkko Ruutu? (Ed. note: Overpaid. Overrated. More easily replaced with cheaper alternatives.)

Even the Ottawa/Senators blogosphere has been adversely affected. Sens Chirp is publishing Paul Kariya and Eric Belanger rumours, Five For Smiting hasn’t written nearly enough articles to satiate my appetite for well crafted blurbs featuring a littany of expletives. Hell, even Erin Nicks, The Universal Cynic, has had to re-introduce us to her significant other.

Regardless of how you cut it, these are mundane times for Senators fans. Although I suppose that things could be worse. It’s not like Bill Sweatt has spurned this organization for free agency.

Wake me up when camp starts…

Volchenkov Wanted to Stay

I would have liked to stay in Ottawa. My next choice was to find a good place for me. (The Senators) made me an offer, not good enough. That’s why I didn’t sign with Ottawa. I talked to my wife. This is not too far from friends. I spent eight years in Ottawa. I have lots of friends there. This is tough, but it’s part of the business. I don’t like changing teams, but it’s hockey.” ~ Anton Volchenkov via Sun Media

I ran this through the Rugged Russian Shotblocking Warrior Translator and it came out something like this…

I would like to thank my agent, Jay Grossman, for securing a ridiculously long contract for a player of my ilk. After years of being exploited by Ottawa’s bourgeois management, I’m taking my talents elsewhere.

Interestingly, Volchenkov’s arrival in New Jersey hasn’t caused the former Senator to persuade Ilya Kovalchuk to resign with the Devils. According to The Fourth Period, Volchenkov would like Kovalchuk to sign with the Devils, but indicated that “it’s not my decision.” And if Don Brennan was a beat writer who covered the Devils, this would strike him as odd.

Binghamton Senators

If you have any passing interest in anything related to the Binghamton Senators, I highly recommend reading Michael Sharp’s Sharp On the Sens articles that will help keep you informed. Having read his July 3rd article that detailed a conversation that he had with Ottawa’s Assistant GM, Tim Murray, I already knew that Derek Smith had verbally committed to the organization on a new contract well before the organization announced that he had actually put pen to paper.

Here are some other important notes from Sharp’s July 3rd article:

  • I’m looking for a top-end center. And I believe I’m looking for a good solid two-way defenseman. I think we’re pretty good on the wings. I think with Roman Wick and (Ryan) Keller and guys like that, that are top-end players where they’ve played in the past. So our priority would be at a tough guy, a top-end center and a good two-way defenseman.” ~ Tim Murray (Ed. note: the top-end center eventually turned out to be Corey Locke.)
  • Former Bingo Head Coach, Don Nachbaur, left the organization to be closer to his family.
  • Despite his age, Cody Bass is now considered by Tim Murray to be a veteran. The oft-injured prospect certainly has the scars to prove it.
  • Tim Murray hits on a number of the prospects from the rookie development camp and firmly believes that they should be able to help Binghamton this year.
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