The 6th Sens Mailbag

I received the following from a user from the popular HFBroads Senators forum. The picture features the Penguins’ NHL Guardian Project super hero alongside his trusty sidekick.

I wouldn’t have a problem with Alfie being traded to a Cup contender if he was a UFA and if he was on board, and IF they committed to resign him to play, or in the organization after the season.  He needs to retire a Senator.  If they traded him now with 2 or three more years left, he would not be coming back, family moving away, etc. The fact is that when they signed his last extension, they all but said it was a retirement contract and that he would be a Senator for life.  There could not be a return that would make up for his loss. ~ Cup Run Scott

I can think of a number of trade possibilities that would make up for Alfie’s loss. All are completely unrealistic.

First off, Eklund is an idiot just thought I’d cement that some more.  As for Alfie, if he went to Murray today and asked for a trade to a contender I will have absolutely no problem with it, he’s a great player who has done so much for this team and city and deserves another crack at the Cup.  I’d even cheer for him to win the Cup with the Flyers and Capitals even though I really hope it’s more Red Wings or Canucks.  On the other hand, I will absolutely not accept Murray to go to Alfie and suggesting a trade.  I find so many people dislike Bourque because he went after the Cup, I personally have no problem with it and if Alfie wants the Cup he has every right to chase it elsewhere. As for the return, it would have to depend on the team and what kind of prospects they have in their system. ~ Dew

The easiest way to get something published at The 6th Sens is to refer to Eklund as an idiot in the first sentence of an email.

Of all the players on the team with NTC’s, I find it funny that Alfie doesn’t have one (or does he). And as much as it’ll hurt to see him play with another team, I would do it. But if Ottawa trades Alfie, then the rest of core needs to go as well. There’s no way this team can justify rebuilding by trading Alfredsson and keeping the current core intact. If Alfie goes, then Fisher and Phillips need to go as well. I know Spezza’s contract makes him hard to move, but if there’s an offer on the table that looks good, then the Sens should take it. Blow up, start all over, and build a new franchise. ~ Crooklyn Banks

Personally I would be bothered by a trade. Alfie has been such a huge part of our team for such a long time, I can’t imagine us without him. He may not be Crosby or Ovechkin but he has been a great captain and I really, really, REALLY would not want to see him go. With that said, I think Alfie deserves the Cup more than anyone right now, and if that means him going to another team….then I guess I would be okay with it. I would love for him to win the Cup with us, but let’s face it, that’s NOT happening. Basically if the team has a REALLY good chance at winning the Cup soon, and that’s what he wants, than he deserves it. It’s like Ray Bourque, it was amazing to see him lift the Cup and I would give anything to see Alfie do the same. ~ Chantel

A few days before Mark Sutcliffe, of the Ottawa Citizen, published a look at how little bang for the buck the Sens were getting, a reader named Ike sent me an email that determined how much money Ottawa was spending in correlation to their projected point totals. At the time, I promised the reader that I would publish his email. Last night, he sent me an updated version of his work.

Team                        Pts     Projected Pts*  Payroll**          $ per projected pt 

Atlanta               51           92.93           $41,733,547         $449,085.84

Colorado            50           93.18            $42,624,623         $457,443.90

Tampa Bay         57          106.23           $49,426,965         $465,282.55

Dallas                 57          106.23            $52,041,788         $489,897.28

Nashville             52           101.52           $50,553,742         $497,968.30

Vancouver          62           121.05           $61,861,500         $511,040.89

Philadelphia        59            115.19           $59,158,272        $513,571.25

Phoenix              51             97.26            $50,035,282         $514,448.71

St Louis              46              89.81            $46,652,271         $519,455.19

Detroit                59            112.51            $59,606,636         $529,789.67

Carolina              48              93.71            $50,467,733         $538,552.27

Pittsburgh           58            105.69            $59,234,578         $560,455.84

Washington        55            102.5               $57,947,626        $565,342.69

Boston                53            103.48             $59,222,771        $572,311.28

NY Rangers        53              98.77             $57,070,569         $577,812.79

Chicago              51               92.93             $54,932,295        $591,114.76

Los Angeles        47               91.76             $54,995,082        $599,336.12

Anaheim             52                92.7               $55,822,051       $602,179.62

NY Islanders       33                66                  $41,234,245       $624,761.29

Florida                40                 80                  $49,981,603       $624,770.04

Montreal             51                 95.05            $60,064,445       $631,924.72

Minnesota          47                 89.63             $58,426,607       $651,864.41

Columbus           43                82                    $54,088,461       $659,615.38

San Jose            47               87.59                $58,058,199       $662,840.50

Buffalo               41               80.05                $54,729,829       $683,695.55

Toronto              40                78.1                 $54,311,693       $695,412.20

Edmonton           33                 66                   $46,384,498       $702,795.42

Calgary               41                 78.19              $63,340,008       $810,078.12

Ottawa               38                 72.47              $58,953,024        $813,481.77

New Jersey        24                46.86                $64,710,725        $1,380,937.37

*Projected Pts: current point total divided by games played multiplied by 82 (Pts/GPx82)

The 6th Sens Mailbag

spartymail

Since Tim and I were away from the computer last night recording our inaugural podcast, we have absolutely no idea how the game ended. I still have to edit the podcast, so keep checking back regularly for it. I’m hoping to have it posted within the next 48 hours.

Anyway, now that I’m back in front of a computer for the first time, I began my daily routine by checking the website’s email before hitting the mainstream media sources for information. There were a number of new messages but the first one that I saw was one with the subject heading PP to SH Differentials.




So I’m a little bored at work.  The below is the PP to SH differentials (power play chances – times shorthanded) for NHL teams after last night’s games.  Folks have, rightly I’d say, been complaining about the refs so here’s some quantitative data.  Not perfect data, because if PPs get snuffed out by other penalties it still counts as a full PP chance, whatever, we’re -24.

 

DAL

27

BUF

27

NJD

21

EDM

16

DET

15

NSH

15

MIN

10

PIT

9

SJS

9

LAK

9

VAN

8

TBL

6

ATL

1

FLA

0

WSH

-1

TOR

-1

CHI

-1

CAR

-5

NYI

-5

COL

-7

BOS

-7

NYR

-10

STL

-10

CGY

-10

PHI

-11

PHX

-14

ANA

-17

CBJ

-18

OTT

-24

MTL

-32

First of all, thanks for the email Isaac and thanks to the other readers who emailed in voicing their absolute disgust with how last night’s game unfolded.

That being said, maybe it’s better to stay in the dark in regards to the game last night. Instead, I think this could be a good opportunity to try something different here. Rather than reading the mainstream media, I’ll allow you readers to post in the comments and give me some semblance for what happened in last night’s game.

Have at it in the comments…

The 6th Sens Mailbag


It’s that time again. Brace yourselves for another edition of The 6th Sens mailbag!

At the beginning of training camp my instinct was that the roster was set and that all these “depth” additions were just smoke and mirrors to motivate veterans with the illusion that their spots were in jeopardy. It may have worked for Chris Neil but it was a sham nonetheless. Furthermore, the Pizza Line was supposed to broken up, also proven to be a sham and we have Mike “The Sacred Cow” Fisher centering the 2nd linee again. Bottom line: this looks an awful lot like status quo to me. With Hartsburg already trying to push the “pride” button how confident are you that this is a team with a different attitude because the lineup card is not that different. ~ SeawaySensFan

T6S: Well SSF, I think the message that Craig Hartsburg is preaching is paying off thus far. But let’s not kid ourselves. When you hear the coach discuss things like accountability and pride, who is he referring to? Odds are, it isn’t the grizzled veteran depth that makes the third and fourth lines. His target audience is probably the skilled forward group that has otherwise been pretty one-dimensional. To answer your question: Yes, I’m confident that this team has embraced their new directive. When you watch Dany Heatley lay out to block a shot, the message is obviously registering in the minds of the players. If it wasn’t, I’d start to question whether or not the players on this team have learning disorders. How anyone could not learn and improve upon the disaster that was last season is beyond me.

I think the most important things to consider in this situation are that the organization has run out of excuses. By naming a new Head Coach and removing the bad seeds, there is no crutch for this team this season. They’re out of excuses and if they can’t get the job done this year, it’s on the players in the room.

Hi,

I have read your blog for awhile now and I obviously get the sens (pun!) that you guys were not big John Muckler fans. I also see that you seem to give Murray more credit than some. I’m disappointed that you guys are giving him more credit than I think he’s due. Can you list off the moves that you like and dislike from Murray? ~ Tim

T6S: Sure. It’s not that we’re huge Murray proponents. We’re just of the opinion that he’s been left with a roster devoid of depth, prospects, players whom he didn’t want, bad contracts, etc. So here’s our breakdown of good, bad and indifferent:

Good:
- The Peter Schaeffer trade for Shean Donovan
- Policy in place for Russian prospects to earn contract by coming to North America.
- Realizing and admitting his mistakes (ie. Ray Emery).
- Not overpaying in weak free agent markets (ie. Brian Campbell)
- Locking up the core of this team long-term while maintaining cap flexibility for the future.
- I like the approach that he will not be bullied into contracts/deals (ie. Meszaros)
- Jarkko Ruutu signing

Bad:
- The Ray Emery contract: Murray signed him to a 3-year pact despite knowing his attitude, work habits, etc.
- The John Paddock hiring: Almost a cop out hiring coming off a Stanley Cup appearance. His firing probably gave Murray a scapegoat and gave him more time.
- Mutual Saprykin release and bringing in Robitaille to fill that gap (I realize I’m nitpicking here because Saprykin didn’t want to stay).
- It hasn’t bitten the Sens in the ass yet, but I’m a little disturbed by management to hand out No-Movement Clauses to the likes of Fisher/Spezza/Heatley. Although, maybe they were necessary for the players to sign long-term?

Indifferent:
- The Commodore/Stillman vs Eaves/Corvo deal. The trade didn’t work out but I understand why the deal was made and cannot argue with his desire to shake up the team without removing the core.
- Inability/Class move of keeping Wade Redden without forcing him to waive his NTC.
- Inability to get rid of Gerber’s salary. Maybe there’s a plan in place once they deem Elliott is ready. Who knows? It’s all speculation as to what has gone on.
- The Meszaros Trade. Too soon to judge. I like it thus far though and I have to see what happens with the first round pick. I still would have liked TB’s pick instead of SJ’s though.

Hope that helps.

I’d love to hear your take on why the Senators management hasn’t been able to do anything to solve the goaltending issue thus far? I mean, as anyone who has paid the slightest interest in this team can tell, this goalie problem has been plaguing Ottawa since the team was re-established. Goaltending seems to have been the weakest link all along. Thoughts? ~ Tania

T6S: Well, we penned a piece describing the Sens goaltending situation through their history. Perhaps the one thing that got left out from that piece was the fact that before the Melynk/Salary Cap Era, the Ottawa Senators HAD to be fiscally responsible. Prior to their eventual bankruptcy, one of the areas where the team cut costs was with their frugal acquisition of goalies. Whether it was the hapless goaltending that marred the early seasons or the more modern players (ie. Lalime or Tugnutt), the Sens never lavishly used money on that position. Hell, when Muckler signed Hasek, it was for a bargain basement price because of his injury history.

Another thorn in the side of the organization has been the immaturity of the goalies that they have drafted. No one can question that Ray Emery and Mathieu Chouinard were talented players. Unfortunately, they both exhibited work habits that made the homeless bums on Rideau St. Chinese sweatshop laborers. Both at one time were deemed to be the goalies of the future but both are obviously now out of the NHL. Luckily, we can pen all our future hopes on the shoulders of THE Brian Elliott. With the way that Martin Gerber’s been playing, Elliott may be called up from Bingo sooner than we think. Just thank your stars that it doesn’t take this team as long as it took Vancouver to find the franchise goalie that we so sorely lack.

Brad & Graeme:

I was watching the Sens play Detroit tonight and I saw the weirdest thing. The defenceman passed across to the other defenceman who shot the puck instantaneously and it went in. Can you explain this?

Thanks,
Jason K.

T6S: Sure. Jason, you saw a one-timer goal from the point. It’s a rare occurrence in these parts that hasn’t been seen consistently since the Steve Duchesne era. Consider yourself lucky to have witnessed this isolated incident. Lately, expecting some offensive production from the blueline is akin to us once investing faith into Bill Muckalt’s goal-less drought during the 2001-2002 season. That being said, we’re hoping that Alexandre Picard’s goal will make the Sens Power Play less predictable that is has been in the past. Too often the play is forced down low and everything seems too orchestrated or telegraphed. Watching the Red Wings operate the other night only added more salt to our wounds.

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