2012 All-Star Game Voting Opens: Vote Alfie


We received an email from the RSU last night asking us to help promote the campaign to vote Daniel Alfredssson into the starting lineup for the 2012 All-Star Game here in Ottawa. In the email, they wanted us to know that they’ve launched a website www.votealfie.com and are encouraging everyone to use the hash tag #votealfie in all of their Sens related tweets and will be putting up posters throughout Ottawa to get the word out.

To vote for the 2012 All-Star Game, you have to register at NHL.com. For every email address that you register, you’re eligible to vote up to thirty times. Get after it.

Sticking with the NHL All-Game voting process, there’s this movement called Project Mayhem that was designed with the intent to remind Senators fans of its years of mismanagement by encouraging All-Star voters to choose former Senators players (ie. Zdeno Chara, Dany Heatley, Ray Emery, Martin Havlat, Marian Hossa and Chris Campoli). The idea itself originated from Jason Orach, a blogger for Pension Plan Puppets and it has received its fair share of attention.

Personally, I don’t see what the big deal is. On all of my ballots, I’ve been voting for Tyler Seguin and Phil Kessel in hopes that they get a chance to play on the same line. I think it’s a narrative that sorely needs some media exposure. (You know, before Dougie Hamilton comes into the league and tears it up.)

Now allow me to explain why Project Mayhem is flawed.

Outside of the city of Ottawa, there’s this perception that the Senators fan base is one that is depressed and sensitive because the team is rebuilding and many of these aforementioned ‘stars’ have moved on. Like we’re supposed to be bitter because this team won’t perennially sacrifice future assets so that it can vie for an eighth playoff seed and make good on the ‘get in and anything can happen’ attitude. Well, we aren’t. Those are just myths that are perpetuated by outsiders and the staff members at the Ottawa Sun.

In an interview with Grey Wyshynski on Puck Daddy, Orach discussed Senators fans who weren’t bothered by Project Mayhem saying, “Senators fans want to see guys they liked that the organization traded come back, and good for them I guess. They’re a small market team that lobbied hard for the salary cap that eventually ended their championship window. It might be nice for them to see what they wanted all along.”

Let’s make one thing clear: it wasn’t the salary cap that was this franchise’s undoing. Anyone who has their thumb on the pulse of this team knows that under John Muckler, the GM neglected the amateur scouting process like Alexei Yashin neglected the backcheck. Between a patchwork hockey ops staff that could not identify, develop or stockpile desirable prospects and a GM that traded picks at every deadline for the sake of making a move, it created a barren system.

That was just the John Muckler logic that we loathed and it’s a large part of the reason why fans can’t get mad at for wanting to see some of the players who left.

Hossa never wanted to leave and was hoodwinked by Muckler – within hours of signing an extension with the Senators, he was dealt to the Atlanta Thrashers.

Havlat was an injury-plagued fan favourite who was headed towards unrestricted free agency. Rather than allow him to start the season in Ottawa and allow him to develop more trade value, the organization sold low – shipping him off in a three-way trade that netted the organization Michal Barinka, Tom Preissing, Josh Hennessy and a second round pick (eventually turned out to be Patrick Wiercioch). The kicker was that Preissing, the NHL-ready player who came back to the Senators, was an impending UFA himself. Does any of this make sense? Only to John Muckler!

And honestly, why should we be bothered by Campoli’s inclusion? The man was dealt for a second round pick last season.

Emery? Sure, his immaturity and work ethic left something to be desired. To his credit, over the past few seasons, he has successfully overcome some personal demons and a career-threatening injury. He also hasn’t been a player of significant consequence since he left town. If anything, I feel sorry for the guy.

Despite Orach believing that Bryan Murray was the GM who preferred Redden over Chara, the Big Z was just another Muckler casualty.

And finally, there’s Heatley – a young player whose red flags were overlooked because of his talent. After booing him for the better part of the two games that he’s played in Ottawa, most of us have moved on.

If Project Mayhem really wanted to bother us, it would consist of the best draft picks who were picked after Brian Lee in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft – Paul Statsny, Anze Kopitar, TJ Oshie, Kris Letang, Marc Staal and Jonathan Quick. Bringing in former players just doesn’t rile us up. Of course it helps that for the first time in years, fans actually have promising young players and prospects to look forward to. If anything, honouring players from the past just meshes with how the Senators organization has celebrated of the team’s 20th anniversary season thus far.

Other Notes of Pithy Importance

-  According to Bruce Garrioch, the Senators have placed Chris Neil on the injured reserve with a high ankle sprain.

Due to difficulty in determining the length of time that Neil could be out, Neil’s placement on the IR means that the Chris Neil Penalty Face won’t be eligible to return until at least Thursday against the Oilers in Edmonton.

It’s a shame. Not only has Neil contributed with his consistent physical style – tied for fourth in the NHL with 51 hits – he’s shockingly developed into an effective net-front presence on the power play. (So we’re told. I mean that with his one power play goal, he has one more than he had all of last season. Progress!)

- Over at SenatorsExtra.com, you can check out today’s prediction panel for tonight’s game. James Gordon wrote that I picked a 4-1 Flames win but I really emailed saying the Senators will by that score. I don’t think I’ll notify him of the mistake until the Senators win the game.

- Ian Mendes has a story up at Rogers Sportsnet regarding how Craig Anderson used to spell his last name with two ‘S’s on the back of his jersey.

- The Columbus Blue Jackets’ Derick Brassard is a potential trade target for the Sens? Meh.

-  Congratulations to Tyson C. for winning week two of The 6th Sens Movember Contest. Tyson won for having the most mustache growth.

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