Even the 2007/08 Senators roster agrees this has been an incredibly stale week for the organization.
From the Senators’ official announcement that Chris Neil (a three year extension) and Andre Benoit (one-year, two-way) had agreed upon new contracts with the team to Bryan Murray gushing over his optimism that Daniel Alfredsson will return for another season, the week’s been more vanilla than an NHL Awards acceptance speech.
Apparently however, a trade may add some spice to the local news and potentially to the Senators lineup as well.
When talking to local beat writers about Neil’s extension and the departures of Zenon Konopka and Matt Carkner, Murray indicated that he’d like to add some toughness to the roster.
“I don’t think there are any players sitting out there (in free agency). At some point in the near future, we will have to address that in another form.”
“We have to address that vacancy somehow and we will do that, but (Neil) has still got to play that role for us, hopefully with the assistance of other players.” ~ Bryan Murray, via SenatorsExtra.com
Having listened to Tim Murray contrast the difference between fighting and team toughness in an interview on the Team 1200, I’d like to believe that Bryan was simply catering to the line of questioning that was directed towards him.
With an already congested roster and other needs that could be addressed, I would hate to think that the organization would be willing to give up assets – draft picks or roster player(s) — to acquire someone who can only contribute with their fists; especially since there were an abundance of pugilists in this year’s free agent class.
Obviously there are a few exceptions to the rule – any trade involving a potentially undesirable roster player like Bobby Butler would make sense. As would a deal that could net the Senators a tougher player who can tangibly contribute in other facets of the game besides staged fighting.
“Obviously the day of staged fighting is coming to an end, but I’m all for two guys battling in front of the net, and if they don’t like the way one another hit each other, or they hit the goalie or whatever, instincts take over. That’s where you see some really good fights.
“Carks and Zee were big parts of the team last year. Great guys that fit in well. You hate to see guys like that go. But we’ve got guys that can step in. We’ve still got lots of toughness here.” ~ Chris Neil via the Ottawa Sun
Exactly, the Senators still have a littany of guys who willingly will answer the bell if an on-ice event warrants retribution. Rather than insulate them with another Francis Lessard, the organization might be best served empowering players like Colin Greening, Zack Smith, Jared Cowen or Mark Borowiecki to stand up for themselves and their teammates.
Other News of Pithy Importance:
TVA reported that Guillaume Latendresse turned down a similar overture from the Montreal Canadiens to sign with the Senators. Allegedly, he was looking for a two-year deal from the Habs.
According to the Ottawa Citizen’s Ken Warren, Kaspars Daugavins’ arbitration hearing has been scheduled for July 24th.
More from Warren who tweets that Senators asst GM Tim Murray says D Andre Benoit is “not automatically destined for Binghamton”.