The Sports Daily > The 6th Sens
David Rundblad A Flight Risk?

Per Joy Lindsay’s Twitter (@PSBJoyOntheSens):

David Rundblad says he has not decided whether he will report to #BSens or return to Sweden if he doesn’t make #Sens’ roster out of camp.

Awesome! Just when you thought that no more parallels could be drawn between Vladimir Tarasenko and Rundblad could be drawn, he throws out of the old European flight risk card.

I wasn’t privy to the conversation in question and without a proper quote or an audio clip to apply some context to it, I’m not going to overreact or label him as a malcontent. That’s for the Ottawa Sun to do. (I kid, I kid.)

Thankfully, Joy did eventually put the full quote up on her blog,

“I don’t know yet,” Rundblad said when asked if he is willing to begin his season in the AHL. “I’m going to play these (preseason) games, and then we’ll see what happens. I haven’t made the decision yet.”

While you can give full marks to Rundblad for being forthright, his answer certainly lacked tact. He has to recognize that this is a fish bowl marketplace and from here on out, he’s immediately going to have to answer a lot more questions about his performance or the possibility of him pulling the chute and returning to Sweden.

Unlike losing Jakob Silfverberg or returning Mika Zibanejad to the Swedish Elite League for another year, Rundblad has already dominated at (at least offensively) at that level and has nothing left to prove there. For a player who could use an extended adjmustment to the North American game, the possibility that he could pack his bags and head back to Europe is disappointing but hopefully it will never be realized.

Reading Tim Murray’s comments on Joy’s blog, it’s not a secret that the Senators organization wants to keep him on this side of the pond.

“Obviously, his hope is to make the (NHL) team out of camp,” said Senators assistant general manager Tim Murray. “There’s a competition here. Brian Lee was great last night. Jared Cowen’s been very good in the two games here. We still have five games to go, and things can change. But if he (Rundblad) doesn’t make the team out of camp, I personally would hope he would go to the American Hockey League.

“He does have an out to go back to Europe, but with what he accomplished back in Sweden last year (leading SEL defenseman with 50 points), I think it’s time for him to move on. I think it’s time for him to play in North America, whether that’s here or starting the year in Binghamton.”

Taking management at their word, I have to believe that Rundblad will be ready to play in the NHL at some point this season. It’s just a matter of an injury, the trade of an incumbent veteran or Rundblad earning the job with a strong finish to his preseason.

You can listen to Joy’s interview with Rundblad below…

Hodge Podge

On the same day that TSN’s Dave Hodge joins Twitter (@TSNDaveHodge), he unleashes this steaming turd of a cryptic tweet, “Certain members of the Spezza family expect Jason to be a Leaf. I don’t believe it–they do.”

Now before you run off to your social media account and accuse Hodge of being senile, keep in mind that he never referenced anything in regards to the possibility of a trade. It’s completely plausible that with the amount of young talent that Ottawa has coming through the system, the Senators may not be able to (or want to) extend Spezza when he becomes an unrestricted free agent at 32 years of age.

Further to the point, one of Jason’s family members simply could have said something along the lines of “I could definitely see Jason wearing a Leafs jersey by the time that his career is done.”

While harmless, it’s hardly worth mentioning in a tweet. Linking the Spezza family name to the Maple Leafs and creating baseless speculation from it is completely unnecessary.

Bob McKenzie’s Pre-Season Top 10 Draft Rankings

Well, if Hockey Prospectus and every other noteworthy hockey annual is predicting the Senators to be one of the worst teams in the NHL, it’s probably in our best interests to familiarize ourselves with some of these top prospects.

Per TSN’s website, here’s McKenzie’s top ten:

10. (Tie) Matia Marcantuoni, Canada, Winger & Jacob Trouba, USA, Defence
9. Derrick Pouliot, Canada, Defence
8. Nick Ebert, USA, Defence
7. Morgan Rielly, Canada, Defence
6. Mikhail Grigorenko, Russia, Center
5. Alexander Galchenyuk, Center, USA/Russia hybrid
4. Ryan Murray, Canada, Defence
3. Filip Forsberg, Sweden, Center
2. Mathew Dumba, Canada, Defence
1. Nail Yakupov, Russia, Winger

Don Brennan Keeps Talking Playoffs

In yesterday’s Sun, Donnie took pleasure in pumping Craig Anderson’s tires; boldly proclaiming that the Senators would make the playoffs if Anderson has a Tim Thomas-like season.

As much as I can admire Anderson’s self-confidence or Paul MacLean’s insistence that the goaltender could see upwards of 60 to 70 games this season, it’s going to take more than goaltending for the Senators to rise up the standings.

For fun, here is one unnamed goaltender’s recent numbers:

2007-08 69 69 4031 30 29 0 8 5 180 2.68 2213 2033 .919 4
2008-09 59 55 3324 26 23 0 6 11 138 2.49 1855 1717 .926 6
2009-10 63 62 3695 23 28 0 11 9 157 2.55 2081 1924 .925 7
2010-11 57 57 3224 22 28 0 5 5 137 2.55 1753 1616 .922 6

From an individual’s perspective, they’re pretty impressive totals… until you consider where this specific player’s team finished in the standings.

2007-08: 11th in the Eastern Conference (38-35-9)
2008-09: 9th in the Eastern Conference (41-30-11)
2009-10: 14th in the Eastern Conference (32-37-13)
2010-11: 15th in the Eastern Conference (30-40-12)

How about Tomas Vokoun and those Florida Panthers?