Pierre Dorion Speaks: Trade Deadline Analysis, Prospect Development

Pierre Dorion Speaks: Trade Deadline Analysis, Prospect Development


Pierre Dorion Speaks: Trade Deadline Analysis, Prospect Development



After a busy past few days that included moving Curtis Lazar to the Calgary Flames just before today’s 3:00 pm trade deadline, Senators general manager Pierre Dorion spent over 30 minutes talking to Ian Mendes and Shawn Simpson on TSN 1200’s ‘The Drive’ program to break down the past 72 hours.

There’s a lot of information here, but the interview itself is a good listen. You can scroll to the bottom of this post for the embedded audio, but a transcription of Dorion’s comments can be read below.

As always, my thoughts are in bold.

On whether he got more texts and emails from journalists or general managers today…

“It was about 50-50. I got a… we know one guy that was on the panel in Toronto. He was relentless today. (His) initials (are) B.G. On the hour almost (every hour), he was checking in. It’s funny. With the new generation of general managers, especially the younger guys, a lot of stuff is done by text. ‘I’ll call you in 15 minutes.’ ‘How about this and this?’ ‘Okay, no.’ So technology has actually probably helped the trade deadline process.”

It would probably help even more if Dorion used Twitter DMs to vet trade proposals through resources like Matt Cane (@cane_matt) or Micah Blake McCurdy (@ineffectivemath), but here we are.

On sitting on a second round pick offer on Lazar and whether he spent most of the day trying to land a first round offer…

“Yeah, that is what I was… it’s no secret that we were looking to always… when you have a deal on table, it’s no secret that you’re always looking to improve upon it. And Calgary for the last few weeks have indicated that they really like Curtis and this was part of the deal that they wanted to do. We talked about a few other pieces and today, I don’t know if it was a sign from God when (Mark Borowiecki) went into the boards – and he is playing tomorrow, let’s not… — we just said, ‘Maybe we need another defenceman.’ Just having eight NHL bodies just protects you for the long run. There are two to three guys that I love in Binghamton and it’s no slight on them. But, with Patrick Sieloff only playing one game and with (Ben) Harpur, I think he’s only played in five or six (games) and then you put in Andreas Englund, we just felt that to ever put them in a playoff position, it might be the worst thing for us and the worst thing for them. But all three of them, I think, have a pretty good future with us down the road.”

Yeah, neither of those guys inspire much confidence at this stage of their respective careers. Then again, with the way that Patrick Sieloff goes all out and refuses to let up on his own teammates in preseason friendlies, I shudder to think about what a playoff atmosphere would do for his game.

On what happened with Curtis Lazar’s development…

“I think Curtis, at his best, was the year that we had our miracle run where we made the playoffs. He played on a line with (Erik) Condra and (Jean-Gabriel) Pageau and they were our third line and they were a shutdown line. They played important minutes and he still contributed offensively. He was pumped. I think Guy (Boucher) was pumped about him coming in this year. He gets the mono, he’s behind the eight-ball and you’re not sure what’s going on. Things looked like they were not going to work out and he just never found his groove this year. It was tough for me (to trade him). It was really tough for me personally. I think it was tough for our management group to give up on something like this, but at the same time, we had a good offer and I’m not sure he would have played. If you looked at what Guy was looking to do and what his four lines were going to be tomorrow, I’m don’t know how much (Lazar) would have played from now to the end of the year. I think we owed it to him and I know, first and foremost are the Ottawa Senators for us, but I think we owed it to him for his development. And at the same time, (we) improved our depth, getting a high pick in the draft – which it will be (as) a second rounder, which could be as high as a mid-second rounder – we still think there are good assets there. I think our amateur guys are telling me, ‘After the second (round), if you find anyone, you’re doing a real good job.’ We just felt adding that element to our organization was something good.”

In other words, the relationship between Lazar and the Senators ended because Guy Boucher justifiably had no confidence in Lazar’s game.

As someone with an amateur scouting background, I’m empathetic towards Dorion for having to trade one of his guys, but at least he’s right to cut bait now and recoup assets for a player whose value could deteriorate further. Pressed up against the deadline imposed by this summer’s expansion draft, the Senators were forced to get something of value now before they continue to lose leverage in the offseason.  

My full thoughts on the Lazar trade can be read here.  

On whether he reached a point with the coaching staff where they just lost confidence in him…

“You know, I think there was familiarity. There was a comfort zone with Dave Cameron. There wasn’t yet that comfort zone with Guy Boucher. I can tell you when Guy came in onboard in training camp, there are some guys playing really well for us right now that he did not like at all. He needed time, but it’s easier to get time in exhibition games where (Guy said), ‘Ah okay, I see what you’re saying.’ With Curtis, he came up and every point (in the standings) mattered. I think there was that pressure – the pressure to perform because you were a first rounder and maybe in our expectations, maybe we thought he’d be a second liner. But in reality, maybe he was just going to be a really good third liner and I still think he’s going to be that for Calgary. It just wasn’t going to work out with Guy, so unfortunately, we just felt that we had to do this deal and we wish him the best of luck. I wanted to phone Curtis and I know I didn’t follow specific rules, but before it got onto Sportsnet or TSN that it was on there, that I really wanted to make sure that he heard from us and how much we cared about him. (It was important) that he didn’t hear it from the TV or something else.”

It’s not like Lazar was dominant in the AHL before his promotion either, but injuries apparently necessitated the move. Inevitably there are going to be some who will blame the organization for bringing him back up, but maybe his value continues to take a hit if his struggles are exposed and his play deteriorates at the minor league level as well.

On whether it’s important to make a move when you see a first round pick’s value stagnating before it declines…

“Yeah, it’s a good point, but I’ll just make another point. I was here when Jared Cowen (was here). He sat out camp because of contract negotiations and to me, it was a lesson that I’ll never forget. If someone wants to come to camp without a contract, I’ll make sure that they’re on the ice. You just seem to fall behind and ever since that training camp, he was never the same player. The year before, he was a great player. They were talking about him for Team Canada! Jared Cowen! And he sits out camp and his development seemed to stall at that point in time. And when you get back to your original question, for sure you think you are trading Curtis at a point where you could still get some value for him. We didn’t really look at it that way. We looked at it where we’re helping the organization. Whatever value we get for him, it’ll be fair value. I think the Flames were fair in what they offered us. I was hoping to get a first rounder and several teams involved pretty much made it clear to me this morning that (we) weren’t getting a first rounder. If I didn’t try, I would be not helping the organization or lying to myself that I didn’t try to get the best deal for him.”

Jared Cowen. Team Canada. Mind. Does. Not. Compute.

On whether the organization viewed Lazar as a candidate to get picked up by Las Vegas in the expansion draft…

“Yeah, there was some thought there. I’m not going to lie to you. Yeah, to some degree because of the association with Bob Lowes who is their assistant director of player personnel. He was a big proponent of Curtis and you figure out how you’re going to work out your expansion list and that was always in the mix. We don’t know what they’re going to do. They’ve got some really good people there. George McPhee is someone that I’ve got a lot of time for and we’ll just go from there.”

Realistically though, would the Golden Knights select Lazar when there are other productive alternatives like Chris Wideman who may be available?

I doubt it, but general managers, as we’ve seen with Calgary’s move today love pedigree and intangibles and they’re willing to overpay or reach on it. Hell, even Dorion can’t stop talking about Alex Burrows’ character.

On the fan feedback regarding the organization giving up Jonathan Dahlen for Alex Burrows…

“You’ve got to give something to get something. I can tell you… I don’t know how many deals… I think I’ve made 10 deals… I don’t know how many deals that I’ve made as the head of hockey operations here, as the general manager here, I’ve made about 10 deals or so. The one deal that I kind of gave myself a fist pump in the mirror the other day when I was trying to get dressed and doing everything… I was half-dressed when I was doing the deal. I was in my underwear… it was Alex Burrows. It’s one deal that, you know what, right now I know that (Mike) Condon is going to work out to be probably the best deal that we’ve made this year for what he’s given us. But making that Alex Burrows deal, I can’t tell you how many teams were in on him. When Jim (Benning) told me afterwards, ‘Pierre, there’s this many teams in on Alex Burrows.’ I said, ‘Really?’ and he named them off. They’re not teams that are just hoping to get into the playoffs, they’re teams that are trying to win the Cup. It almost made me feel better. They really like Jonathan Dahlen. We like Jonathan Dahlen, but I think people see the stats. He’s playing in not the top league in Sweden, he’s playing in the second league in Sweden. He had a great World Junior (Championship). He’s going to be a very good player for the Canucks, but right now, the one element that I felt we were missing the most for us to be a playoff team, for us to hopefully compete in the playoffs, was a guy like Alex Burrows. He can play up and down your lineup. I think tomorrow, he’s going to play with either (Kyle) Turris or (Mike) Hoffman or (Mark) Stone and (Derrick) Brassard. Coach was debating there after the trade deadline who he’ll be playing with. He’s someone that brings intangibles as far as character. You guys can do your research. You guys can know who was a big voice in that Vancouver Canucks dressing room – someone that’s been through the wars. For him, what told me a lot about Alex was, what was important for the extension was that his family is important for him and he didn’t want them to have to move. The extension, you know what, to me, for a guy of Alex Burrows’ calibre and what he’s done for the last few years, and especially the way he’s played this year… I don’t know that I would have given him an extension last year, but the way he’s played this year, I have no qualms. I think we had no qualms about doing this. It’s an element that we need and you know what, if I’ve disappointed some of our fans, that’s too (bad)… I feel bad about that. I know our fans are passionate, but it’s not like we don’t have any prospects coming. We have a player similar to Dahlen in Francis Perron who was the Quebec League MVP – a smaller, slighter body with great hands and great skills. We didn’t give up a Colin White. You didn’t give up a Logan Brown. You didn’t give up a Thomas Chabot and we got someone that I know is going to play on our top three lines for the next two years and two months.”

Appealing to authority (in the form of his peers). Appealing to Cup contenders being interested in Burrows’ services. Appealing to Burrows’ intangibles and sugarcoating the fact that it took a two-year extension for Burrows to waive his no-trade clause to come here as an impassioned decision to look after his family. Appealing to the fact that he didn’t give up one of his more well-regarded prospects in Dahlen’s place. I think PR Dorion defensively blew through all the pages of his playbook on spin knowing that there are a ton of disgruntled fans who are irked by the cost that Ottawa paid to bring Burrows into the fold.

On there being no consensus opinion in the fan base and how some fans like Dorion for trying to win now…

“No, and to me, in the past we’ve made some moves at the trade deadline, but it’s clear cut what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to get this team into the playoffs and hopefully we can get into the playoffs and from there, maybe make a bit noise. Maybe take the first round to seven games or maybe get into the second round, but we’ll first start by making the playoffs. A few of my friends, my great friends, sent me some stuff that people put on Twitter and I said, ‘Ooh…’ It was funny because my personal reaction was completely the opposite. I’m in Tampa and I’m high-fiving Randy (Lee) and I said, ‘We got a player that a lot of teams are after,’ and then a few friends are sending me texts after the game. I say, ‘That’s part of life.’ I do care a lot about our fans, but I’ve dreamt about this job my entire life. I was born and bred in Orleans, Ontario and I’m not going to fail. I’m not going to fail at this job. To me, it’s so important. After I’m done this job, I’m probably going to stay around here in Ottawa and I’ll have to cross people for the rest of my life. I truly believe that Alex Burrows was one trade right after we did it that I was so happy about. And it’s going to be the same way and watching him today, I said, ‘Oh, he’s bigger than I thought he was.’ So that’s how I feel about it. There’s some trades that you make, like we traded Alex Chiasson for Patrick Sieloff, and I said, ‘You know, if Patrick Sieloff can help us down the road, we’ll see what happens.’ But this one, I knew (Burrows) was coming into our room, we’re in the playoff push and every game is tough. Like that Florida game was the toughest game we had all year and I said, ‘We’re going to be even tougher to play with Alex Burrows in our lineup?’ I was just excited about it. I know he’s 35 (years old) and he’s going to play as a 36 and 37-year old, but a lot of players have done it. Maybe he’s like (Jaromir) Jagr and maybe he plays until 40-something.”

Maybe I’m underselling the contributions that a player like Burrows can bring to the table through the age of 38, but it’s really hard not to view this as a massive overpay for a guy who’s playing at a third line level and is destined to be playing bottom-six minutes for the rest of his career. It’s one thing to move coveted future assets for exceptionally talented players or players who fill a very specific need, but in this instance, it’s hard to believe that the Senators could not have addressed their roster more efficiently.

On the Burrows extension and how important it was for Burrows to settle his family into a new city…

“Exactly, and that’s what we wanted to do. That’s why the extension never bothered me for exactly the points you’re bringing up. Like, let’s make a commitment to this guy because he wants to make a commitment to us. He’s turned down trades to… I’m not going to say the teams. I found out afterwards because teams told me he turned down trades, he’s turned down trades to these places. He has faith in where we’re going as a team and he wants to be part of it. I mentioned it the other day, am I happy that Alex Burrows is going to be in the same locker room as Colin White, Thomas Chabot and Logan Brown? Yes, I’m happy about that! I want those guys to learn. I think (Chris) Wideman, (Mark) Borowiecki and (Cody) Ceci have all benefited from being in the same room as Dion Phaneuf. I think Erik Karlsson has benefited from being in the same room as Dion Phaneuf. When you have those character guys and then the games get tougher, you want them on your side. You want to go to war with those guys and that’s the way that Alex Burrows is.”

Maybe he turned down trades elsewhere because teams weren’t willing to re-up him to a two-year, $5-million extension?

On what the odds are that Colin White will join the Senators this season…

“I’ll let Randy (Lee) answer that. He’s going to do the contract, but we’ll wait and see what happens with Colin at the end of the year. I know that (Boston College) is ranked 16th or 17th, I think, in the country so we’ll have to wait and to see about regionals. And then we’ll have to see how our team is. I think maybe moving Curtis today opens the door for something else.”

Dorion sounded giddy by the end of this response on the possibility of adding Colin White. With Chris Kelly and Chris DiDomenico in the mix for the fourth line centre role, it’s not like the bar is set very high for White to come in and take that job away.

On whether the philosophy on White has changed from the beginning of the year…

“Coach might find a spot for him. He talks to me more about (him) than some of our other people talk to me about (him). I think with him, we’re going to sit down at the end of the year and we’re going to ask him, ‘What do you want to do? Do you want to find out what pro hockey is all about and maybe go to Binghamton? Do you want to come to Ottawa?’ If we think he can help Ottawa, why not put him in our lineup? At the same time, we have to be respectful to the player and the expectations that we’ve set for him and not put him in a position where he will fail. In the NHL, the last 20 games, you know how tough it is. It’s tough. It’s a grind.”

From the sounds of it, as soon as White’s season ends, he’ll be joining the Senators in short order. At the very least, the experience that comes from just being around a late season playoff push would be great for him and his development.

On whether those three games in March versus Montreal will be tough…

“Get ready. They’ve made moves too. Getting some of the players that they got, they’ve improved their team and we felt that we’ve improved our team. It’s not going to be an easy thing. I don’t think we’d start him in his first game against Montreal at the Bell Centre, but I think we have to be careful about the process and how we develop our guys. There’s always a lesson learned when guys work or haven’t worked out and let’s just make sure that at the end of the day, Colin White, when he plays in the NHL, is at his best and he can help us.”

Montreal got bigger and tougher, but they unquestionably got shittier too. It’s a beautiful thing.

On Viktor Stalberg and where he fits onto this team…

“Well, Viktor Stalberg probably fits in our bottom-six from what I’ve been able to tell from where Guy is going to use him. I think he was on the best penalty-killing unit and I think he played the (most) minutes on that unit, so I think that says something about playing against the other team’s first power play (unit). I think we all know that Guy loves speed. If you’ve been in our dressing room, it’s evident. We see speed everywhere and I think he really fits the identity for this team. He has speed. He’s got some size and he’s strong on the puck. I wouldn’t call him a fighter or tough like that, but I think he fits in with exactly what we’re trying to do. My scouts said, ‘Well, third round and on, I don’t know what we’re going to get in this draft, but if you can get anything in the top two rounds…’ Ron (Francis) was great to deal with. I was there (in Carolina) and I talked to him about a few guys after they gave us a lesson in hockey last week. I said, ‘I’ve got some time for Viktor,’ and he said, ‘This is what I’m looking for.’ I said, ‘Okay, by next week, I’ll contact you.’ You know when you’re dealing with classy general managers. Ron Francis is at the top of that list. He’s someone that demands respect.”

In truth, Stalberg averaged 1:30 of SH/TOI per game, which ranked fourth-highest among the Hurricanes’ forwards. Jay McClement, Joakim Nordstrom and Jordan Staal all averaged more ice time than he did. That said, he was still part of the league’s most successful penalty killing units, so adding his speed to Ottawa’s mix can’t hurt – especially when the speed and high-pressure system Carolina employs is responsible for its success.

On being an amateur guy and the learning curve that comes with identifying players that can be good fits for the structure and system that the coaches have put in place…

“Yeah, and I’ll admit it, I don’t have the greatest coaching background and it took me about four games to understand what players can have success in Guy’s systems. He always talked about ‘the slash’ and ‘the dash’ and I said, ‘Guy, what are you talking about?’ When I first hired him, we sat down for about eight hours, so he’s going through every system and everything. And now once you see it, you really get it and now I get it. Viktor (Stalberg) is exactly one of those guys that can be programmed and Guy and him had a great conversation today about playing left wing or right wing and where his strengths come. Guy said, ‘Okay, I think he’s better there than there,’ and I said, ‘Well, I don’t care. Just play him and we’ll see what happens.’”

Ideally, I’d like to see him on the right side playing alongside Ryan Dzingel and Jean-Gabriel Pageau. Tom Pyatt currently occupies that spot, but I’m hopeful that we won’t have to wait too long to see him relegated to the fourth line.

On his view of Nick Paul’s development this season…

“If you had asked me on March 1st, 2016, when Nick Paul was here, ‘Where would Nick Paul be in a year from now?’ I would have said he’d be a regular NHLer. He’s not. Don’t worry, after that (last interview and) my little comments about him, I had a few teams phone me about him and we’re not going to trade Nick Paul. I still believe in Nick Paul. I still believe that Nick Paul can be a player on this team and I think he’s going to have a good chance to be a player on this team depending on what we do with how many guys we sign (in the offseason). But, we’re not going to give anything to anyone. You’ve got to earn it. Phil Varone has been better. Michael Blunden has been better. Casey Bailey has been better. Max McCormick has been better. So those guys get the call-ups. Those guys earn the right to come to the NHL. Nick Paul hasn’t shown it to us this year on a consistent basis. Just as an example, last Monday I was in Toronto at the Air Canada Centre. I know it’s (their third game) in three nights and we’re shortmanned. Phil Varone and Michael Blunden outworked everyone else. They got the chance to be the call-up. Nick Paul has three or four good shifts where you say, ‘Wow, he’s getting it!’ Then he has three or four bad shifts. It’s what learning to be a pro is. I have a lot of faith in Nick Paul. I have a lot of faith that he’ll be an Ottawa Senator. I’m just disappointed that he’s not here right now, but it’s up to him if he wants to be here. Like one year, Mark Stone decided to spend the whole summer here and work and train and his body totally changed and he’s become a great NHL player. I’m not saying that Nick Paul is going to be Mark Stone, but he’s got a chance to be at least a solid third line player with us and he’s going to decide.”

For the second time in a few weeks, Nick Paul was blasted again by the general manager. It’s not often that a projectable third or fourth liner gets a proverbial boot in the ass like this through the media, but man, I hope he has a great offseason.

On a project prospect like Gabriel Gagne…

“Well, we had the big decision this year and I think Randy (Lee) and Shean Donovan were a big part of this decision. What do we do with him? Do we send him back to junior where he’s going to skate half-speed? It’s going to be too easy for him. Or is it going to be a tough year where he might not be able to produce up-and-down through the East Coast (Hockey) League, but sees what pro hockey is? And we just said, ‘We’re going to bite the bullet.’ If he’s in junior, he’s at the top of the (QMJHL leaderboard) and people are raving about him. But, it probably wouldn’t be the best thing for his development. The league would probably be too easy for him and we knew that he probably wouldn’t get a lot of points. We knew probably knew late until Christmas, we didn’t know what we were going to get. He got hurt in the first part of the year, so we knew he’d be behind the eight-ball. He’s another guy that I’ve got a lot of faith in to be a player. His skillset… like he was a dominant player at rookie camp. He was a dominant player at rookie development camp. He’s got size, he’s got hands, he just has to get up to pace and get stronger. Skating can always be improved and strength can always be improved if the player wants to do it. So I hope I don’t have the same conversations that I have about Nick Paul (that I will have) about Gabriel Gagne in a few years, but it could be. A lot of times you have got to put the onus on the player. Randy and Shean do a great job with our guys. They’ve done a fabulous job with Filip Chlapik this year – a guy that I wouldn’t say we had written off, but he had a lot of growing up to do and Filip did it. I wouldn’t say we had the same issues with Francis Perron, but he went from being a guy (who), ‘Are we going to sign him?’ to the (QMJHL) MVP. So I’ve got to give a lot of kudos to our development people as far as making sure the guys get to be as good pros as they want to be. I know Shean Donovan has challenged Nick Paul. I know Randy Lee has challenged Nick Paul. ‘Like, how come all these guys are coming up and you’re not coming up, Nick? Shouldn’t you be better than these guys? You probably should.’ But, it’s up to him.”

From a development perspective, it makes sense that they would want to push Gagne harder and have him experience some struggles in the pros rather than have him coast through a season in the QMJHL where he can get by on size and skill alone. They’re obviously trying to instill work ethic and discipline in their prospects, but it’s interesting that Dorion sheds more light on Paul by talking about how he hopes Gagne gets stronger and works on his skating so he’s not having the same conversation about him in a few years.

It helps having Mark Stone within the organization as a testament to how well players can address their skating, but Dorion’s right to state that organization can help, but the onus is definitely on the players to make the time and commitment.  

On his thoughts on Chris Driedger and Matt O’Connor…

“I talked about it earlier in the year where I felt our team in Binghamton played well but didn’t get enough timely saves. I think both are very well aware of my comments. But the problem is, a lot of times when you put young goalies in the American (Hockey) League, they’re not used to the grind of pro hockey. Last year was something that we saw in them, but we felt that they’d be more ready this year. I still have faith in both of them. Will they both be NHL superstar number ones? No. I think both still have a chance to be NHL goalies, but with goalies, we all know it takes a bit longer time. And we had a former big goalie here (in Ben Bishop) that took quite a bit of time and he’s turned out to be pretty good. We hope that (Matt O’Connor) and Chris Driedger take a similar path.”

Craig Anderson’s turning 36-years old this April and he’s not getting any younger. While he is under contract through the 2017-18 season, at some point the organization has to consider finding an heir apparent. Whether that’s one of their current goaltenders in Binghamton remains to be seen, but with both players become restricted free agents this summer and the possibility that Marcus Hogberg comes overseas from Sweden, it’s safe to assume that one of these players won’t be back next season.

On how Dorion has positioned the Senators to be better today than they were before the trade deadline…

“Exactly. I think from day one when Mr. Melnyk gave me the mandate, ‘Get this team to the playoffs.’ He’s been very supportive in everything that we’ve tried to do and that’s what we’re trying to do here. Every move that we’ve made is not just short-term moves, they’re moves also to help the culture of the team. Get these older guys so maybe the younger guys can figure out… maybe a Ryan Dzingel sees what an Alex Burrows does. Is Ryan Dzingel ever going to be Alex Burrows? No, let’s not fool ourselves, but if he sees the compete level and then, ‘Hey, if I want to be a top NHL player, then I have to compete as an Alex Burrows.’ Ryan Dzingel is a pretty good skilled player, so if his compete level is at on Alex Burrows (level), well then we’ve got something special and that’s why Alex Burrows is so special to me. I know I’m probably going to get bashed for all of these comments, but you live with the decisions you make and that was one that I live with and was so proud of.”

Selling Alex Burrows’ character as a long-term investment because of how he can rub off on his teammates is a bit of a hard sell, but here we are.

Most of this Senators roster has experienced the playoffs before and it’s not like the roster is that young anymore. After today’s deadline, NHLNumbers.com lists the Senators as having the sixth-oldest team in the NHL, but at some point, you have to wonder whether all this additional character that the team has accrued over the past few seasons is enough to help take this team to another level. Maybe, just maybe, it needs an infusion of talent too.

On what veteran player hugged him in the locker room after the Burrows trade…

“I got lots of handshakes and one guy hugged me. I will admit that. It’s… what did (Elaine Benes) say, ‘It’s going in the vault?’”

Safe to assume it wasn’t Curtis Lazar.

On feeling the need to deliver for his players…

“Exactly and that’s where you felt even better. I got to the rink in Tampa and guys are coming up and shaking your hand. Like Dion (Phaneuf), I said, ‘How were your rivalries between Calgary and Vancouver?’ And he goes, ‘He was tough to play against, but he was on the World Championship (team) with me. What a character guy, Pierre! Great move!’ The guys are all happy. The veteran guys, they just come up to you and they understand the grind of the playoffs and the grind to get to the playoffs. And those guys see that you’re trying to help them, but those guys have delivered. The Ottawa Senators players have delivered. Let’s not fool ourselves. The coaching staff have delivered. You hope that in the same way, the management group can deliver with getting new acquisitions and personnel decisions that we can deliver to help them, so we’re all on the same page and we all know where the goal is.”

We all know what the goal is. Many of us just don’t know why the bar is set so low.

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