Saturday Night Grab Bag

Saturday Night Grab Bag
After that stretch of Tim Thomas dominance, it’s refreshingly awesome to see the Senators string two wins together against a Boston Bruins team and see Spezza roof a shot into the top corner past the second most famous (and fat!) Flint, Michigan product. Perhaps more impressive than the win tonight was the fact that Chris Phillips was paired with Erik Karlsson and absolutely killed it out there tonight. People may discuss how their partnership could give us a glimpse into the future since Anton Volchenkov is headed towards unrestricted free agency but good god, the prospect of balancing out the blueline talent should be raising boners around the nation’s capital.
The 6th Sens Mailbag
This week, the website has received a few emails that are worthy of being published. Here they are and as always, my thoughts will be in bold…
Liked the latest podcast. Some interesting points re trades. The team has been playing better and with solid goaltending could be good. Still lots of doubt even with the 5 wins.

On Volchenkov – do you think if Sutter would take a package of A train, Regin (or Foligno) and some other pieces – long shot prospect or pick for Phaneuf, Murray should/would do it?

With JBo, Phaneuf’s minutes have taken a hit – JBo is 25+ per game Phaneuf – 21+. Maybe the Phaneuf rumours are related to JBo.

Also Brunette wouldn’t be a bad rental or rental +1 year if he works – for a light loss (3rd rnd pick and Campoli or Lee) of course. He’s a good PP guy. Although Carvel could find a way to screw that up.

Lee – poor guy. WTF is he doing now? Has he even played AHL in the last 6 weeks?

What do you think will happen – any moves or status quo? ~ Scott S.

Personally, I’m not a huge proponent of Dion Phaneuf. Without knowing anything about the guy and it being completely unsubstantiated, there’s something about him that I find makes him come off as a bit of a prima donna.

That being said, his stock has dropped considerably over the past few years so if the cost of Phaneuf was say, Kuba + Foligno + a pick,  I’d consider it. But I don’t think trading a two-way center with offensive upside in Regin is the way to go right now. (Especially because Ottawa is devoid of “ready” NHL prospects on offense.)

In terms of Brunette, he’s strictly a power play savante at this point in his career. Would he help? Yeah, probably. He has a tendency to play a Dave Andreychuk kind of style in front of the oppositions net. However, for Bryan Murray to add Brunette’s $2.333M cap hit, they’d have to move a contract off of the roster and personally, I’m of the belief that if Murray will move a contract off of the books, it will be to add a defenceman.

Based off of the way that the Senators are currently playing, I see Bryan Murray going status quo. He doesn’t have the flexibility nor can he afford to give up future assets to bring in a legitimate trade chip who could put this team over the top. (Ed. note: Obviously, if he moved a Chris Kelly or Volchenkov, he could do some interesting things. However, I just think it’s unlikely to happen and Sens fans will likely have to wait until the summer to see some intriguing changes. If anything, fans might have to see what kind of high risk / high reward kind of trades a la Latendresse/Pouliot trades are available for a guy like Campoli or Brian Lee.)

Here is a little bit of interesting news that made the local trash rag:

This would be a dream of mine as a huge Sens fan that lives in Cornwall. We had an AHL franchise before, the Cornwall Aces (Quebec Nordiques/Colorado Avalanche). The problem was that they were owned by the city of Cornwall, and the seating at our main arena was the shits (4,000 fans with the closest seat about 25 feet away). Now they have added seats all the way up to the glass for about 5,000 and Ottawa has an owner just crazy enough to put a team here. ~ Trevor S., Cornwall

I saw this Cornwall issue posted over at Michael Sharp’s Sharp on the Sens blog but didn’t want to hit on it because I didn’t buy into the thoery. Anyways, here’s the issue in a nutshell: Kevin Lee, the former Hockeybuzz Sens blogger, posted on his website that Eugene Melnyk had contacted the city of Cornwall about the prospect of moving the Senators AHL affiliate there. The only problem is that there are two years left on the affiliate agreement between Binghamton’s owner and Eugene Melnyk. To emphasize the organization’s point, the Senators Vice-President of Communications, Phil Legault, quashed Lee’s article by dropping trou and taking a steaming dump on Lee’s story and credibility. Apparently the story is nothing but “rumour” and “speculation,” and the author, Kevin Lee, is not an accredited journalist with the team.

Whether there’ s legitimate beef between the Senators and the Baby Sens, I’m not too sure. However, I do feel sorry for hockey fans in the cities of Cornwall and Binghamton who have been caught up in the middle of this unfounded speculation.

The RSA will be doing another outing on January 26th, for the Sens vs. Devils Game. There will be a minimum of 70 RSA members in attendance and we will be chanting at the top of our lungs from section 305. Our last outing saw 40 members in section 303 – and I can honestly say we were the loudest group in recent memory to attend a Sens game. So loud that the Senators organisation invited us to meet with them and discuss how to make this kind of atmosphere more common. On that note, we were hoping that your blogs could spread the word and help us spread this enthusiasm throughout the entire arena! With your help, we can reach alot more fans – and make this a really good atmosphere for all in attendance (including the players ofcourse!). We just want to make the crowd electric!

Any help would be very much appreciated. ~ Leonidas, Real Sens Army

It’s a good thing the RSA will be in attendance that night, otherwise the game against the Devils could be painfully dull. To improve the atmosphere at the game, the RSA should do a number of things…

  1. Ridicule Marty Brodeur for hooking up with his sister-in-law.
  2. If a Senators player gets a hat trick, throw Delissio pizza boxes on the ice.
  3. Don’t throw popcorn.
  4. Add to the list in the comment thread…
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