Wednesday, August 15, 2007

My Very Own Rumour

I'm not sure how much credibility a sports blogger can have without making at least one dubious rumour without any sources or media backing, and so I will now take my plunge, and hope there's a lifeguard on duty.

Trevor Linden, the most popular player the Canucks have seen, is having trouble staying in Vancouver. They're not quite sure whether he has a place on the team. The 6'4, 220lbs center from Medicine Hat, AB, averaged just 12 minutes last season in 80 games, but put up 12-13--25, not to mention being tied for the team lead in scoring this postseason with 2-5--7 in 12 games. In 03-04, he played a full season and scored 14-22--36, but didn't show up in 7 playoff games. After the lockout, he earned 1.5 million and went 7-9--16 in his full season, earning him a 600,000 contract with 200,000 in bonuses, which he earned. After this season, with his stellar performance, he could be in line for a raise, but the 37-year old forward can't last forever.

Why do I bring up his case, you ask? Well, the article mentions that there have been quiet talks with other teams while Linden's future in Vancouver is in doubt. I wouldn't place a bet that Vigneault will let Linden go. However, if we look at our cap situation, and our efforts to get a veteran forward, I wouldn't be too surprised if Murray's been talking to Linden, trying to kick the tires on the two-way forward respected around the league.

UPDATE - 8:44AM, August 17, 2007: I suppose it comes with the territory, but both the Forsberg and Linden rumours appear to be a bit diffused today. The Ottawa Citizen reports that Linden appears poised to return to the Canucks roster after meetings that went "really, really well". Not only that, but Canucks captain Markus Naslund said he's been working the phones - much as Sakic did to bring Smyth into the Avalanche fold this summer - to convince Forsberg to come to the club, where a chance at the Stanley Cup, and many fellow countrymen, would love to make him a part of the upcoming season.

UPDATE - 9:17AM, August 21, 2007: The Canucks have now re-signed Linden to a 1-year deal for 600,000, with 300,000 in games-played bonuses.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Rumours Still Swirling for Sens

Despite the much dryer and shallower NHL UFA pool at this stage of the game, rumours are still swirling about the final destinations of the many vets still without a home in the NHL.

The biggest one I've seen so far is that Peter Forsberg has been talking to Murray. While a home in Detroit, Colorado, and Philadelphia is much more expected, Murray certainly has been trying hard to land vets to take his team to the top. So far, they've mostly been of the cheaper variety. Forsberg, who's 06-07 totals of 13-42--55 in 57 games marks the 34-year old's first sub point-per-game season. With four impact players in the lineup, Paddock would open up far more interesting line combinations, able to ice two scoring threat lines, with the third forward on each of those lines more than likely to raise his totals as well.

Also, the Sun reported that Jason York still has a chance to end his career a Sen. While our defense is looking quite full at the moment, there is still a chance that Schubert could see many games on the left wing, and if York was signed, he, Nycholat and Richardson could split their time between Binghamton and Ottawa this season.

Not much work is left to finalize our roster for this season, but the last few moves could be the most exciting ones yet.

UPDATE - 8:33AM, August 15, 2007: It seems as though it might have all been for show in the end anyways, the Ottawa Citizen reports, and reports quite well.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Senators Sign Jim O'Brien

The Ottawa Senators have signed Jim O'Brien to an entry level contract today. Jim was the Sens first round pick during this year's draft, 29th overall.

After only one year playing for the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers, Jim and Murray felt that he could move on from their fourth line to pick up more responsibility and experience, likely playing with the WHL's Seattle Thunderbirds, after attending the Senators' training camp.

The 6'2 Center of Maplewood, Minnesota, will need to add to his 184lbs frame to make a real impact in today's physical NHL. While not breathtaking like the early first round picks, the 18-year old gives his best efforts when it really counts. Being the youngest player in Division I college hockey, O'Brien took his right shot and tallied 7-8--15 and 51 PIM in 43 games. Yet his past two World Junior Championships U-18 he's gone 3-4--7 and 12 PIM in 7 games this year and 3-1--4 and 6 PIM in 6 games the time before that. Still young, he will spend several years developing his skills. While he is listed as a center, with the Golden Gophers he was set to try playing defense next season. If this continues in the WHL, O'Brien could become the reverse of Schubert, and provide an offensive punch from the blueline.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Start Placing Bets on the Vets

There is now a grand total of 35 days until the Sens play their first (exhibition) game of the 07-08 season, in London, ON, against the completely revamped Philadelphia Flyers. I have my tickets, how about you? However, with just those 35 days left until their first game, and just under two months now until their season opener October 3rd in Toronto, we're still a ways from having a clear roster.

It takes 20 men on a sheet for Paddock to hand over a roster for a game, and up to 23 men can be on the team roster for the season, the extras of course being scratched (such as McGrattan so often was last season). To look at the online Sens roster, a little simple math and the naive would think we've got our full 23 players ready (and hopefully rarin') to go. But take a closer look. There are three goaltenders there, and in a game you will only ever ice two. Seeing as we've tied up almost 7 million in two of them, Jeff Glass is only there for show, at least for another two seasons or major trade have passed. Move on up the list and you'll count eight defensemen, two more than you'd ever tend to ice in a game (unless one of them is Schubert). At the top of the list, you'll find the bare minimum: only twelve forwards listed. However, due to some very lazy or incompetent or unwilling-to-face-the-truth types in control of the website, Saprykin is still listed on the roster, despite his long-since-reported return to the motherland. This leaves us with only 11 forwards. Coupled with Schubert's 51 games last season on left wing likely to be reprised, we've got the bare minimum.

What can we expect come the beginning of the season though? Glass will drop from the list since using one of those 23 slots on a third goalie makes absolutely no sense. Saprykin will also drop, once someone comes to his or her senses. Finally, depending on how the rest of the off-season and training camp goes, we might find that Schubert will actually get to play his position, which would see one of Nycholat or Richardson slide backwards into Binghamton, not that they aren't used to performing in the AHL.

So what does that leave as far as filling out the rest of the roster? It's not likely we'll be trading anyone else, since the big salaries can't easily be moved, or refuse to be moved, and the rest are all productive and ones we would like to keep. So either a promotion from the B-Sens will be needed, or else a new free agent face will need to be brought into the fold.

With all due respect to those itching to see a promotion from within, I implore you to realize the value in properly seasoning the green. The more time they have to prepare, the better they will be on arrival, and all the more anxious to strike out in the big leagues. Not to mention that we've got a ton of players to re-sign this season, so the fewer contracts we have to commit to for the 07-08 season, the better. Yes, we could sign a promoted player to a one-year deal, but it's far from fun to see a player reach their first full NHL season, explode onto the scene, and then have their contract die and get caught in the cap trying to keep him.

This is why I propose that, like Richardson just now, we sign ourselves another veteran or two. With the cap crunching and crutching teams, it's no easy feat to get signed in the NHL today, even as a grizzled veteran with experience. Some are heading to Europe and Russia to score a bigger payday, like Saprykin. Others are still milling about, waiting for a deal here at home. Under the many big name resume's, I think we can find some true bargains.

Take Richardson. He signed for a mere half a mil, the league minimum, and as a two-way deal that will likely see him in Binghamton. I'm sure that a huge, experienced, healthy defenseman like him wasn't someone Tampa, with only six signed defenders so far, would have wanted to wave goodbye to. It's far more likely that Richardson wanted to end his career with a team that could win the best known sports trophy in the world, and in his hometown no less.

That's the same reason that Jason York, another large, grizzled, and former Sens alum of five seasons has been practically begging Murray for a job. But after signing Richardson as the 8th potential NHL D-man, and before that Nycholat as the 7th, and with Schubert possibly moving back to defense, it's sadly unlikely that York will get a call back, despite the thrill it would be to take another run for the Cup with grizzled veterans and our energetic youth, not to mention finally with as many players from Ottawa as from Toronto on our roster.

But there's still hope. Maybe some still for York, but more still for other vets to join the team, rather than face unemployment or the need to move to the other side of the world. Maybe it won't happen for the pre-season games, when it's likely that Paddock will want to try all the different line combinations he can, and also give some of the B-Sens a chance to show some skill. Maybe not even for the season opener. But watch out, because as time wears on, and possibly with more injuries, we may yet get to sign the vets, in my hopes the Canadian ones, and what an exciting season that would truly be. 36 more days, people, just 36 more days until the puck drops on what should be the most exciting season in Senators hockey for the modern-day franchise.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Senators Sign Justin Mapletoft

The Ottawa Senators signed forward Justin Mapletoft to a one-year deal that will likely see him as a part of the Binghamton Senators roster, with perhaps a few appearances with the Ottawa Senators. Mapletoft, 27, has played his last couple years in Europe. In the 02-03 and 03-04 seasons with the Islanders, he played in 38 games going 3-6--9.

Once again Murray has signed a player with obvious bonuses to the team. He has experience throughout various hockey leagues, including the NHL, and even a couple NHL playoff games in the past. The 6'1, 200lbs center shoots left, and could be slotted as a left wing, where the Sens are most deficient. He is a native of Lloydminster, Saskatchewan, like Redden, and continues the Sens quest to add more Canadian talent to the team.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Senators Reported to be Naming Ron Low as Assistant Coach

UPDATE - 8:33AM, August 15, 2007: The Sens have named Ron Low and Eli Wilson to the coaching staff. Ron Low will, as reported, be the new assistant coach to John Paddock. Not too surprisingly, as Low will be vacating the goaltending coach position, Eli Wilson, Emery's former personal goaltending coach, will now be the team's goaltending coach. Maybe he can work the same miracles with Gerber as he has been working with Razor. Also, Mike Busniuk will work alongside Binghamton's new head coach Cory Clouston as his assistant coach.

The Ottawa Sun is reporting that Ron Low, the Sens goaltending coach, will be named assistant coach to John Paddock. Will update when this becomes official.

Fear not a decline from Emery though, as his personal goaltending coach, Eli Wilson, will ensure that Emery continues to mature and improve, much as he did after Hasek's injury, and after trumping Gerber for the starter job last season.

Senators sign Ilja Zubov

The Sens have signed Ilja Zubov to an entry level contract today. The 6'0, 176 lbs center of Chelyabinsk, Russia was Ottawa's 4th round choice, 98th overall, in the 2005 draft. Zubov, 20, has been playing in Russia so far, and has twice represented them at the world junior championships, this year scoring three goals and a single assist in six games.

Signing him to an entry level contract will help to allay any fears some fans have of signing russians, only to see them blow off, such as Alexei Kaigorodov, who was traded for Mike Comrie during our stretch of injuries last year, as he went back to Russia following his assignment to Binghamton, and wouldn't come back to fill the holes in the roster.

While he has much time left in his development, when he makes an appearance he will likely play left wing, where the Sens are most lacking. He was considered a steal in the fourth round, as teams avoided drafting Russians that year (the same as lately), and has the potential to put up good numbers at the NHL level in his future.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Senators Sign Luke Richardson

UPDATE - 10:04PM, August 8, 2007: It is now official.

While not yet official, it has been reported that the Ottawa Senators have signed veteran defenseman Luke Richardson to a 1-year, $500,000 deal that would likely see him split his time between Ottawa and Binghamton.

This will be Richardson's 20th NHL season. The Ottawa native is 38 years old and will add some size (6'4" and 215 lbs.) and veteran grit to the team. As the Sens' 8th defenseman, this move will make it more likely that Schubert will spend his season on left wing, and Richardson will come into play during injuries, and jockey for the 6th slot on the blueline with Nycholat. Richardson had a career high 4 goals in 89-90 with the Leafs, and a career high 19 assists and 21 points with the Oilers in 91-92.

Certainly not an offensive powerhouse, I expect to see Richardson hitting hard and putting up modest positive +/- numbers next season when playing in Ottawa. I will update when more becomes available, but this move would once again show that Murray is trying to bulk and toughen up his team, and also add more Canadian (finally, an Ottawa native!) players to the team, which will allow the Sens to continue from last season's success with even more heart.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Oleg Saprykin Signs in Russia

Oleg Saprykin has signed a three year deal in the Russian league. I did mention this before, but I've translated both the Russian news article I sourced, and an interview Saprykin gave about his decision to leave the NHL, among other things. This is a long entry, with the short news article and the long interview, and using free Russian translation software doesn't work perfectly, so bear with me.

UPDATE - 8:59AM, August 8, 2007: Coverage of the story can be found in today's Ottawa Citizen in Wayne Scanlan's column (the link may break in time since we're not paid subscribers), although at the moment the team still refuses to accept the truth, still listing him on their roster.

UPDATE - 10:43PM, August 26, 2007: Finally, the roster has been adjusted, and Oleg Saprykin is no longer in it.

This is the article from Russian newspaper found
here, translated.

Last night the attacking Oleg Saprykin, in the last season acted in NHL for "Phoenix" and "Ottawa", has signed the three-year contract from TsSKA, the general manager of soldiers Cyril Fastovsky has informed the correspondent "СЭ" to Vladimir ЮРИНУ. For four previous seasons Сапрыкин played Stanley's cup-finals twice: in 2004 it and "Calgary" have lost "Tampa", and this spring in structure of "Ottawa" - to "Anaheim". According to "СЭ", in Russia interest to this player except for TsSKA showed "Dynamo" and " Salavat Yulaev ".

Below is the translation of an interview that Saprykin and his father had with Soviet Sport. A brief summary of the interesting points:

  • Saprykin was approached by the Sens, the Rangers, the Panthers and another club, with offers of 1 million and up.
  • Saprykin chose to return to russia because the taxes here took over half his money, and because the teams here wouldn't trust him to play, giving him only 10 minutes a game or so. Despite having experience with the Western Conference Champion Calgary Flames when they lost the Cup to the Lightning, Saprykin didn't get much time playing in Ottawa's Cup run, and was bounced out for Eaves' return, despite working hard and scoring a momentum goal in a game.
  • Saprykin doesn't like the lack of support for the sport in North America, citing games in Phoenix with only eight or nine thousand fans attending, whereas Russia has more fans with greater passion.
  • Saprykin thinks animosity exists in Ottawa towards Russians, both because of the lack of a transfer agreement with them, and because of Yashin's holdout year and poor performance, although he cites Volchenkov as an exception to this.
  • Blames his poor performance, 1-1--2 in 12 games, on his meager 4-5 minutes on the ice per game, and on Murray doubting his abilities, telling him to keep training without giving him real time and on-ice opportunities to show his skill.
  • Despite the salary cap going up, that money is used for stars only, in deals averaging 7-8 million per player. 40% of Tampa's budget is tied up in 3 skaters. So for a man like Saprykin, he gets no ice time, never gets depended on, and earns little money. In Russia he will get more time, respect and money (and with lower taxes on that money).
  • Finally, playing in Russia gives him the true honour and thrill of Russian fans, and of playing for Russia in the upcoming summit series rematch. Players such as Saprykin feel more tied to their country than their employer. This is seen, imho, in other players too. Take Lehtonen: against the Rangers in the first playoff round (who lost the next round), he was 0-2 with .849 save percentage and 5.59 goals against average, a drop from his 34-24-9 with .912 sv-% and 2.79 GAA in the regular season. Then he went to the IIHF World Championship, leading his team to silver with a 4-2 record and .913 sv-% and 1.93 GAA, just weeks after being dismal and getting pulled two games in. Players like that are ones the NHL should avoid. Nothing wrong with national pride, but when you don't care about your job to THAT extent, it really says something. (Makes me wonder if he did it on purpose, so that they could be out of the playoffs in time for him to get into the IIHF WC)

Anyways, the translated interview:

Yesterday the attacking Oleg Saprykin twice acted in cup-finals of Stanley, has signed the three-year contract from CSKA. Before this event with Oleg and his father Dmitry Saprykin, in the past the known goalkeeper of the Moscow soldiers and «Спартака», has met the correspondent of " the Soviet sports »


— You had offers from NHL?

Oleg: — Yes, and not the most bad. At me the annual contract on $1,1 million has ended And to me suggested to raise the salary more than twice. In total there would be $2-2,5 million a year. Four clubs of NHL applied for me. Called to "Florida", in «Рейнджерс», "Ottawa" wished to keep me, having made … But I have decided to pass the qualifying offer in TsSKA. Because it is tired that behind ocean trust me a little. I wish to act in a command where in me trust – in practice, instead of in words.

Dmitry: — I Recollect, how the son played "Seattle". It there used on a platform in all game situations, often let out in unequal structures that is very important for the forward. Well and now … I am am spoken by familiar experts: it is not understood, why Oleg hold on a bench. It достоин places in a basis! Probably, it occurs because of all this передряги …

— What mean?

Dmitry: — That Russia has refused to join the contract between NHL and ИИХФ. And now on a draft of ours it is much less and to skilled players not always trust.

Oleg: — in the Goal you hammer in the beginning of a match and then up to the middle of the third period you do not leave on an ice. Why? To understand difficultly. But in NHL it is accepted to look not at how the forward and what the contract at it plays. If it earns $4 million will act in the first part. And at whom the contract on $1 million, – in the third or in a stock will sit.

Dmitry: — By the way, therefore people in Phoenix not so willingly goes on hockey – only 8-9 thousand spectators for a match gather. Fans do not like injustice in relation to some hockey players, and they publicly speak about it. Esteem forums on the Internet. How it is possible to infect people with hockey if for last five years the command was replaced almost completely? Only Шейн Доан has remained. Exchanges in "Phoenix" go constantly. And the command seven years cannot already get in плей-офф.

Oleg: — the Same Даниель Брир fine played for «Койотов». But it have exposed on the market of agents. And then it became the captain in "Buffalo", one of these days has signed the huge contract with "Philadelphia" ($52 million for 8 years).


—Surprisingly, in fact Oleg has come to "Phoenix" with reputation of the player which acted in Stanley's cup-final! It would Seem, to it should trust.

Dmitry: — But have staked on "old men" — Реника, Джовановски, Нолана and others with whom have signed greater contracts. And to the son on the average gave for 12 minutes for a match. And thus it has managed to type 34 (14 20) spots, to break personal records, to become the third in club on productivity, to have the best parameter of utility (8). And to enter into the six in league on a parity of glasses by game time.

Oleg: — I tried to talk to the trainer of "Phoenix" Wayne Grettski why to me so concern. Wayne only clapped me on a shoulder: « All о’кей, the guy ». But a little that varied.

— It is fair, what "Phoenix" name command Гретцки and its friends? In this organization the rate do only on those who is approached to Wayne?

Dmitry: — the situation Now varies. For example, in April in resignation the general manager «Койотов» Mike Barnett who worked as agent Grettski earlier has been sent, – it was replaced by Don Мэлони.

Oleg: — Friends – all right if only the command played. But it did not occur. Also it was not clear, what for Гретцки it was necessary so often to let out on an ice of people which simply do not wish to work. Or here "Phoenix" has won seven matches successively. Victorious structure do not change are a law in NHL. In my three played Ларак and Зигоманис, we liked fans who named us Wizards. But we leave on the eighth match, and at all of us parts are reshuffled. Where logic?

— Perhaps, Гретцки simply slight couch? Not always in fact from a star-player the star instructor turns out.

Oleg: — it seems to Me, on Wayne pressed from above and impeded it to reveal as the instructor.

— Who? It seemed to me, that Гретцки – the most important authority on "Phoenix": both the couch, and the co-owner of club.

Oleg: — But the command belongs not only to it to one. There are people, to whose opinion Гретцки is compelled to listen.

Dmitry: — to Me liked Рик Токкет which worked as the trainer of "Phoenix" (after the big scandal connected with a underground tote assistant Grettski has left the post. — a comment ред.). Rigid, but the fair instructor. Without it «Койоты» have started to lose much. Probably, it still will return to club if the league will give OK.

Oleg: — the Important role at «Койотов» assistant Grettski – played Barry Smith. Actually it operated a command, and Wayne was its person. Smith worked in "Detroit", in "Phoenix" … But it is very arrogant person. I think, it has accepted offer СКА because it is excellent chance to work on the first roles, independently. By the way, Barry called to me recently, invited in the club. But I have already asked a to speak to the Moscow soldiers.


— You were the unique Russian whom have exchanged on the eve of дэдлайна – last day a season when in league transitions are resolved. Recollect that situation.

Oleg: – I guessed, that me will exchange. For two-rub weeks up to дедлайна at me conversation with Барнеттом took place. It has told, that "Phoenix" wishes to prolong with me the contract for three years. Also has suggested to raise to me the salary on … 10 percent (that is, $1,21 million is that in arbitration court Saprykinu for certain there would be присуждена a salary from $1,7 up to $2,5 million – the Comment ред.). I went the third in a command on glasses. And certainly, has told, that I shall not play for such money. Exchange me in other club is better.
For me applied four commands. It is interesting, that one of them has won Stanley's Cup – I speak about "Anaheim". And another played the ending – "Ottawa". In it I also have appeared. Could not choose, it did not depend on me. Next morning, when "Phoenix" has flown to Edmonton, to me has approached Гретцки. Has thanked for work and Wayne – the normal muzhik has informed on an exchange … In general. Has humanly said goodbye. Has told at last: « Who knows, can, still we shall meet » and has wished good luck in "Ottawa".

— And you have departed to Phoenix behind things?

Oleg: — Is not present, at once has gone to Ottawa on a match. Things to me have then brought. There was at me with itself only a hockey form and 12 sticks.

— Here so from club-outsider you send to favorites …

Oleg: — Generally "Ottawa" has given out the dreadful start, the first 15 matches losing all successively. There in general all staff to dismiss wanted. But then "Senators" were tightened, and to my arrival went already the fourth in East conference.
For what role me took to "Ottawa"? For secure if someone from forwards of a basis will get out of order. On an ice I left at all for 4—5 minutes. From here such low statistics – 2 (1 1) spots in 12 matches регулярки … Once hardly has not scored a goal, and me have there and then set in a deep stock. The rights to a mistake at me were not. It is indicative, that when I only have come to a command, main couch Bryan Mjurrej at all with me did not speak. Only: « Give, go on training », here and all installation.

Dmitry: — But Мюррей has answered a question of the journalist when it have asked as "Ottawa" could reach the ending плей-офф: « It means, that I am able to train! ». Compare to the answer of the trainer of "Anaheim" Рэнди of the Carlisle which has told in a similar situation: « It because we – one command ». A trifle like, but after it judge unity of collective. I already then have understood, that it will be very complex to "Ottawa" to win Stanley's Cup.

— A notorious phrase – the person with cup experience. In what it is expressed?

Oleg: — In moral qualities. It means, that you will not twitch in плей-офф when on all the mad responsibility lays. You already passed all this and should make the work correctly and precisely. Without nerves.

— I before interview have once again seen your goal in a gate "Buffalo" — a victorious washer of "Ottawa" in the first match of a semifinal. But and has not understood, how you have managed to change goalkeeper Miller.

Oleg: — All has turned out very quickly. There was a lumbago, I have gone on a gate. Behind there was a player "Buffalo", in front – other plus the goalkeeper. I have extended a stick and one contact have forwarded a washer to a gate.

— And then?

Oleg: — it has again appeared on a bench. And even has passed last match of a semifinal. When all command was pleased to the Cup of East conference, I have left on a platform in a suit. Instead of me Patrick Eaves who only has recovered from a brain concussion acted, and it was not clear at all as it will play.


— Why all so occured?

Oleg: — the Main reason was covered that between the general manager of "Ottawa" John Muckler and Bryan Murray there was a hostility about which knew all in club. I was invited in a command by the Broker. And Мюррей concerned to me so as if wished to show the managing director: « You type those players who is not necessary to me ». I think, they before an exchange at all did not have a general conversation on me. So I have appeared between two fires. Was very malicious because of this foolish situation. Even has quarrelled with the third couch of "Ottawa". Has promised, that if me and will stock further, I shall leave on the world championship for Moscow.

Oleg: — I discussed this version. But, alas, has learned, that me up to the world championship simply would not admit ИИХФ which is connected by the contract with NHL.
In general I had an impression, that in "Ottawa" do not love Russian. Probably, bias has arisen after « Yashin's business » (the forward has passed the whole season because of contract strike. — a comment ред.). Here Alexey Kaigorodov whom invited to a role центрфорварда the second part, – it was normally looked in a command, but to play to it did not give, and it has returned in "Metallurgist". There were problems even at Anton Volchenkova (The defender declared in interview to " the Soviet sports », that for it prepared for an exchange. — a comment ред.). But then it has started to play so fine, that if it has appeared in a stock, in Ottawa revolution of fans, probably, would begin.

Dmitry: — the Interesting history was in Stanley's cup-final. As the adviser of operating "Anaheim" works Эл Коутс – it eight years ago served in "Calgary" and chose Oleg on a draft. They are well familiar. And разговорились before the first match of the ending in which the son did not play. Мюррей it увидал also has then flown up to Oleg: « That it to you has told?! ». Has shown vigilance. After "Ottawa" has reached the ending, the Broker … have sent in resignation. In Canada there was a big scandal. To John have offered a post in club, but it has been offended and has refused.

Oleg: — it is curious, that one day prior to the resignation the Broker offered me the new contract with "Senators". But it has not arranged me. I in general have told, that for any money in "Ottawa" any more I shall not remain.

Dmitry: — Then instead of the Broker the general manager had been appointed Bryan Murray. Agent Oleg has told to it, that Сапрыкин all the same will leave. And they have agreed, that the son becomes beyond all bounds the free agent. However, Мюррей has put a condition, that officially it happens on July, 15th.

Oleg: — Yes, in two weeks after the market has opened and commands have begun a complete set. If have given vent earlier, to me would act much more offers. But the main thing that I any more did not have a confidence that the same history again will not repeat – I shall get in a new command in NHL, and to me again will not trust. And I wish to play!

Dmitry: — it is important to find the trainer. For example, it is pleasant to me, as Mike Bebkok from "Detroit" works. Or in "Calgary" of times of a campaign behind Stanley's Cup to play to Oleg it was good. So all is far not commands in NHL bad. Here as will carry – where you will get …

Oleg: — I have signed the contract from TsSKA under the scheme «1 1 1». That is through one season it can be will terminate one of the parties, and can be prolonged. Yes, me very much wished to detain in NHL, solidly having raised the salary. Thanks all managing directors of clubs who has shown to me interest. But I have decided to play TsSKA.


— It is considered to be, that NHL – the best hockey league in the world. But at it you see what minuses?

Oleg: — I do not like confusion which now occurs in trade union of players. After hockey players have lost in dispute because of which there was a lock-out, chairman of trade union for Bean Гуденау has left the post. At it our organization was strong, and now – is not present.

Dmitry: — I see a problem in what personnel selection is conducted by clubs. In each command there are stars, but under them in the third-fourth parts have started to drag бездарщину. And if earlier NHL had an income now staginess of hockey falls, so, earnings decrease.

— But in fact the league has raised a ceiling of salaries up to $50,3 million It means, that incomes of clubs grow.

Oleg: — And hockey players lose money … Under the new collective agreement players should give on 10 % from the salaries to safety fund. If the league will incur losses, this money will take away. As I know, for the last season at us will subtract 3 %. Still consider taxes – in Canada from me took away 51 % from the salary. So virtually you receive $1,1 million a year, and is real – 46 % from this sum.
No, now the superleague makes a real competition of NHL. Therefore to Russia come back Frosts, Твердовский, now here Yashin – here it is possible to play the hockey for normal money.
And at me the purpose is – to act in modular Russia in the world championship in Canada. Business not that I or the same Yashin need for something to prove to Canadians. Absolutely is not present. But to win gold on the native land of hockey, our first gold for 15 years – here it will be healthy!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Trade Hopes Now All But Gone

One month after the start of free agency, and the Sens roster is looking almost full. If we can assume that McGrattan and Lawrence Nycholat have now earned permanent roster spots, and that Christoph Schubert will forever play left wing, we have the full 20 players we need to ice for a game. That still leaves us three short of the 23 players we are allowed to keep each season, something I'm very doubtful Murray will let slide.

But with just under 5 million left in cap space, it's hard to imagine that we could get much for our team without bringing up some B-Sens. There's been plenty of talk about trading Redden and Gerber, but after a month of moves in the NHL, there's little hope left that we can shop them. Taking into account that a team needs to be missing a solid goaltender to take Gerbs, a solid leader defenseman to take Redden, and needs to have the cap space and trade potential to tempt us, there are few options for Murray.

Redden has virtually eliminated any possibility of his trade. Murray admitted to having a deal worked out on draft day for Redden, likely with the Oilers prior to their Pitkanen and Souray moves, but Redden nixed the deal. If he wouldn't accept going close to home to play for a Canadian team as loved as the Oilers, there's almost no way he'd go anywhere else. Be mindful though: he's only 30, a bit young to retire (even with Niedermayer considering it at 34, although he's won it all). This season, after earning his 6.5 million, he is looking at a greatly reduced salary if he plays as he did last one. As long as Redden hindered himself, rather than being hindered by his age, an injury, or something outside his control, he will likely step up so that he can keep earning good money in the future, with the Sens or elsewhere.

Gerber would undoubtedly love to play more than the 29 games he played in this season. I'm going to stray from the common thought that he's a loser and needs to be gone faster than the Nashville franchise, and actually suggest that he's worthy of a shot. Look at his numbers from the last two seasons, as the eventual Stanley Cup Champion Hurricane's starter, and as the Sens backup to Emery. His save percentage was unchanged at .906, so it would appear he didn't get any worse. His Goals Against average was also the same, at 2.78 in both years, certainly not a shining mark. Both years he faced an average of 29 shots for every hour in the net. So how can you explain the difference between his record of 38-14-6 and 68.3% of possible points earned as a Cane and 15-9-3 with only 56.9% of possible points earned as a Sen? Since his stats show the same goalie, other factors might come into play.

It's not the sole responsibility of the goalie to secure a win for his team, so some blame could rest with the Senators. The Hurricanes finished the 05-06 season 4th in the league in points, one win back from second place, with 294 goals for, whereas the Sens finished the 06-07 season 9th in points, three wins back of third place, and with 288 goals for, showing a weaker team in front of Gerber this season. Take a look at his last twelve games: 10-0-2 with 91.7% of possible points earned. He had a .942 save percentage and a 2.08 GAA. Maybe not facing the toughest opponents, but nonetheless.

I believe that some of his failings may be, as we hope Reddens also were, due to self inflicted psychological pain. He lost his way against the Canadiens in last year's playoffs, losing his job to rookie Cam Ward, who played the rest of the way and helped the Canes win the Cup. Then his team decides to take the rookie and cast him off, just as the Ducks had let him go the year before. While not playing yet like a true starter, I believe he has the potential to be one, and surely has the potential to be part of a truly successful goaltending tandem. But it looks doubtful that anyone would want him. Boston took Manny. Toronto took Toskala. Florida took Vokoun. Phoenix took Aebischer. Bryzgalov's still on the market for less than 1.4 million. It would take a desperate team to go for Gerber now.

With both Gerber and Redden having not astounded anyone this past season, and with both looking to improve, the likeliest case will be that neither moves before the season begins. With games, they might both return to form, and interest teams. A newly tantalizing Gerber could tempt teams having goaltending misfortunes. Redden will not likely move though. Even if he plays up to his old form, his no-trade clause won't likely be waived. He would certainly not choose to waive it to leave the Sens if they looked ready to make a run for the cup. So, for the moment, it would appear that we will be in a long wait to see how things play out, and will have to hope for the best.