Kukla's Korner Hockey
Every team wants to start its season on the right foot, but general manager Bryan Murray says training camp this season is vitally important for the Ottawa Senators.
"Maybe, we were too comfortable," he told TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie. "It looked to me that - the year before we had a lot of injuries and a number of the key guys didn't play very much - we came to camp with a full group, maybe we thought we were going to be better than we were going to be and, certainly, we didn't compete at the same level. There's no question. Maybe there was a comfort that the stars were back, so the other guys didn't have to work so hard."
Murray, heading into his eighth year at the helm of the club, insists that things will be different this season.
"At the end of last year, we had a long, intense meeting with all of management and coaching staff," he explained. "This year, a week ago, we had a sit-down again to review what we had talked about, but also have some objectives going forward starting with training camp and the first visit we have with our players. There's no question that we have a plan that we think it's going to allow our players to be more productive."
Watch the one-on-one interview Bob McKenzie had with Murray. At the beginning of the video, Bryan Murray discusses his health and says he is feeling OK now.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
... the Habs may not be alone in this kind of decision this season. Just down the highway in Ottawa, the Senators are mulling over the exact same situation after trading captain Jason Spezza to Dallas this summer.
"That’s the thing we’ve talked about a lot so far," veteran Senators GM Bryan Murray told ESPN.com Monday. "We’ll [go] through a big part of training camp anyway before we decide. But our thought certainly has been that we’ve got two alternates right now in Chris Phillips and Chris Neil, and probably just add a third "A," not sure who it will be yet, rather than name a captain.
"But that’s not final yet. We may still decide at the end of the day a captain is necessary. We’ll see. We’ve got young guys like Erik Karlsson and Kyle Turris who are certainly coming [leadership-wise]. Having three "A's" is a not bad thing, though."
Karlsson, one would think, will be captain of this team one day. But he’s probably not yet ready for that responsibility. So the Sens need a bridge decision here, too.
Sometimes it can last more than a year. The Columbus Blue Jackets haven’t had a captain since trading away Rick Nash in July 2012 and they aren’t making apologies for it, either.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
SUN: It looked like the potential never met production last year?
MACLEAN: "We look at a lot of stuff. We watch video, we look at the analytics of how our team is rated, and we have a lot of really good numbers and a lot of good really good video clips of how our team plays when they play well. Unfortunately, we also have a lot of really bad video clips of how we turned over pucks, how we took bad penalties and how we made bad decisions that really hurt us. A large part of a lot of games we played really well, but there was 5-to-7-to-10 minutes that we found a way to do things that caused us to give up goals."
SUN: What do you want this team's identity to be?
MACLEAN: "The team is going to set the identity. We really feel with the team we have right now the search for the identity is going to be way quicker. Training camp is about getting to that identity and getting to it right away so you can have success. We had a conflict of identities last year: It took a long time to get it to the point that we knew where it was. Our team play wants to play fast, we want to play 200-feet, but our biggest change is when we don't have the puck we want to work. We want to work way harder, smarter and be more tenacious. Our competition level, one-on-one, on a nightly basis wasn't good enough. If we can fix that, we can fix a lot of things."
Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray is confident he'll be able to sign two of his top players, but nothing seems to be imminent.
Murray spoke to CTV Ottawa regarding the contract status of forward Bobby Ryan and defenceman Marc Methot, two players entering the final year of their deals.
"In both cases, I think they want to be in Ottawa, they certainly want to get paid according to the marketplace in their minds," said Murray who is entering his eighth season as GM in the nation's capital.
Murray noted that they will not speak to Ryan regarding a new deal until the season gets underway. Last year, Ryan tallied 70 points during his first season in Ottawa.
"I think he [Ryan] wants to see how important of a role he can play in Ottawa and he tells me he likes it and will do a deal, but he wants to figure out where he's going as far as his career and his opportunity in Ottawa," explained Murray.
from Chris Hofley of the Ottawa Sun,
The Red Scarf Union will have some backup at Ottawa Senators games this season.
With the organization looking to expand the fan experience at Canadian Tire Centre, the Senators have targeted 10 games this season to try out a new, soccer-esque, official supporters section at the arena.
The Senators are dedicating section 319 -- already home base for the Red Scarf Union, the team`s official fan group -- as a section in which fans will be encourage to stay standing, scream chants and generally create as much, uhh, fandemonium as possible.
"It's time to change the culture," tweeted the Red Scarf Union in announcing ticket pricing and targeted games for the fan section and listing some of the rules of engagement.
If things don't go well on the ice, do they become houligans?
from Katie Strang of ESPN,
The 40-year-old Lalime, who holds the Senators franchise record in career wins, said he thinks Anderson will come into training camp with top billing but that the two players will push each other in a healthy competition.
Anderson, 33, posted a pedestrian .911 save percentage last season but recorded an NHL best .941 in the lockout-shortened 2013 season just two years ago.
“I think Craig’s gonna be the go-to guy to start with. I know Robin can do the job -- I have no worries he can do the job. I think the good thing is they have them signed for a pretty good price,” said Lalime, who will join TVA this season as an analyst. “They have two good goaltenders and they can make a decision based on that a little easier. I think Anderson is the guy starting but I know Robin, once he gets his chance he’ll run with it.”
Lalime said the team’s main challenge will be in scoring, especially making up for former captain Jason Spezza, who was traded to Dallas this summer in a package that included Alex Chiasson going back to Ottawa in the deal.
added 9:56am, Press release is below...
from Ian Mendes of TSN,
After the Senators missed the playoffs in the 2013-14 season, there were rumblings that Spezza was on the trade market.
General manager Bryan Murray confirmed that Spezza and his agent Rick Curran had requested a trade in May, which created a ton of media interest leading up to the NHL Draft weekend at the end up of June.
Spezza declined an opportunity to head to Nashville in a trade and says he wanted to end up in Dallas. He wishes the entire episode was kept quiet, but he harbors no ill feelings towards Murray or the Senators organization for the fact the trade request became public.
"I think obviously the goal of mine was to kind of get traded without the hoopla around it and all the conversation that went around it. The reality of it is, that was never going to happen," Spezza said. "So I just tried to stay quiet, and I talked to Bryan a few times throughout the process. I have a lot of respect for Bryan, I think he has a lot of respect for me, and unfortunately, things get kind of dragged out through the papers and the media and sometimes things get skewed, but that's the nature of the game and it was my decision to ask him to move me and I had to live with the consequences. But, I'm happy with the end result."
Ken Warren of the Ottawa Citizen was on Fan590 today to discuss the next captain of the Ottawa Senators.
Most people would say Erik Karlsson would be the guy but Warren says not so fast...
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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