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Bobby Ryan took on the role of a 'Sens TV' reporter, and asked some Sens fans what they know about...Bobby Ryan.
If there's been good news about the Senators in the media this off season, it's mostly been about the deal the Senators made to bring in Ryan, and the positive attitude he's shown since he arrived. One of the first questions that usually gets asked when a player comes in from a place like Anaheim, where there's no natural ice, to a hockey-first Canadian market is whether they'll be able to handle the increased media attention.
Bobby doesn't seem to be shrinking from it. He may even have a lucrative ice modelling career ahead of him.
As some will be aware, the Senators, Maple Leafs, Penguins and Blackhawks recently conducted their annual rookie tournament in London Ontario.
I had a chance to attend Saturday's games - including the Sens 4-3 shootout win over Chicago, and the Leafs 4-3 shootout win over Pittsburgh. I also paid attention to the other games, but most of my impressions come from seeing all four teams play on Saturday.
Here are one Sens fan's impressions of individual players (completely un-professional impressions, heavily biased towards the Sens, natch). Unfortunately, I didn't get to see Sens prospects Derek Grant, Matt Puempel or Shane Prince as they did not play Saturday. Prince had a great tournament despite not being in Saturday's lineup, including scoring a pair in the Sens 6-2 win over the leafs on Sunday night.
At some point on Thursday, the Ottawa sports media will be stirred from the sleepy doldrums of summer to meet with the man who was, until recently, the longest serving captain in the NHL and the dominant face of the Ottawa Senators franchise. They'll get to question him on why he chose to break the hearts of his faithful and leave for the apparently greener pastures of the Motor City.
The thing is, in the Ottawa media, questioning Daniel Alfredsson is not exactly the natural state of things. Alfie's word has been held to be gospel truth, his actions sacrosanct, his motives pure. Even when he might have seemed to have mispoke, it would be considered the height of blasphemy to do anything less than rush immediately to his defence. A lack of faith in the cult of Alfie was enough to prove one was (at least) out of touch with reality (or worse still, a Leafs fan). Little wonder, to those in Ottawa, that I-Phone's helpful homonculus, Siri, famously confused Alfie with God.
By now, most with any interest in the drama surrounding Daniel Alfredsson's departure from Ottawa will be aware of most of the story. Paul has linked to James Gordon's great piece in Senators Extra where he interviewed Sens owner Eugene Melnyk (insert CSI joke here...and now that that's out of the way). Gordon attempted to get some answers, and ended up with a story that was a bit different from the one that the team put out in the immediate aftermath. It was also chronicled in a fullsome and thoughtful way in the pages of the Malik Report, from the perspective of one Wings fan who happens to have a Senators' jersey with Alfredsson's name on it hanging in his closet. I thought I'd offer one Senator's fan's perspective on the evolving drama, and the evolving explainations that have come from the Sens management and ownership.
Last season was interesting for Sens fans. There were the lows from the injuries, constant reports the coach and players wanted to kill each other, and another season wondering how many games Pascal Leclaire would miss after getting hit by the Higgs Boson particle (Google it, it’s a tiny particle and it is essentially harmless).
I went into this offseason with some sense of optimism sprinkled with a sense of hope that this season was going to be better then everyone was predicting.
There are a lot of very good reasons to peg the Ottawa Senators at 10th in the East this year. Can the geritocracy of Alfredsson, Gonchar, and Kovalev be dominant over the full course of an 82-game schedule? Is Peter Regin for real? Have Michalek and Kovalev’s injuries fully healed? Will anyone on Ottawa’s defense corps hit anything this year?
Does Ottawa need to buy Pascal Leclaire a Popemobile to ensure his safety off-ice?
Also casting a long shadow over Ottawa’s chances at making the playoffs is the improvement of other teams in the East. While I may have my doubts about the various alchemies being employed in the Southeast Division and New Jersey, I think it is fair to say that the East is now beginning to resemble the West in that the distance between the eighth seed and those on the outside looking in will be much closer than at any time in recent memory.
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