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Anderson, MacLean, Cowen, Zibanejad, oh my!

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.

Gone was Clouston, someone who seemed to want his players to be robots (something that doesn’t work anymore since his players are usually making more money than he is), and in came Maclean. I don’t know about you, but anytime you get someone that worked under the Mike Babcock/ Detroit Red Wings system I think it is a huge win. That combo breeds winners. Losing is not a long-term option with that crew.

Bryan Murray made a head scratcher of a move when he traded Elliot of Anderson. I dint know what to think of the move as all we had heard was that the Sens were trying to cut payroll, yet Anderson made more than Elliot. Murray gets criticized often, maybe it’s because the team has been in a slow decline since he took over as GM, maybe it is because we all perceive him to be a little too old in, what’s quickly becoming, a young man’s game (on and off the ice). However, this move was dynamite. The Sens, may have, found that goalie they have always been looking for, and Anderson got his long term contract. If this move works out over the next few seasons they way it worked out at the end of last season (Sens were on pace to finish in the Maple Leafs territory…last) then Murray proves that his talent evaluation abilities are still up there. However, Murray’s best move over the last year might have been finding someone to take the remainder Alexei Kovalev’s contract, and although the Sens “only” got a 7th rounder in return.

Sens fans are used to a little frustration in their lives, goaltending, Daigle, Yashin, Heatley but no one, and I mean no one, got my blood boiling like “l’artiste”. Had I known the Sens were going to sign him, I would have gone to that fan rally outside the Bell center with my Sens Jersey on begging (then GM) Bob Gainey to keep him. I would have contributed to the Keep AK27 in Montreal fund with my last dollar.  Seriously, I could go on forever how much I HATED that player. For all accounts, he was a nice guy but holy H-E-double-hockey -sticks did I hate him as a player.

The Filatov trade has the makings of a game changer. If this kid plays to his potential, then it’s going to make the Sens a tough team to play against as their top 6 has rounded out nicely. Don’t get me started at how much I love the Konopka signing, he brings a special brand of tough guy/faceoff man/great locker room guy that the Sens have likely never seen or had.

Then there’s the kids. This is something I am excited about. Jared Cowen is all healed and ready to crack the roster. You’ve gotta believe that Chris Phillips was, partially, retained to help Cowen along. He’s a monster, the new Chara on the Sens blue line. He is 20, and is weighing in around 230lbs. Give him a few years and he could be a, monstrous, 235-240. Mika Zibanejad is intriguing. He looks like he might make the team and if he can keep pace he’ll be an effective Centre behind Spezza.

This is gonna be an interesting year in Sens-land, and I’m way more excited than I thought I would be at this point in the summer, I say we should celebrate the season of change by offering up a sacrificial bon fire to the hockey gods. Maybe hit up the Sens store and get the discounted #27 Jerseys as fuel.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Members Blog | Permalink


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