Kukla's Korner

SENShobo

Let the Games Begin

Gerber feels ready to start the new season with the #1 job his to lose, the end of Alfie’s days in Ottawa could be closer than you would think even as it is anything but likely to happen, and the short training camp gives way to a battle with the Rangers tonight as the new team tries to bring themselves together.

Gerber feels he is ready for the challenge of the new season, from the Ottawa Citizen.

“When you get to play every night, that’s a totally different feeling than when you’re in and out,” said Gerber.

“For anybody, it’s easier when you have the chance to go out every night and try to build up something and get things going. ... It’s good to have that feeling from the start. I know what I have to do, and (I’ll) put everything out there for the next two weeks, and really use the time to prepare and be as good as I can.”

No doubt his stellar performance during the playoffs last season is what we’re all hoping to see, but both men have played in some rather large shadows, and this season they should get a chance to come into their own. The fact that it is a make or break contract year for Gerber should only add fuel to the fire.

Alfredsson’s contract might soon be up, but as the Ottawa Sun reports, it’s not likely that he will be gone anytime soon. The last three years of his contract all carry a price tag of $3.8 million, but once Alfie plays in 70 games and nets 70 points this season, control shifts to him to potentially become an unrestricted free agent. But contact has already begun between Murray and Alfie’s agent, J.P. Barry, and you can bet that at an opportune time this season, an extension will be announced.

It will be interesting to see what kind of extension will be had, however. Will the Sens try to go the way of the Wings, and make their leader and top player the highest paid, somewhere a hair over Heatley’s $7.5 million cap number? Or will they work out a more reasonable deal, as Crosby and Malkin both signed with the Pens for arguably less than their worth, so that GM Ray Shero would have money left to build a team around his top two centers? While balanced scoring is the stated goal of having Alfredsson playing on another line, it would not surprise me if the Flyers’ Derian Hatcher was on Hartsburg’s mind too. The veteran defenseman has been placed on long term injury, and he might have a hard time avoiding retirement. Splitting up our big guns will undoubtedly help Alfie’s health and longevity, since a coach will not be able to see Alfie, Spezza, and Heatley hit the ice all at once, and decide to send out his most physical defensemen and most aggressive checking line to rough them up.

The Ottawa Senators will hit the ice for their first exhibition game against the New York Rangers in Ottawa today, and according to the Ottawa Sun, the quick start will be both good and bad.

“It’s quick. Training camp is so short these days,” said captain Daniel Alfredsson… “We’re just getting into it and the first game is right there. I think it’s good and bad. It’s nice to get going ... personally, I’d like to have a few more practice days before I play my first game. The good is that training camp is shorter. Personally, I’d like training camp to be a little longer so you could ease into it a little more.”

With the roster and combinations set for the game, and 16 players cut from training camp (listed in this and the Citizen’s stories), impressions are being made fast. While a shorter training camp certainly does not afford you much time to get familiar with your new teammates, going into the fire of a game right away should help to quicken the bonding of linemates and defensive pairs, and the stress of it might just be the kickstart this team needs to start coming together. For the record though, Redden will not be playing tonight, so there’s no need to get excited to see him yet.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | SENShobo | Permalink
 

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About SENShobo

Native of Northern California.  Hockey fan since 1998... sort of... there's a hiatus in there that I still can't explain.

I want to know about anything and everything related to the sport and the spectacle.  I watch, I react, I write it down.

My interest in the Sharks was initially a matter of geographic convenience and regional loyalty because that seemed to be how it worked.  I had no prior interest (at all-- AT ALL) in professional sports of any kind.  When I met hockey, it might have set off a chain reaction of general sports fandom.  It hasn't, I don't think it will.  At all.

Since then, that interest developed into full blown (mostly sort of usually almost completely) exclusive loyalty to the Sharks.

I started blogging a couple years ago on wordpress. I still occasionally put things there that I don't think fit here because they are not about the Sharks. Wherever my words wander, here on Kuklas Korner, they will (usually) hang on to a teal thread.

I can be found in cyberspace on Twitter @petshark47, or emailed at talkingstick@petshark.net