Most of us were suprised by the Ottawa Senators' decision to send Mika Zibanejad to the AHL's Binghamton Senators while keeping Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Stephane Da Costa up in the NHL. No one really had a problem with Zibanejad's effort until the team had a problem with Zibanejad's effort.
In fact, head coach Paul MacLean said that Zibanejad let two people come in and take his job, or something to that effect, and that he felt Da Costa, in particular, had earned a shot by doing what the team had asked of him: He had gotten stronger and improved his play without the puck.
Unfortunately, he hasn't done anything with that shot. Through four games, Da Costa has no points, eight shots on goal, and has won just 10 of his 30 faceoffs. Because of this, he was placed on waivers today, a prelude to being reassigned to Binghamton. It would not be an uneducated guess to imagine Zibanejad will be called up to replace him, nor that we're about to hear how Zibanejad has really improved in his three games with the B-Sens. (Though, to be fair, Zibanejad does have 1G, 1A and 12 shots in those 3 games, so he is playing well.)
As for Da Costa, this is not a great sign for his future.It now marks the second time the club feels he couldn't handle an NHL role. The first was anchoring the second line behind Jason Spezza--where Kyle Turris has excelled--and this time around the block was in a bottom six role with lowered expectations. At this point, it seems clear the team either feels Da Costa will clear waivers and arrive in Binghamton, or they don't have major concern if he is claimed by another team.
Either way, it's unlikely Da Costa will be a major factor of the organization's future going forward. Sometimes meritocracies suck.
- Melnyk speaks! Nichols is all over it, but here's a really relevant passage [T6S]:
Nah, look, the fact that you lost that but that’s kind of an anomaly - that kind of losses. A lot of it had to do with… there’s a book being written right now by a published author that will explain what happened actually last year where the finances… it kind of went out of kilter because of the financial crisis that took place in ’08 and that actually affected us over the past couple of years, believe it or not. That’s a detail that I don’t really want to get into now, I want you to buy the book. It’s the cost of doing business, but what you can’t do is continue doing that – that’s the problem. See, I’m looking five years out, ten years out. I know the cap is going up. We know. We just know the revenues are increasing throughout the whole league. We get the numbers, we go to the presentations and everything else because we have to prepare for this stuff. You do have to spend but you don’t have to spend toe-to-toe with the guys that have money to throw around and we know all those guys. And a lot of times, they spend money for no reason. What they’re doing is spending money to cover up for mistakes. At one point, there’s a team that has 16 million dollars of excess cap down in the minors, I mean ‘Hello?’ You can’t do that anymore, thankfully. But, we are in a great, great spot where cap space is now a massive commodity where you can pick up, you’ll be able to pick players just to unload salaries. It’s going to happen. We’re going to be in a sweet spot – it’s like having three first round draft picks. I think it’s very important and there’s nothing to fear from that point of view. I mean, this team is staying here. We do need… we do need something and we’re working with the City. It’s not just them, but more importantly, the business community knows that the (casino) file turned into an absolute mess and we’re working with the Mayor’s Office to correct the wrong that I think happened and I think it will be corrected."
- Did you catch that "buy the book" bit in there? Bonk's Mullet has an exclusive preview! [RBM]
- The Senators won a game, so they're confident now. [Senators Extra]
- EXCEPT FOR PAULRUS! He knows what he saw, and what he saw wasn't very good. [SE]
- No lineup changes tonight, so be prepared for six minutes of Matt Kassian. [SE]
- And finally, the prediction panel likes the Sens tonight, except for the contrarian Ian Mendes. Mendes, if you pick against the group every game, you'll never make up ground. [SE]
- Bombshell: Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News reports the Buffalo Sabres and Edmonton Oilers are working on a trade. Get this: Ryan Miller and Thomas Vanek for Nail Yakupov. I think everyone wins there. And I'm jealous [Buffalo News]
- But Nick Kypreos reports that the Oilers are on Miller's no-trade list. They're on everyone's no-trade list, right? Contracts just say "Who's your no-trade list besides Edmonton?" like how they give you RSTLN E automatically in Wheel of Fortune now, I bet. [Twitter]
- Ilya Bryzgalov's tryout with the ECHL's Las Vegas Wranglers is over, and now he's a free agent. So... trade Miller, sign Bryzgalov, right? I can do this GM stuff. [ESPN]
- Remember when we all laughed at how much the Colorado Avalanche gave up for Semyon Varlamov? Well, now he's done really well over six games, so the Avs are VINDICATED! THEY ARE SELFISH, THEY ARE WRONG! THEY ARE RIGHT! THEY SWEAR THEY'RE RIGHT! SWEAR THEY KNEW IT ALL ALONG! [Denver Post]
- Tonight's opponent, the New Jersey Devils, don't feel like they're unlucky this year. So... they're just bad, then? [NJ.com]