It's true, I swear. So today, I thought we should talk about them. Specifically, I thought we might talk about who you think the most surprising player this upcoming season might be. For me, I think it's Clarke MacArthur.
Almost nothing has been written about MacArthur so far this offseason. He's been overshadowed by Alfredsson's depature and Bobby Ryan's arrival. I don't think he's even on the radar of most Sens fans just yet. This is a player whom the Senators have invested significant money in, and who is expected to play in a top-six role vacated by the maligned Guillaume Latendresse, and he's currently not much more than an afterthought in the scheme of things.
"Oh yeah," you say to yourself. "Clarke MacArthur. I heard Leafs fans are pissed about losing him, so he must be good." And then you forget about him and go back to your pro-/anti-Alfredsson rant. I think a lot of our indifference comes from our diminished expectations--Jason Spezza, Erik Karlsson, and Ryan are the big names. They're the guys who are going to carry the load and the rest of the team can just chip in where they can.
So, I think when we actually start to see MacArthur play, we're going to be very surprised at just how good he is and how well he fits Paul MacLean's scheme. He's one of those guys. You know the ones: Always lurking around the net, always seemingly open, just waiting for a rebound or a pass to come his way. Seriously. Watch this video of all 20 of his 2011-12 goals with the Maple Leafs. Watch where he's usually scoring from.
MacArthur's prospective centerman, Kyle Turris, just happens to be the kind of guy who excels at finding players in those areas. You may remember this little dandy from a few months ago:
"Oh, nothing, just passing it over Raphael Diaz for an easy tip-in." And the guy Turris passed to on that play isn't such a bad passer himself. If MacArthur is open somewhere on the ice, do you think Karlsson is going to have a problem hitting that stick? I don't.
40 points seems to be the general expectation for MacArthur. He had 43 in 73 games in 2011-12 and 20 in 40 games in 2013. Given the way he plays and the system he's coming into, I think he could exceed those expectations--especially if he gets regular power play time. His ability to find open spots seems ripe for the kind of back-door goal you just shake your head at in disgust.
Who you think the player most likely to surprise Sens fans this year is?
Alfie Fallout Links
- The Citizen has full text of Alfie's statement. A must-read. [Senators Extra]
- Bill Daly says the "mutual understanding" amounts to circumvention, but the league won't punish the Senators. Losing Alfie is punishment enough, right? [SE]
- Mike Babcock is thrilled to get Alfie. Whatever. [Pro Hockey Talk]
- James Gordon wants the Senators and Alfie to play nice. He's kind of right--blame doesn't undo what went down.[SE]
- Varada thinks there's time for Sens ownership to "make things right." [WTYKY]
- Mark thinks the Senators already did. [S7S]
- Over at Bonk's Mullet, Chet Sellers thinks the only member of the Senators who should have spoken about the situation is Paul MacLean. Which is, frankly, brilliant. [Bonk's Mullet]
- The other big news is that Jared Cowen is close to signing a deal. A deal for a lot of money. [SE]
- Peter has some thoughts about this deal, and you should read them. [S7S]
- Jason Spezza did an interview with Team 1200, and I swear you need to read the transcript if you missed it somehow, like I did. [Bonk's Mullet]
- Erik Karlsson is not yet 100%, but also says he's had his "best summer" workout-wise. He's gonna destroy the league next year. [Senators]
- Speaking of Jared Cowen, there's a neat little nugget in this old interview with Murray and Pierre Dorion about how the whole Nazem Kadri draft went down. [Senators]
- The Carolina Hurricanes think Eric Staal should be ready for training camp [Raleigh News & Observer]
- Damian Brunner intends to play in North America next year. I don't understand what's keeping the New Jersey Devils from signing him. [PHT]
- The Colorado Avalanche are fully committed to Gabriel Landeskog, I guess. [Twitter]
- Claude Giroux needed surgery on his finger after a golf accident! Ha! [Flyers]
- The Markham arena may not happen. No Markham Taternuts for you, Adnan. [The Hockey News]
Adnan, here. Remember if you would like to get tickets for any of the following games for $38.76 300s Centre Ice (Rows H-S) then to email Adnan at the address on his profile.
- Thursday 17 October versus New Jersey Devils, 7:30 p.m. (home opener)
- Saturday 19 October versus Edmonton Oilers, 2:00 p.m.
- Saturday 21 December versus Phoenix Coyotes, 2:00 p.m.
- Monday 23 December versus Pittsburgh Penguins, 7:30 p.m. (this game will be a premium game to general public, you can get it for half the cost with us)