Sens prospects and a coaching team led by Luke Richardson spent the weekend in London, Ontario playing in the annual rookie tournament with the Chicago Blackhawks, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Toronto Maple Leafs. The Sens performed admirably, winning all three games by scores of 4-1 (against Pittsburgh), 4-3 SO (against Chicago), and 6-2 (Toronto). With so much skill on display, including 14 goals in 3 games, today's Nuggets are about selecting a Sens rookie tourney all-star team.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau: Ottawa's best player of the tournament, Pageau was dominant in games 1 and 2 and played well enough in game 3. His 3 goals led the team in scoring and he excelled in all 3 zones on the ice. Pageau entered the tournament with the most NHL experience and looked the most NHL-ready.
Mark Stone: Looked good all tournament, especially in the last game. Played well on the PP and PK and played on Ottawa's best line. Stone scored twice against Toronto, including a brilliant shorthanded marker, and set up Pageau against Chicago. Often cited for his scoring ability, Stone playmaking ability was on full display, with some nice breakout passes to Pageau and nice interplay with Vincent Dunn on the PP against the Leafs. Hampered by an ankle injury at the end of the season, Stone skated well with no signs of the problem lingering.
Shane Prince: While Pageau was Ottawa's player of the tournament, Prince gave him competition for the title. Had he not picked up a knock in the first game which resulted in him missing the second game, Prince might have passed Pageau. Prince was dominant at both ends of the ice against the Penguins, notching two assists and dropping the gloves once. He put in a similarly strong performance against the Leafs, especially during the second period when he scored two goals to get the Sens back in the game. Pageau should be in the NHL to start the season; Prince looks like he's close to joining him.
Honourable Mentions: Andre Petersson and Curtis Lazar
Both Petersson and Lazar had strong tournaments. For Petersson, the tourney was possibly a last chance to prove he still belongs in the mix. With a goal and an assist against the Blackhawks, he impressed. While there are still some holes in his game (too many turnovers etc), his playmaking ability was on display in all three games. Lazar looked good in his first tournament. Still a couple years away from a shot at the NHL, he nevertheless showed off a nice set of hands, with a couple of assists and a beautiful shootout winner.
Cody Ceci: Ceci had a strong tournament and showed why he's close to NHL ready. He quarterbacked an effective Sens powerplay and looked smooth doing so. While his offensive skills are more developed, Ceci was a steady penalty killer for the Sens. There's still work to be done, but I wouldn't be surprised if Ceci spent the first 9 games of the year in Ottawa and would not be surprised if he finds his way back to the capital at some point this season. Is there a better way to adjust to the speed of the NHL than in the NHL?
Chris Wideman: Wideman quietly had a nice tournament. He quickly developed chemistry with Ceci and the two looked good together on the PP. However, even when Richardson split the pair, Wideman still played reliable minutes. One of the Sens smaller defensive prospects at the tourney, he has the skill to make plays under pressure.
Honourable Mention: Freddy Claesson
Claesson had a steady tournament. Not an offensively-minded player, Claesson was steady in his own end and is gradually developing into the defensive-defenseman the Sens expect him to be.
Andrew Hammond/Chris Driedger: Both played well enough and handled opposition pressure well. All of the Sens goalies at the tournament need to work on their puck handling abilities though.
- An excellent piece on David Dziurzynski and a thoughtful look at fighting in the NHL [The Globe and Mail]
- Friend of the blog and all around awesome dude Kevin Lee has a visual about internal budgets [Radek Bonk's Mullet] He also provides GIFs of all the Sens goals against the Leafs [Radek Bonk's Mullet]
- Travis Yost examines the case of Colin Greening and whether the Sens should re-sign him (hint: he doesn't like what he sees) [Yost] On the more positive side of things, TCM is showing the 1973 cult classic Soylent Green commercial free on Friday, September 13 at 8 pm! [TCM]
- Rookie tournament takes: I recapped Saturday's game [Silver Seven] and Sunday's game [Silver Seven] Don't like my take? Check out Jared Crozier's view [Senshot] Ottawa's win from a Pens perspective [Pens Labyrinth] Ken Warren looks at the Chicago game [Senators Extra] Recapping Vincent Dunn's two quick goals, and Mark Stone's strong rookie tournament and what it means for his upcoming Sens camp [Senators Extra] What we learned about Ottawa's prospects [Senators Extra]
- Scott's got rookie camp highlights and an update on Jarrod Maidens [6th Sens]
- Everyone wants to talk to Luke Richardson [Inside the Senate] [Senators Extra]
- Get to know Ludwig Karlsson [Inside the Senate]
- Ken Warren has a nice piece of Andre Petersson and his strong performance at the tourney [Senators Extra]
- Vincent Dunn's solid tournament has earned him an invite to Ottawa's camp
Félicitation à Vincent Dunn qui vient d'être invité au camp des Sénateurs d'Ottawa.— Olympiques Gatineau (@LesOlympiques) September 9, 2013
- Can't remember if I linked to this a couple of weeks ago, but the folks at SensNation have started a podcast. The first session features special guest Travis Yost and talks all things Eugene Melnyk [SensNation] Episode Two "Coming in Hot" discuss new acquisitions, new divisions, and the Olympics [SensNation]
- Derek Grant escaped serious injury after Thursday's game [Senators Extra]
- Michael Sdao has a history degree (so do I!) and "boasts brains, brawn" (so do I!) but that's where the similarities end [Inside the Senate] Sylvain St-Laurent wonders if Sdao will patrol the Sens blue line like Matt Carkner once did, talks his role in Bingo [Le Droit]
- The Jared Cowen situation: not a lot of talk [Senators Extra] Both sides remain far apart [Senators Extra] Wayne Scanlan talks second contracts [Senators Extra]
- Pageau love [Yost]
- Mark begins a series of burning questions facing the Senators with a look at Erik Karlsson's health [Silver Seven]
- Darren talks about the burden of expectations [Silver Seven]
- Another story about Spezza and the captaincy [TSN] Another story about forging ahead without Alfie [Sportsnet]
- For those feeling nostalgic, Daniel Alfredsson's top 5 plays [Octopus Thrower]
- Saturday marked the second anniversary of the terrible Lokomotiv Yaroslavl crash [Eyes on the Prize]. On the weekend, a "hockey brotherhood" memorial was unveiled outside the arena in Yaroslavl to commemorate the victims of the tragedy [Russian News Agency]
- Elliotte Friedman is back with 30 Thoughts, #26 has to do with Jason Spezza [CBC]
- Flames legend Miikka Kiprusoff annouces his retirement [Flames]
- "A Tale of Two Goalies": looking at the men between the pipes for the Wings [Winging It In Motown]
- J.J. from Kansas continues his excellent "Getting to Know the CBA" series with a look at per diem, reimbursement, and game tickets [Winging It In Motown]
- Panthers backup goalie Scott Clemmensen expect to miss 3 weeks after having surgery [Litter Box Cats]
- Tampa Bay is holding a fan fest this weekend to coincide with Bolts training camp, are you taking note Ottawa? [Raw Charge]
- Steve Burch has developed a solid goaltender aging curve [Pension Plan Puppets]
- Many thoughts on Devils reducing ticket prices [In Lou We Trust]
- This is a wonderful look at the Islanders' Captain High Liner uniforms [Lighthouse Hockey]
- John Tavares is name the next captain of the New York Islanders [Lighthouse Hockey]
- A look at what advance stats say about coaches [Anaheim Calling]
- Remember when Ladislav Smid was everyone's favourite trade throw-in piece? Derek Zona takes a look at his team-friendly contract [Copper & Blue]
- Dave Lozo is a good sport and looks at some of the mistakes he's made covering hockey [Backhand Shelf]
Springsteen Song of the Day
With the Boss' birthday coming up in a few weeks, we should all spend some time listening to his extensive catalog. Today's suggestion? "Drive All Night", the second-last song on the New Jersey native's 1980 release The River. This is also partly a test to see if you read to the end of the Nuggets.
Another shout out for our Silver Seven game nights, specifically the home opener. Email me at the address on my profile if you are interested. Payment is with Interac E-transfer.
Home opener, Thursday 17 October 2013 against New Jersey Devils.(Sold all 40 tickets)
- 19 October, 2:00 p.m. Edmonton Oilers. There are 12 seats left and end of September deadline.
- 21 December, 2:00 p.m. Phoenix Coyotes. There are 11 seats left, end of November deadline.
- 23 December, 7:30 p.m. Pittsburgh Penguins There are 7 seats left, end of November deadline.
All games will be in Section 323 and some where in Rows J, K, L and M. All games will be $40 (about $20 cheaper than if you buy the same tickets yourself).