Jean-Gabriel Pageau Signs With Ottawa
On a day that left a lot of skepticism and uncertainty to what direction the Senators are heading this summer after Bryan Murray's pre-draft press conference, it was nice to have some truly exciting news about the future of the team.
Sens announce they have signed JG Pageau to a 2-year deal worth 900k cap hit. ($700,000 & $1.1M)— Ian Mendes (@ian_mendes) June 18, 2015
With the hopeful signing of Mika Zibanejad, Kyle Turris still locked up for another three years and Pageau's latest contract, the Senators' depth down the middle is the envy of many teams.
The most promising detail of Pageau's contract? It's a one-way deal.
We will finally get to see a full season of the 22-year-old Gatineau native that we were robbed of last year. No more AHL stints. He's a full-time NHLer now.
Trading a Defenseman, Signing Chris Wideman?
Murray says they will try and move one of their defensemen this summer. And that could lead to re-signing pending UFA Chris Wideman.— Ian Mendes (@ian_mendes) June 18, 2015
Well, that's great news. It sounds like management is heading down the right path. They've identified the obvious problem and they're going to improve what seems to be lacking in strength.
Spoiler alert. The Sens d-man that Murray stated they will try to move this summer is probably Wiercioch. Get ready for Twitter to melt.— Tyler Ray (@DefenseMinister) June 18, 2015
It's completely unknown exactly which defenseman will be the odd man out if Murray decides to follow through with a trade, but you can't help but worry it could possibly be Patrick Wiercioch. If there's any player on the blue line that has significant value - other than Erik Karlsson and Marc Methot - it's Wiercioch, and there's always the unsettling notion that the Senators don't honestly appreciate him.
But hopefully last season persuaded them otherwise.
If Murray is serious about making room for Chris Wideman, then he should pick, at random, one of the bottom four players in the graph above to do away with. The Senators shouldn't be messing with a top-four that could crumble at the possibility of any significant loss of a player.
But bring in Wideman, and the defensive group grows stronger and adds crucial depth. And then it could possibly withstand an injury.
Packaging a Bad Contract With a Goalie
Perhaps one of the most intriguing bits of information to come out of Murray's press conference was this.
Murray confirms they are trying to add a forward - like Greening or Legwand - to a goalie deal so they could move some salary.— Ian Mendes (@ian_mendes) June 18, 2015
Our friend, Graeme Nichols, said what was on everyone's mind at the time.
Incredibly, incredibly disappointed that Murray acknowledged he will take a marginalized trade return to shed a bad contract in goalie deal.— The 6th Sens (@6thSens) June 19, 2015
The pending goalie trade - whether it's Lehner or Anderson to leave town - is going to be the most important move of the entire offseason. Yes, it will be criticized no matter which goalie is traded, but there is no need to lower the possible return in order to get rid of Colin Greening or David Legwand.
There are other options. Much more beneficiary options.
Daniel Alfredsson to Present Calder Trophy (to Mark Stone)
Earlier this week, Sens fans found out that their beloved captain Daniel Alfredsson will be on hand in Las Vegas for the NHL Awards, and it just so happens that he will be presenting the Calder Trophy.
If Mark Stone is to win the Calder, then how fitting it is that Alfredsson be the one to hand it over. Almost like a passing of the torch.
But wow, is it ever going to be awkward if Johnny Gaudreau or Aaron Ekblad are chosen over Stone.
Does the NHL Need a Few Lebron's?
We may be veering off track here, but a clip from Lebron James' post-game press conference caught my eye last week, and I'm sure I wasn't the only one.
savage. https://t.co/agE8uWiIVI— Abdi Omer (@AbdiOmerr) June 15, 2015
First off, James' remarks are unbelievably conceited. There's something to be said about athletes who make it all about themselves, especially in a team sport, but over the years, James has taken it to another level.
But after watching that clip, I realized I was now invested.
I hadn't watched much of the NBA Finals, let alone any basketball since the Toronto Raptors were sent packing in four games, but now I had a reason to tune in. Even if it was just to root against his holiness, "King James."
It's something that many people are aware of, but outside of the game itself, hockey politics and locker room entertainment can be downright boring. Players are taught - no, like, they actually take classes in junior hockey - to say the same things over and over again, spitting out cliché after cliché.
And we as a fan base, have, in turn, succumbed to their monotonous interviews and press conferences in which every question has a carefully thought of response that we all knew was coming.
But whenever a player tries to do something exciting or controversial, we shut him down.
Take for example, Alex Ovechkin. Just a month ago, he said this.
"We're going to come back and win the series. We're going to play our game, and we're going to come back and we're going to play Montreal or Tampa." - Alex Ovechkin.
And instead of marvelling at the confidence and belief Ovechkin had in his team, we criticized and shamed him for putting a little thrill into the otherwise uneventful second round it had been up until then.
Ovi probably just should've stated that they were going to "keep getting pucks in deep," and "just play our game."
Less controversy, more flying under the radar. Just the way hockey fans have come to like it.