The Unnecessary Importance of Alex Chiasson
It could simply be that any sort of news this time of year has people foaming at the mouths, but Alex Chiasson's arbitration hearing has brought much more noise and conversation than expected.
The Senator's bottom six is looking like there's just one piece missing. After Chiasson signs, that void will be somewhat filled, but it didn't have to be like this.
Chiasson is what he is, currently a player that will range from fourth line to healthy scratch next season, but we won't rule out the unlikely possibility that he cracks the top nine. Still though, there was a cheaper, more proven option.
That option was Erik Condra.
With Condra locked up, last year's most successful third line (along with Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Curtis Lazar) is secure and the lineup's fourth forward trio is the only matter to be discussed on game days. An under-performing fourth liner becomes expendable and Chiasson is deemed less of a necessity.
The Senators could've spent $1.25M on a solid third liner, but now it'll cost them around $1.5M for a player who was a healthy scratch twice in the playoffs.
Chiasson is going to be a fine option on the fourth line come October. That seems like a fair enough role to cast upon him. But the Senators had a better player staring them right in the face and he wasn't even asking for a raise.
No matter what Chiasson signs for in the next 24 hours, just keep in mind that Ottawa's third-line centre is making $900,000 for the next two years.
Canadian Tire Centre's New Policies
On July 21, the Senators announced there were going to be some changes to improve security at the CTC for the upcoming season.
The first major alteration was as follows:
"Beginning on Sept. 20, Canadian Tire Centre will be introducing the use of magnetometers (walk-through metal detectors) to screen all fans as they enter the venue at all points of entry." - Canadian Tire Centre
Like most consistent attendees of the CTC, I don't see the point of this. But I also don't see the fuss over it.
So what if you're going to have to walk through an extra door frame before getting into the games? It won't take any longer to get to your seat (in fact, it'll be much faster than that phase the CTC went through of wanding everyone) and yes, it will make your experience 0.01 percent safer. After all, an improvement is an improvement.
But there were some much warranted concerns with the rest of the statement.
A very valid point.
Though the Senators do say exceptions will be made in the case of emergencies, going through the process of begging to get some fresh air just adds to the already unsettling experience of someone with mental heath issues. My sympathy rests with the ones who just need to get away from the noise in order to avoid an anxiety attack, less with those who just want to enjoy a cigarette and bring the smell back to the seat next to me.
Curtis Lazar and His Other Family
A nice photo of all Chris Phillips' children.
Curtis Lazar is amazing.
Should the Senators "Go With the O?"
Caught up in all the discussion that Senators' 25th anniversary logo brought (and S7S's logo contest), jerseys have been on my mind quite a bit as of late.
Ottawa has gone with some form of the Senturion for 23 years now and I, for one, am ready for a change. And by the number of people that have bought heritage jerseys (the heritage classic too), the fanbase seems to be as well.
It's almost too easy. No one can screw up the new logo because it has already been made and used for the past few years. It's classy, original and the entire jersey just screams "Ottawa."
The Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens are iconic symbols partly because their logo is timeless (the other reason is because they've been around for 300 years and won all the easy Cups). The Senators' heritage jersey gives them that Original Six look that everyone is crazy about.
The "O" is simple, unique and people love it. It's just plain better than any Senturion we've ever seen.
The Internal Cap Lives On
At some point in mid June, believe it or not, the Senators actually had the highest payroll in the entire NHL. Now, that was obviously because of the fact that all other 29 teams still had loads of players to re-sign, but nonetheless, still counts. Kind of.
But after Bryan Murray traded $5.225M worth of contracts to the Buffalo Sabres, gave $1.25M to the Edmonton Oilers, and managed to sign a handful of restricted free agents to bargain contracts, Ottawa was right back where they belonged.
Currently, the Senators have more than $10M in cap space, but that will likely be just above $6M once Chiasson and Mike Hoffman are dealt with whether or not arbitration is needed. That should put the Senators in the exact middle of the league.
It's an improvement on last year's award for lowest spending team in the league, but alas, the dreams of one day being a cap team look like they will stay as dreams for a long time.
Oh well, we've still got Erik Karlsson. I'll settle for that.