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Five Thoughts for Friday: Cha-Best is Yet to Come

There’s finally a reason to celebrate in SensLand.

2019 Player Media Tour Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images

After what has been two years of false hope, broken promises, and pain, the Ottawa Senators finally made a huge step in the right direction. Thomas Chabot has been signed to a long-term extension, and it feels as if things are finally starting to turn the corner.

Obviously it can’t all be positive, we are Senators fans after all. But today, who the hell cares.

So, here are Five Thoughts for Friday, September 20th, 2019.

Chabound for Ottawa

After the heartbreaks Erik Karlsson, Matt Duchene, Ryan Dzingel, and Mark Stone brought us, it feels so good to be excited again.

Thomas Chabot signed an eight-year, $64M contract extension with the Ottawa Senators on Thursday, and for once, there’s hope. I’ve been as hard as anyone on the Melnyk/Dorion regime, but I have to give credit where credit is due, this is amazing.

We’ve skewered them for making commitments to sign players long-term, and then not following through, but they finally did. This is a huge victory for the organization, not only for locking up one of the league’s best defencemen, but for repairing their relationship with the fans. I’m thrilled with this news, and am looking forward to at least nine more years of Thomas Chabot.

Our Little Brady is Going Up

I, like many others, have been saying since last year that Brady Tkachuk was going to dummy people once he put on a little more muscle. Now, 22lbs of muscle heavier, Brady is back in action.

What stuck out to me in his preseason debut against the Leafs, was not only his increased size, but his speed. Generally, the worry is that a heavier player makes a slower play. To me, Brady actually looked faster than he did during last year’s season. His strides looked more efficient, and he was getting up the ice with more acceleration.

Stronger on his feet, I think we can expect less baby deer-like falls this year too. With physicality such an integral part of his game, it’s a relief to see that Chucky has gotten bigger, without losing anything in the process.

#HitMeBradyOneMoreTime

Leaf-ing Empty-Handed

I don’t care when, I don’t care where, it is always damn good to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Beating teams that consisted of John Tavares, Mitch Marner, William Nylander, and Frederik Andersen, the Senators beat their Ontario rivals twice within a span of two days.

The ex-Leafs Connor Brown, Ron Hainsey, and Tyler Ennis were impressive. Anthony Duclair had a nice offensive showing in Newfoundland, and rookies like Erik Brannstrom, Drake Batherson, and Logan Brown turned in solid performances as well.

Oh, and type in ‘Cody Ceci’ and/or ‘Ben Harpur’ on Twitter and tell me what comes up from Leafs Twitter. You can thank me later.

Lassi Come Home

Though Lassi Thomson may not have been the ideal first-round pick for many Senators fans, it’s looking more and more like Pierre Dorion and Co. have found another diamond in the rough.

Thomson, playing in the Finnish Liiga this season, is off to a roaring start. Playing in a mens’ league, the 18 year-old tallied two goals, both on the powerplay, in his first game with Ilves Tampere.

The Senators are hurting for quality, right-handed defencemen. Dylan DeMelo is a solid player, but the Sens need a play driver in that spot. It appears that Thomson may be the one to fill that role when he returns to North America.

JetSettler

Like I said, can’t all be positive.

Eugene Melnyk’s finances have been under scrutiny for as long as I can remember now. With rumours of a shrinking bank account constantly hanging over him, and the Senators organization, it’s no wonder why people are so furious with the loss of star players.

2012 NHL ASG - H.E.R.O.S. Community Program Launch Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images

It seems, however, that things may be coming to a head. Less than a week ago, it broke that the Mohegan Sun casino is suing Melnyk over a $900K gambling debt. Of course, as is always the way with good old Eugene, there was more embarrassment to come.

Before the ink was dry on Thomas Chabot’s contract extension, it came out that Melnyk is also going to court with Flightpath Charter Airways. The company is trying to sell off Melnyk’s private jet, to settle an alleged debt of $700K.

With a combined $1.6M in alleged debt (on top of all the team’s debt refinancing), it’s honestly just shameful at this point. One has to figure that, at some point, the NHL will step in. This makes a mockery of them, and the league as a whole. I can’t imagine they tolerate it much longer.