It has been 274 days since the Ottawa Senators last took to the ice, and played a National Hockeyj League Game.
While there have been far bigger problems this year than a lack of hockey, fans of the team couldn’t be blamed for feeling starved of all things Sens-related. There was a crazy few weeks around the draft, but before and since then, all has been quiet on the Ottawa front. But with the University of North Dakota back in action, and the World Juniors and new NHL season just around the corner (if all goes well), things are beginning to heat up again.
Here’s what you need to know, in our Thursday edition of Links, News, and Notes.
- Though The Athletic’s Graeme Nichols had this first back in the summer, the Ottawa Senators made some new executive hires official, on Tuesday.
Anthony Leblanc gets a longterm extension and is named alt. governer.— Brandon Maki (@BrandonMaki_) December 8, 2020
"Tom Hoof is the club's new vice president, marketing;
Jeff Morander will serve as executive vice president, ticket sales and service; and
Gregg Olson has been named chief financial officer" https://t.co/CJTmNnQImA
The team also promoted Marcello Pecora to vice president of finance, and John Miszuk to the board of directors. The most noteworthy announcement, though, was likely the long-term extension for LeBlanc. The Senators have struggled to retain people in his position over the past few years, and stability can only help going forward.
- Speaking of stability, I think we’ve all developed a greater appreciation for it this year, given the topsy-turvy nature of 2020. It’s not an issue between the Ottawa Senators and the city of Belleville, however, as the commitment between the two has been emphatically affirmed.
Belleville mayor Mitch Panciuk announces the city will help the #Sens because of COVID-19 AND will change the lease agreement through a letter of intent. "We're committed to making sure they will be here," says Panciuk.— Bruce Garrioch (@SunGarrioch) December 9, 2020
Not only has Belleville picked up the five-year option, keeping the B-Sens there until at least 2027, but will also save Ottawa $640,000, to ensure their farm team’s long-term presence in Belleville.
Great news by all accounts, here. Helps out both sides, and allows the Sens to keep developing their prospects in the same place.
- Despite the reasons for optimism, we’re not out of the woods with regards to COVID-19 just yet. Even the upcoming World Junior Hockey Championship has been touched by it, with both Sweden and Germany dealing with cases. Key players such as Lukas Reichel and Nino Kinder, both of Germany, will not play in the tournament, and Sweden has had a number of coaches test positive for the virus.
- In Sens news, prospect Ridly Greig will not play for Team Canada in the tournament, as he is still feeling the effects of COVID-19, following a positive test in early November. Tyler Kleven, after a great first three games at North Dakota, has joined Team USA as a last-minute addition.
- On a more positive note, it seems we’re getting closer and closer to a new NHL season. While Eugene Melnyk describes himself as “cautiously optimistic”, it seems like we’ll be watching the Ottawa Senators again sooner rather than later.
The proposed re-alignment below was discussed on the Board of Governors call today among other things.— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) December 9, 2020
Also, league said on the call that if all went well in season planning with the NHLPA, a Board of Governors vote hopefully will be held by the end of next week. https://t.co/GP0nlV6Juv