If it didn’t feel like the last ‘off-season’ was long enough, the official break between seasons for the NHL is fast approaching. The Conference Finals are past the halfway mark, and general managers are scraping together their notes and organizing their rosters for next season. The Sens have reportedly made a key decision in regards to that this past week, which headlines this Monday edition of Links, News and Notes.
- Per The Athletic’s Hailey Salvian, the Ottawa Senators and Mark Borowiecki have mutually decided to part ways, with the soon-to-be unrestricted free agent planning to test the waters. It’s a bit of a shock given the way the dialogue has gone in the past, with Pierre Dorion expressing his desire to make Borowiecki a “Senator for life” in February of this year. But slow contract talks put the writing on the wall, as the Ottawa-born Borowiecki will take advantage of his opportunity to get away from a team in the dumpster and potentially give himself a chance to win the Stanley Cup as a veteran leader.
After nearly 10 years in the #Sens organization, and 6 NHL seasons, Mark Borowiecki is set to test the waters of free agency for the first time in his career next month.— Hailey Salvian (@hailey_salvian) September 10, 2020
Details here for @TheAthleticNHL as well as what his new team has to look forward to:https://t.co/ZU2uzdNn6S
- The loss is big for both the Ottawa community and the Sens’ locker room, as Borowiecki has consistently been one to step up and speak on social justice issues — he and his wife Tara have also been serving as the Honourary Captains for the Capital City Condors. He would’ve been a fantastic person to mentor all the young talent the Sens are expecting to soon have on their main roster. Despite all of his flaws on the ice, whichever team ends up signing him will surely have a new fan favourite.
- Last week we found out the new dates for the NHL draft and free agency, and now we have the exact times. Set your clocks for 7:00pm EST on Wednesday October 6th for round one of the NHL entry draft... only 540 hours to go! The second round will start at 11:30am the next morning, followed by free agency opening noon on Friday.
- A bunch more NHL awards were revealed in the past week: Bobby Ryan won the Masterton Memorial Trophy, Dampy Brar won the Willy O’Ree Community Hero Award, Bruce Cassidy won the Jack Adams Award, Sean Couturier won the Frank J. Selke Trophy, Nathan MacKinnon won the Lady Byng Trophy, Lou Lamoriello won the Jim Gregory Award, and Mark Giordano won the Mark Messier Leadership Award. You can read about each award and their winner at the links, with the remaining five (Calder, Hart, Norris, Ted Lindsay & Vezina) being revealed at TBA times during the Stanley Cup Final.
- There’s a lot to unpack in that, and it’s a tradition at this point to pick out the most nonsensical ballots from PHWA voters. My two choices this year: whoever gave Leon Draisaitl a Selke vote, and everyone who shamefully voted Matthews for the Lady Byng despite his horrid off-ice actions.
- No other current Sens received award votes besides Ryan for the Masterton, but in true Senators fashion some former players came close. Mark Stone placed fifth for the Selke with Jean-Gabriel Pageau in 13th and Mika Zibanejad tied for 30th. Zibanejad also placed 8th in Lady Byng voting.
lol Mark Stone remains wildly entertaining pic.twitter.com/cKGTlB7AkZ— Dimitri Filipovic (@DimFilipovic) September 9, 2020
- The trade market is starting to heat up, with the Pittsburgh Penguins freeing up cap space by trading forward Nick Bjugstad (with retained salary) to the Minnesota Wild for a conditional draft pick. Additionally, Joel Edmundson was traded to Montreal from Carolina for a 5th round pick, with the kicker being that Edmundson is a pending UFA. The deals are small, but they’re notable for showing that teams are getting increasingly comfortable now that more off-season dates are set.
- Putting a dent in the plans of some Senators prospects, the NCAA expectedly announced that the hockey season is officially delayed. No timetable has been put forward due to the fast pace at which things can change based on following public health advice. But the current expectation is that the season will begin no earlier than January.
- If you want your draft fix before tomorrow’s post of player profiles here on Silver Seven, check out Ben Misfeldt’s ranking of the draft’s top ten shooters. While I personally would’ve tried to fit in Veeti Miettinen somewhere, it’s a solid group with some great analysis.
- Last Monday I shared James Mellish’s Sens-themed parody track. Folks, he’s done it again...