5 Thoughts for Friday
Francis Perron, last-minute goals, Erik Karlsson and more!
No time to waste. Thoughts. Five of them. Now!
Francis Perron Signing
On Wednesday afternoon, the Senators locked up one of their promising young talents for the next few years.
Francis Perron was signed to a three-year entry-level contract worth an annual average of $703,333.
Right now, Perron is currently ripping it up in the QMJHL with the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, tallying a total of 107 points in 61 games this season. Perron's Huskies are also a CHL-best 52-9-5, giving them 109 points on the year and in quite a powerful position heading into the playoffs in a week.
The request Senators management made to the 19-year-old near the middle of the season was to become a more well-rounded player, someone who picks his team up in a tight game and plays well on both sides of the puck. Well, if his plus-minus is any indication - and let's be honest, it might not be, but that's the fanciest stat you can seem to dig up on junior hockey - then he's certainly done what the club has asked of him. The Rosemère, Quebec native sits fourth in the league at plus-40.
With an AHL squad in Binghamton that is clearly struggling - currently third last in the league and set to miss the playoffs for the second straight year - Perron's signing can only be good news for the Senators' depth. Although the team is far away from admitting it, the prospect pool has somewhat dried up over the last few years, and with Thomas Chabot and Colin White both possibly a couple years away from being NHL calibre players, it's definitely reassuring to bring Perron into the mix.
It seems like we can't go a day, let alone a week, without discussing the sheer brilliance that is Erik Karlsson.
As you might've already heard, not only is the Senators captain having a career year, but his 2015-16 season might go down in history as one of the best ever for a defenseman.
With 73 points, the 25-year-old is comfortably sitting in a tie for third in NHL scoring with Tyler Seguin (although Karlsson has one game in hand). Sidney Crosby - one point behind Karlsson and Seguin - is continuing to climb up the rankings, but if Karlsson can hold his ground and finish in the top three, he'll once again be in Hall of Fame company.
Only Bobby Orr and Paul Coffey have finished an entire NHL season within the top three scoring leaders.
As for simply comparing Karlsson to Karlsson, after 71 games, he is up by a single point on his first Norris-winning season's point total and 15 up on his second.
Last Minute Goals
Though the average first 59 minutes of Ottawa's games this season may be lacking in excitement, the Senators sure have made an effort to keep things interesting in the final 60 seconds.
Here are Silver Seven's top three last minute goals this season.
3 - Mike Hoffman vs. New York Islanders
2 - Mika Zibanejad vs. Minnesota Wild
1 - Jean-Gabriel Pageau vs. St. Louis Blues
Honourable Mention - Jean-Gabriel Pageau vs. Buffalo Sabres
HOLY SMOKES the Sabres dodged a bullet pic.twitter.com/y5BVClZcPl— Stephanie (@myregularface) January 27, 2016
Expansion Draft Protection Program
A talking point in a long-winded Twitter thread brought up by our good friend Sean Tierney, the possibility of an expansion draft had many creating their own fantasy protection program.
The rules are simple: Choose seven forwards, three defensemen and one goalie to protect.
Here's my list.
Forwards: Mark Stone, Mike Hoffman, Kyle Turris, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Mika Zibanejad, Curtis Lazar, Ryan Dzingel
Defensemen: Erik Karlsson, Cody Ceci, Patrick Wiercioch
Goaltender: Craig Anderson
Make sure to let us know in the comment section what your fantasy witness protection program is.
Kevin Spacey in Space
This has absolutely nothing to do with the Senators, but it's too amazing not to include.
The Florida Panthers, like many other teams around the league, hand out an item to the game's MVP after a win. While a lot of teams have a wrestling championship belt, a hard hat or some other enthusiastic headwear, the Panthers have taken quite a different route.
Jussi in Space! pic.twitter.com/1fE2EcnvVl— Florida Panthers (@FlaPanthers) March 18, 2016
But that's not even the best part. Guess who's packing his things and possibly heading to Florida to get in on the action? You guessed it.
No blarney... Spacey IS in space. #FloridaPanthers pic.twitter.com/bQKHhaV8uL— Kevin Spacey (@KevinSpacey) March 17, 2016