Five Thoughts for a Friday

What a week to be a Sens fan

On giving up on having a favourite Senator

File this under points I don’t want to belabour. If you’ve read any of my articles in the past then you may know that I fucking love Colin White. I daresay I even had a favourite Ottawa Senator until earlier this week. And if you’ve followed the events that transpired in Ottawa over the past 24-hours then you certainly know why the Senators bought Colin White out so I’ll keep it short and sweet. White fell victim to the numbers crunch of the salary cap NHL. It happens to the best of them. I understand that the team had to buy him out and not a player with a worse contract performing below replacement level because of fine print in the collective bargaining agreement. It stinks but, hey, life does sometimes. Another NHL team will get great value from a two-way winger who just couldn’t ever catch a break in Ottawa. Please don’t sign with a team I hate, Colin. You’ll always have a fan in Ottawa.

On—Holy shit the Senators got DeBrincat

Spencer, Ross, and Beata have already provided some top-notch insight into the acquisition of Alex DeBrincat and I don’t want to tread over tired ground so let me just add that this trade, beyond everything else, legitimizes the Ottawa Senators in a way we’ve yearned for for five years or maybe more. Now on top of having sick threads, a franchise icon in the hall of fame, and hope for a new (downtown) arena, the Ottawa Senators have stolen the show on draft night and acquired arguably the best player available on the trade market at a very fair price. Strike when the iron gets hot. Inevitably this will lead to discussions about how the Senators can extend their internally developed players, possibly sign free agents, and ultimately put asses in seats. Yes, the Senators have a long way to go before we can relive the 2000s and all the success that came with those years but for the first time in a long time, it feels kinda cool to like this team.

On Philippe Daoust kicking ass and taking names

In the absence of the weekly prospect update, I haven’t had a chance to properly congratulate Daoust on behalf of the blog for getting his name on the Memorial Cup. I also want to give a tip of the cap to Wendy in the comments who called it after Saint John got eliminated from the QMJHL postseason, that host teams can still find a way to the cup. While Daoust struggled in the first round of the Q postseason with just two goals and one assist, he racked up six apples in four cup games when it mattered most. I imagine former Sea Dogs Thomas Chabot and Mathieu Joseph feel pretty stoked for Daoust.

On Mike Grier doing cool things in the NHL

Like a lot of fans in Ottawa, I’ve long had a soft spot for the west coast Sens (more commonly known as the San Jose Sharks). And Mike Grier ranked among my favourite Sharks from their best years in the 2000s. Beyond the very cool and obvious reasons why I like his hiring for the Sharks, it also feels good to see players you once enjoyed watching reunite with teams you still follow albeit in new capacities. I wish Grier the best of luck restoring greatness to the team that Doug Wilson so painfully dismantled over so many wasted years.

The Lurking Fear

And finally, reminiscing about the 2000s, thinking about Colin White’s all too brief tenure in Ottawa, and looking ahead to the DeBrincat era, I feel it bears mentioning that a pall forever hangs over us as Sens fans even in this (semi-)post-Melnyk era. We know that Tampa, Florida, and Toronto will battle till the bitter end for the division title. We know that Boston has somehow managed to hang around a decade longer than they should have. And as we saw again last night, Montreal, Buffalo, and Detroit have all stockpiled formidable farm systems of their own. If we do think of the Senators in terms of having some sort of competitive window, it might exist ephemerally in the space where the old guard and the new cross paths in the coming seasons. I too felt fleetingly as though the Senators acted hastily in trading away the seventh overall pick given their state developmentally but if you want to win in the cap era then you can’t wait until all of your best players have reached their mid-20s. As premature as it sounds, the countdown has begun in Ottawa.

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