With such a long break, we weren’t blessed with too many Sens losses games to watch this week but nonetheless, the hockey world is never a dull place.
1) Sens Attendance and Ownership Rumours:
One of the main topics of the week has been the rumours of a potential Melnyk sale being imminent. While Chris Johnston did add more gasoline to the rumours, I personally don’t buy it; not yet. At this point, what concerns me with a potential sale is whether it truly will fix the state of this franchise. What kind of new owner are we looking for? Do we just want deep pockets or do we want deep pockets and good virtue? Does a new ownership automatically mean a better fan experience? A better team performance? Watching the game last night, it broke my heart how empty and lifeless the CTC looked and while I understand why it’s happening, I cannot stand it. These are the memories some of the younger players will have of their career starts, their dreams of becoming NHL players only to play to an average of 8-9 thousand people a night, most of whom aren’t even fully engaged in the game. What does it say about our city and fanbase when visiting teams come over to play in Ottawa? The ownership issues go beyond the Karlsson and Stone trades, they touch the very essence of this city’s sports brand and a lot will be need to be done to fix it all. So if a new ownership is on the horizon, can he/she please just get this over with? If Bill Daly is true to his words and the league sees no issues with ownership, how long can the Ottawa Senators last in this state?
2) Cody Ceci:
Whether it’s petty or not, my new favourite hobby is searching Cody Ceci’s name on twitter after every Leafs game. While initially, there was a lot of “he’s not so bad” and “oh look it was the Sens environment that caused his demise”; things are quickly shifting in the direction of “oh no, Cody Ceci can’t play hockey” which strange enough feels like something has been stolen from us, the Ceci rage seemed like it would be a permanent Ottawa plague and brand. On the one hand, I feel bad for Ceci who I truly think was put in a position way greater than his capabilities and now has to live up to these standards. On the hand, it gives me guiltless pleasure to see someone else suffer through his incompetence especially the blue and white folks. Where did it all go wrong for Ceci, was it really the Sens development failures or was he just never a good defenseman? Either way, it’ll be interesting to see how he progresses throughout this season and beyond.
3) Who to Trade?
It’s extremely early in the season and personally I don’t see the need for any big trades unless it’s a great opportunity. However, with Cody Ceci and Zack Smith gone who would you love to see get traded next? The obvious response I expect is Bobby Ryan but I’m interested to see if there are any other players on the roster that have already lost the confidence of the fanbase.
4) Senators Third Jerseys
Are we going to see new third jersey designs this season? While I’m not as passionate as many about the Sens current logo vs the “O” or the beloved 2D logo; I do understand the importance of having a jersey that connects to the fanbase. I don’t see the Senators switching to the “O” permanently but if they can upgrade the heritage jerseys for the their third, they may have some interested buyers. If the Sens are serious about engaging with their fans, then listening to what they want may be a good start.
5) Mental Health
Yesterday was World Mental Health day and in today’s social media heavy times, it is crucial to continue to shed a light on the importance of mental health. As sports fans, we get carried away on social media and often and unknowingly cross lines that could do more damage than we ever intend or imagine. While “trash talking” can be fun, just be aware of what could be taken as more than just a joke. Social media is great for being connected, making new friends and just generally gaining more knowledge but it can also be a medium for some dangerous and insensitive actions so take care of yourselves and don't be afraid to stand up for yourself or someone else under attack. Mental health is as important as the health of any other part of your body and always know there is at least one person willing to help out or just listen. Sports should bring us together not make us enemies.