Five Thoughts for Friday: Pre-Season Hype, Sanderson, Alfie and More!
Random Sens Thoughts For Your Friday Entertainment
It’s really hard to believe that regular season Ottawa Senators hockey is just in a month. I don’t know why it is but it seems like this off-season has been the longest we’ve had in years. Maybe it’s all the action, all the anticipation but I think I can speak for everyone when I say: let’s get this show rolling.
(Editor’s note: if you’re looking to scratch the itch, this morning the Sens announced they would be streaming their games from rookie camp here.)
On Ticket Sales for the Home Opener
I can’t remember a time when fans were this excited for the season to start. Even through our Karlsson years, there was anticipation but never to this level of hype. The number of storylines we have to look forward to range from Giroux, to Stützle playing alongside Debrincat to Debrincat actually being an Ottawa Senator to Cam Talbot to a team that might actually contend for meaningful spring hockey. Everything is happening all at once.
Ottawa fans have often been accused of not being passionate enough but the truth is, our passion is actually of the greatest kind. The kind that will build the best of vibes in our worst times. Sens fans have suffered a lot the past few years and evaluating fandoms based on the numbers of bums in seats is to miss the passion. Dorion changed the storyline this offseason and, unsurprisingly , the fans immediately responded. Season ticket sales are up and the home opener is pretty much a sellout at this point.
The first few games seem to all have high ticket sales and hopefully, that’s a trend that continues throughout the season. I’m very intrigued to see how attendance improves this season and if this improvement affects the projected seat capacity at LeBreton Flats.
On Derick Brassard
We can all agree that Brassard is nowhere near the player he was when he was traded out of Ottawa. That being said, I wasn’t overly surprised to hear the news that he was given a PTO with the Sens this week. Yes, this team is all about the new kids and the elite talent but don’t we always need some veteran presence? Who better than a local guy who was part of the most recent glory days? Will it work out for Brassard? I don’t know but I hope so because when it comes to depth players, Brassard may be the mentor and stable presence this young team needs. I’d also like to see Brassard transition into a development or coaching position with the Sens, and his spending some time being an on-ice mentor would be a good start. Some players thrive on certain teams and maybe Brassard coming back to Ottawa might spark some of his old talents to appear again.
On Hating The Leafs
Everyone hates the Leafs, I think even Leafs fans hate them deep down inside. The thing about hating a team is not falling into the trap of letting them “live rent-free” in your head. While the thought of Auston Matthews leaving the Toronto Maple Leafs when his contract is up is amusing, it’s going to get beaten to death by the national media anyways. I don’t mind some jabbing here and there, I actually highly recommend it, but to be constantly coming up with ridiculous Matthews scenarios is getting a bit tired. Firstly, we have more than enough happening on the Sens to keep us amused so why waste energy on Matthews? Secondly, as decent human beings, I just feel like we have to be somehow a bit empathetic with Leafs fans after their GM told them they can win the Cup with Matt Murray as their starting goaltender.
Point is, Matthews will probably stay in Toronto for a long time and I think there’s something glorious about the Sens potentially accomplishing more than he ever could in the next few years. So, let’s get more creative Sens fans. Let’s bring our Leafs taunting abilities to a higher level, one befitting of the team we now have.
On Jake Sanderson
I have never wanted a player to prove me wrong as much as I do when it comes to Sanderson. While everyone is singing his praises and projecting his limitless success, I can’t say I don’t have my doubts.
Maybe my heart was so set on Jamie Drysdale so that I could never get over him being so close and not getting him. Maybe it’s because it seemed like he simply fit a checklist (son of former player, UND student) that it still feels like a pick that wasn’t well thought out but whatever it is, I cannot seem to get as excited about Sanderson as the rest of the fanbase.
With his teammates and coaches giving him the stamp of approval, what are we really expecting out of him? It seems that is all but guaranteed a spot in Ottawa this season but will he be here all season? Are we putting too much pressure on a kid who hasn’t even played an NHL game yet? Do we really believe he can be a top D in this league in the next couple of years? It seems there’s real excitement around Sanderson, but what potential should we be expecting? Whatever it is, I’ve never been so ready to be wrong.
On Daniel Alfredsson
No matter the talented players that wear this jersey, no matter how much we love a player, nobody will ever be at the same level as Alfie. One of the many great things to happen this offseason was seeing old favourites like Wade Redden and Chris Phillips re-join the organization in some role. It is only natural to wonder if we will ever see the great Alfie back with the Sens.
One has to wonder if Alfie is planning on greater things like maybe being part of a new ownership group? Or maybe he’s eyeing a coaching job and waiting to see how DJ Smith progresses with the team? Whatever it is, something feels like it’s brewing with the complete absence from Daniel Alfredsson in recent Sens news.