More RFAs secured, Ceci’s New Home, The Thornton Effect and More

<em>It’s the Monday edition of Links, News, and Notes</em>

It’s the start of another week, one where we may see more of a re-vamped Ottawa Senators team coming together. Connor Brown is yet to be signed and Anthony Duclair has yet to find a new home, but Pierre Dorion has still been a busy man implementing Eugene Melnyk’s 112 page plan.

As for the rest of the hockey world, most of the big pieces have fallen into place but there remains some odds and ends to work. Here are some links, news, and notes to start off your week:

  • The Sens have scratched off one more RFA off their to-do list. While not the big name we’re waiting for, they have re-signed RFA JC Beaudin to a 1-year, 2-way contract. Beaudin is  still a bit of a work-in-progress, and a 1 year extension will give the Sens a chance to figure out if he has a clear future with the team./
  • When the Toronto Maple Leafs announced that they wouldn’t be bringing Cody Ceci back, many thought this could be the beginning of the end of his career. Others mentioned the possibility of him joining his best friend Mark Stone in Las Vegas, but it seems there remains some teams out there that think Ceci can be useful. On Saturday, the Pittsburgh Penguins announced that they signed Cody Ceci to a 1-year contract at $1.25M. This is clearly a low-risk move for the Penguins, but more importantly the first step on a road to redemption contract for Cody Ceci who is hoping to find some stability in his career after this year. For everything he has endured so far, I hope Ceci finds some new life in Pittsburgh.
  • By now, everyone at every corner of the universe has heard that Joe Thornton has signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs. His reasoning was that he wanted to retire a champion and that he feels that the Leafs are in a win-now mode (which they’ve said about themselves for a few seasons now); he also apparently likes their goalie a lot. He was even offered the number 19 by Jason Spezza in an adorable gesture between two centers I once upon a time adored and cheered for (but I digress). I understand the notion of being closer to home, but at 41 years old, I still stand by my opinion that the Maple Leafs are a huge risk for Jumbo Joe to have taken. There’s some thought that Toronto might need the kind of leadership that he, along with other veterans like Wayne Simmons and Spezza provide. Do we sense a debate about John Tavares’ leadership?
  • This morning, the Ottawa Senators announced the loan of Rudolfs Balcers to the Stavanger Oilers of Norway’s Eliteserian. Balcers, who had a late start to his season due to injury, spent this past season lighting the AHL on fire, being named to the All Star Game, while contributing 36 points through 33 games and having a franchise record 15 game point streak. The Oilers are currently in 9th place in a 10 team league with a 1-3-0 record.
  • Lastly, CBC has done a good job bringing together a love of skates for a good cause. Battle of the Blades is now in its sixth season, and it has raised a lot of money for charity while brining us some great moments. From the hockey side, this season will feature some very important names in Women’s hockey including Meghan Agosta, Jennifer Botterill and Jessica Campbell. While they will be in figure skates, they hope to bring attention to their extremely important cause of fair pay for female hockey players. After the discontinuation of the CWHL in 2019, over 200 players decided to stand up for their right to play the sport they love while getting the compensation they deserve and to this day the continue to fight without a clear future in sight./

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