Norris’ Injury, Alfie’s Big Day, Kessel’s Streak, and More

It’s your Thursday Links, News, and Notes

Although the Senators have found their groove and won straight games during the first homestand of the season, a pall has fallen over the Ottawa Senators’ fanbase following some brutal injury news.

  • As most of you know by now, Josh Norris won’t return from his shoulder injury for several months, meaning either he’ll return for the final stretch of the regular season or miss the rest of the campaign. Simply put, you can’t replace a 35-goal scorer or a top-six forward in general. Moving Shane Pinto up the depth chart and having Derick Brassard to play additional minutes at centre will help but that will leave DJ Smith with holes to fill on the third or fourth line. Fans will naturally clamour for a Ridly Greig call-up (and fairly so) but again this won’t replace Norris’ contributions. This sucks a lot and we all wish Josh a swift return to full health.
  • Daniel Alfredsson met with the media this week to talk about his upcoming hall of fame induction and his renewed involvement around Ottawa. If you need something to distract you from Ottawa’s injuries woes, then I remind you: Daniel Alfredsson will enter the hockey hall of fame. This kicks ass. Suffice to say that it has invigorated the fanbase seeing the greatest Senator of all time back in Ottawa around the team. And I personally appreciate how Alfie’s candour and sense of humour come through in every single interview he does. Alfie, please don’t ever lose that dry, sarcastic wit.
  • In former Senators (coaching) news, Rick Bowness won’t travel with the Winnipeg Jets on their upcoming southwestern road-trip as the head coach deals with the after-effects of a recent COVID-19 diagnosis. It sounds like an unpleasant experience to say the least and we wish Bowness a speedy recovery.
  • In former Sens player news, fan favourite Tyler Ennis has found a new home in Switzerland for the upcoming season. In all fairness, Bern seems beautiful so I wouldn’t feel too bad for the guy. I definitely didn’t appreciate enough at the time just how much Ennis (and a few other hired guns) contributed much-needed levity and entertainment value during five absolutely dire years in Ottawa. I imagine Coyotes fans feel the same way about—
  • Phil the Thrill! As much as I know I shouldn’t enjoy reading about Phil Kessel because he started his NHL career playing for three of Ottawa’s arch nemeses, I could appreciate these anecdotes from Kessel’s former teammates (including former Senator Shane Hnidy) as he celebrates his newly-minted most games-played consecutively in the NHL streak. Maybe I found Kessel’s ability to bring out the worst in the Toronto media endearing. Maybe I enjoy the thought that both Toronto and Pittsburgh sold Kessel’s stock for less than they initially paid. Either way, 990 consecutive games and 400 goals make for a pretty decent resume.
  • And finally, back on schadenfreude island (Philadelphia) we check in on the least likable coach in the NHL (extremely honourable mention to Peter Laviolette) and his ongoing quest to get paid by NHL teams to sit at home (because he always gets fired mid-contract, see). I can’t fathom how these two have jobs in the NHL while someone like Barry Trotz watches from the stands but then again I don’t understand anything that NHL general managers do. I hope things go terribly for the Flyers regardless and that the Senators can reunite Claude Giroux and Travis Konecny sooner rather than later./

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