Thursday Links, News, and Notes: ZUUUB, Festive Celebrations, and Morrissey for Norris?
After one of the most disheartening losses of the year on Tuesday vs. the Winnipeg Jets, the Ottawa Senators have back-to-back games tonight and Friday to salvage the festive feeling before an extended Christmas break.
The big news, however, was yesterday’s signing of Artem Zub to a four-year extension:
- Graeme Nichols has a nice write-up of the Zub deal over at his Substack, “Rome in a Day”. I thought this paragraph in particular, was spot on:/
After using the 2022 offseason to supplement an excellent young forward core with a few strong and established talents, losing Zub would have undermined a lot of the good work that has been done by exacerbating the roster’s biggest weakness.
More than anything else, the Sens needed to retain Zub, and so almost any deal would be good in that sense. The right side of the Sens’ defense remains the team’s biggest weakness, even with Zub, but now that he’s locked up for the long-term Pierre Dorion has a great foundation upon which to build.
- Speaking of needing to beef up the right side of the defense, Elliotte Friedman mentions that Dorion is still very much working the phone in search of another right-handed defenseman in the latest edition of 32 Thoughts.
- If you can’t get enough Zub content, and who can really, then you can also check Ian Mendes’ piece on the signing for the Athletic
- My personal take on the Zub deal is that the AAV is maybe a tad high but the term is perfect and Ottawa badly needed to retain the player. There’s basically zero chance, barring catastrophic injury, that this contract is an albatross. It strikes me as a deal where everyone can be happy: the Sens lock up a core player at a reasonable-to-good price, and Zub gets a well-earned raise and some stability — especially with his ten team no-trade list. The Sens are ostensibly trying to position themselves to be play-off contenders, and this is the type of contract you sign to help achieve that goal. It’s a tidy bit of work all around.
- In the spirit of the holiday season, Greg Wyshynksi has a gift for every one of the 32 NHL franchises.
- Tuesday’s affair against the Jets is one that most Sens fans will want to forget, but they’ll likely have a hard time forgetting Josh Morrissey’s plan. The Jets’ blueliner is having the type of season that could have him in the conversation for the Norris trophy, according to Travis Yost at TSN.
- Lastly, the NHL announced yesterday that Friday night’s game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Buffalo Sabres has been postponed because of the looming threat of a massive winter storm. This morning, they have taken the action of postponing the Sens Friday night match-up with the Detroit Red Wings as well:/
Friday’s @DetroitRedWings at @Senators game postponed, rescheduled for Feb. 27. pic.twitter.com/SqeBaanGQ0— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) December 22, 2022