Posts Tagged ‘Zdeno Chara’

Web Savvy Hockey Fans Aren’t Always A Good Thing

March 23rd, 2011

As far as sports fans go, the NHL’s are regarded as some of the most web savvy on the planet. It’s probably one of the biggest reasons why the NHL has gained popularity in the US in recent years.

It’s not like the NHL and its teams don’t know this or take advantage of it either. These days virtually every team has an official Twitter account. is cutting edge. The New Jersey Devils invite fans to a social media-charged box during home games. The NHL’s COO John Collins set out to make the best online sports portal in NHL Center Ice and pretty much succeeded. The list goes on and on.

Collins and the NHL have quickly racked up 1.4 Million fans on Facebook too. That’s more than double what Major League Baseball has, despite the fact that hockey is nowhere near as popular as baseball in North America and beyond.

That’s all well and good. The NHL has loyal online fans and has worked some great initiatives to further engage them. All this feel good online love can’t possibly turn to bad… can it?

» Read more: Web Savvy Hockey Fans Aren’t Always A Good Thing

The NHL Just Got Chara’d

March 13th, 2011

About a year ago, when I wrote about a hit in the OHL, I have to admit that I was close to writing a blog proclaiming that someday, an NHL hockey player will be killed on the ice. I’m not talking about a heart attack, or some one-off freak play involving a skate and a jugular vein (a.k.a. Clint Malarchuk and Neck Guards).

Zdeno Chara hitting Max Pacioretty into arena stanchion

Chara on Pacioretty: One hand off the stick, guiding Pacioretty's head into the stanchion.

I’m talking about a collision. Involving players. Perhaps an unmovable board. Or even a moveable iron hockey net. Or how about a stanchion, a term which until last week, wasn’t even in the vocabulary of most casual hockey fans?

» Read more: The NHL Just Got Chara’d

Saturday Chat Roulette Sessions (May 15 edition)

May 15th, 2010

Since last week’s Chat Roulette debut was an awesome success (kidding… more like nonsense…),  I’ve decided to keep my word and continue with this feature. But before getting to the new Chat images, a huge congratulations to the Philadelphia Flyers who staged a truly amazing come back against the Boston Bruins. For the Bruins, it’s going to be a painful summer… *PING* Sorry, but the Bruins hit so many posts/crossbar’s in game 7. It was ridiculous. I can just see this becoming the newest “History will be made” NHL commercial, “What if Philadelphia didn’t fly?”. I even predicted it last night around 8pm EST.

Anyways, we have Chat Roulette escapades of Daniel and Henrik Sedin, Zdeno Chara, Alex Ovechkin and the Boston Bruins this week. Enjoy.'s Chat Roulette feature with the Sedin twins.'s Chat Roulette feature with Zdeno Chara and the Bruins bear's Chat Roulette feature with Alex Ovechkin and Lebron James's Chat Roulette feature with the Boston Bruins

Stay classy, NHL Chat Rouletters.

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1st round Playoff impressions (so far)

April 16th, 2010

Aside from the Chicago-Nashville series (which gets underway tonight), we’re one game into each Conference Quarter-Final series. And so far, I’ve enjoyed every minute of the games I’ve managed to watch. Anyways, I don’t want to waste any more of your time. I’ll get straight to some of my initial thoughts. I’d love to hear some of your Playoff thoughts too.

It Feels Fresh
One thing I’m really happy about this year is some of the refreshing series match-ups. Seeing series like Detroit-Phoenix, Los Angeles-Vancouver and Montreal-Washington is fun. I like the new rivalries that are already starting up (especially in the Kings-Canucks series). The intensity of the Boston-Buffalo series surprised me too. I wasn’t sure to be impressed or concerned with Raffi Torres going after Zdeno Chara last night. Note to the Sabres: it’s probably not wise to start a fight with the Bruins when Chara and Milan Lucic are on the ice.

Not So Fresh
The San Jose Sharks losing the first game of a series in which they have home ice advantage. In the last three seasons, the Sharks have had home ice advantage in the 1st round. They’ve lost all three of those first games. I know it’s early in the series, but that sinking “I thought this was finally the year San Jose would figure it out” feeling came back like a bad STD. Feel free to continue the comparison.

Guaranteed In Life
It seems there are two things as guaranteed as taxes and death in every Playoff year: San Jose struggling and reports of Alex Ovechkin playing hurt. Of course, a speculated Ovechkin injury is often followed up with “he flew his personal trainer from Russia into town… he only does this for injuries…”. Good thing it’s his personal trainer and not that steroid trainer who works in the same building as the Capitals practice rink…

Starting Slow
Speaking of the Capitals, does anyone else think it’s strange that the Capitals Playoffs always start off slow? Last night, most of their forwards (expect Nickolas Backstrom, who was phenomenal) were terrible. Very few of the Caps forwards wanted to get their noses dirty. I’d have played David Steckle and Matt Bradley more than Ovechkin last night, but that’s just me. Although Montreal played very well last night, Washington need to force their speed on the Canadiens defence. Montreal’s big three really came through last night. I expected that from Brian Gionta, but not necessarily from Scott Gomez or Mike Cammalleri. Props to them.

Burrows Is Annoying
Man, was Alex Burrow 50% more annoying last night than most regular season games? It seemed he was trying too hard to start post-season intensity. I liked the dramatic retaliation slash to Drew Doughty at the end of the 2nd period. Other than Burrows, Mikael Samuelsson really stood out to me in last night’s game. Here’s a player who’s learned how to play in the Playoffs and is leading by example in Vancouver. He was terrific in forechecking, hitting and scoring. Considering the contract he signed in July of 2009 and his impact to the Canucks, Samuelsson might be the best UFA signing of last summer. Kudos, Mike Gillis.

Greg “Puck Daddy” Wyshnyski once told me all the headshot/wreckless play nonsense would end come Playoff time. Last night’s Andrew Alberts hit on Brad Richardson might beg to differ. I hope this is an anomaly or I fear I may have to call Greg a liar. You should remind him on Twitter. Just saying. (Note: I have mad respect for Greg. This is a joke. But you should still harass him on Twitter).

What caught your eye? I’m looking forward to a great weekend of hockey! Also, it’s my birthday (and Fantana’s) on Sunday. Email me for instructions and ideas on what kind of gifts I’d like.

Stay classy, NHL Playoffs. I’m hooked so far!

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Hall, Seguin, and Fowler – Who should the bottom teams draft?

January 13th, 2010

Earlier this week, the mid-season NHL Central Scouting Rankings were released for the upcoming 2010 Entry Draft in Los Angeles. To no one’s surprise, the rankings are headlined by Taylor Hall, Tyler Seguin, and Cam Fowler.

The notable change from the Fall Scouting Rankings is that Taylor Hall is now listed as the top North-American prospect, ahead of Seguin (who was previously the top regarded prospect) and Fowler (who’s ‘stuck’ as the 3rd best prospect). I don’t know the ins and outs of the ranking system and how it works, but I’m guessing Hall’s impact and performance at the 2010 World Junior Championship has a lot to do with the climb over Seguin (who didn’t make this year’s Canadian Junior team).

While it seems almost certain Taylor Hall will be the number one selection, it’s not as clear who will be selected 2nd and 3rd overall. Assuming the current three worst teams in the NHL – Carolina Hurricanes, Edmonton Oilers, and Toronto Maple Leafs – end up with the top three picks at the draft, the pecking order might change depending on the various needs of each team and how Seguin/Fowler address those needs. Let’s take a closer look at the various holes each of these teams and how Hall, Seguin, or Fowler can help Carolina, Edmonton, or Boston.

Carolina Hurricanes
The ‘surging’ Hurricanes have picked up their play recently and have won 4-straight games. If they continue their better play, they may not get the 1st overall selection.

Current Needs: NHL-ready youth; scoring depth; speed
Top Prospects: Zach Boychuk (F), Drayson Bowman (F), Jamie McBain (D)
Interesting Notes: All three of Carolina’s prospects listed above are playing on the Hurricanes AHL affiliate team and doing fairly well. The biggest weakness in Carolina’s prospect pool is on right wing and none of the top 5 ranked players are natural right-wingers.

Given the market the Hurricanes play in, they need all the flair and excitement possible. If Taylor Hall isn’t available (the idea of Hall learning the ropes from Eric Staal must be very appealing for ‘Canes fans) , the next best option is Tyler Seguin. Carolina’s defensive prospects – McBain, Brett Carson, and Kyle Lawson give them enough of a reason to select a high impact forward, if possible. Selecting Cam Fowler 3rd overall (assuming Edmonton and Boston get the first 2 picks) wouldn’t be a bad thing either, but the priority should be on skilled forwards.

Edmonton Oilers
The way the Oilers are playing right now, they look to be a lock for 30th in the NHL and hold the best odds to win the 1st overall pick.

Current Needs: Forwards with size, reliable puck-moving defensemen
Top Prospects: Jordan Eberle (F), Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson (F), Riley Nash (F)
Interesting Notes: The Oilers already have two gems as prospects in Eberle and Svensson. The addition of a player of Taylor Hall could help establish a very potent Oilers offense in the future.

If the Oilers end up with the 1st overall pick, selecting Taylor Hall is a no-brainer – he’s a potential franchise player. However, if they get the 2nd or 3rd pick, I’d think selecting Cam Fowler would be the next best move. The Oilers could use a high end puck moving defenseman who can dictate a game’s speed and can get pucks to their forwards.  The Oilers don’t have nearly the same quality of defensive prospects as they do forwards.

Boston Bruins (one of the 1st round picks the Toronto Maple Leafs gave up for Phil Kessel)
The Bruins are having a pretty good season when you consider the void Phil Kessel left and the injuries to Marc Savard and Milan Lucic. The Bruins certainly don’t need a top 3 pick this summer, but will be more than happy to take it (and the one next summer) to help better their franchise for years to come.

Current Needs: Scoring depth… umm, not much else actually (nice one, Brian Burke)
Top Prospects: Brad Marchand (F), Zach Hamill (F), Jordan Caron (F), Yuri Alexandrov (D), Joel Colborne (F)
Interesting Notes: Kudos to GM Peter Chiarelli on the savy move in acquiring two 1st round draft picks (and a 2011 2nd round pick) from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for Phil Kessel. The Bruins are one of the only teams in the league that can legitimately afford to lose a top scoring forward and still be a playoff-bound team.

I really think the best team (of the three listed) for Cam Fowler would be the Boston Bruins. The depth the Bruins have on defense is far superior to that of Edmonton and Carolina and would provide the perfect landscape for Fowler to develop and learn the NHL without any immediate pressure (just think of Fowler learning from Dennis Wideman and Zdeno Chara!). The Bruins are deep down the middle with Patrice Bergeron and Marc Savard occupying most of the center minutes in any given game. However, I’m sure they could make room for Hall or Seguin by either moving them to wing or doing so with an existing roster player.

No matter who these top prospects go to, that team is better off for it. In saying that, there are certainly better fits for some than others. It should come as no surprise that the Bruins don’t need either of the three stars, while the Oilers and Hurricanes could use them all. It will be interesting to see if Boston keeps this pick or if it’s traded to better their team for a long Stanley Cup run. I hear the Leafs could use the pick.

Stay classy, Hurricanes, Oilers, and Bruins/Leafs.

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Marc Savard resigns with the Boston Bruins – Did anybody notice?

December 4th, 2009

On Wednesday, the Boston Bruins re-signed their top centre to a 7 year contract worth $28.05 Million. This breaks down to a surprisingly cap-friendly hit of only $4.007 Million per season. Wow!

Here’s how Savard’s new contract, which begins next season, breaks down:

  • $7 Million in each of the first two seasons (years 1 and 2)
  • $6.5 Million in year 3
  • $5 Million in year 4
  • $1.5 Million in year 5
  • $525k in each of the final two seasons (years 6 and 7)
Classy contract for Marc Savard of the Boston Bruins

Classy contract for Marc Savard of the Boston Bruins

I have two thoughts about this new contract. First of all, on behalf of hockey fans worldwide, I’d like to applaud Marc Savard for signing this contract. A couple weeks ago, it was a rumoured that Boston were close to finalizing a contract with Savard that would be worth roughly $39 Million over 7 years, which would’ve worked out to a cap hit of roughly $5.5 Million a year. When I heard that rumour, I thought that was a fantastic deal for Boston, as Marc Savard could’ve easily commanded $6-7 Million per year on the open-market. And now we find out that the real cap hit of Savvy’s new contract will be $4 Million per season. For a player of Savard’s caliber, this is unbelievable. Bruins GM, Peter Chiarelli, has probably scored the biggest coup of his career with this deal. It’s also nice to see a player work out a contract that is not only cap-friendly, but that is fair and not overly greedy. However, it’s really weird that virtually nobody in the hockey world paid much attention to this. Hopefully the fans in Boston took more notice of this, as Savard’s absence this season put a huge hole in Boston’s offense and he would’ve been severely missed had he opted for free agency.

When Sidney Crosby took a “hometown discount” and signed for an annual cap hit of $8.7 Million, that really pissed me off. I understand that he’s one of the top 3 players in the world, but how can any hockey player say that an $8.7 Million salary is a discount, especially when that amounts to over 15% of his team’s annual salary cap? Crosby could’ve signed for $10 Million a year, but he said he wanted to save the Penguins some money. It’s noble, but I don’t really see how the $1.3 Million savings will allow Pittsburgh to produce a better team. Yet, with Savard’s deal, he’s clearly placed a greater importance on winning than on how much money he earns. A $4 Million cap hit leaves Boston plenty of wiggle room to re-sign their other key talent over the next few years. In the next two seasons, the contracts for Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron, Derek Morris, Blake Wheeler, Michael Ryder and Marco Sturm will all expire and new contracts will need to be negotiated. Thanks to Savard’s steal-of-a-deal, Chiarelli will have lots of extra room to work with. Good news for Bruins fans, bad news for Ottawa and Toronto fans as they have to play the Bruins 6 times each season.

My second thought about this contract is that the NHL needs to step up – and fast! Scroll up and take another look at how this contract breaks down. Boston got a great deal on the cap hit, but they don’t exactly get a great deal on the first 4 years of the contract. It’s no surprise that this contract is front-loaded and I have no problem with that. My problem lies in the fact that Savard is currently 32 years old and will be 38 in year 6 of this deal and 39 in the final year, conveniently when the salary levels decrease dramatically. In these final two years of his contract, Marc Savard will essentially be earning the league’s minimum salary. Upon signing the new contract, Savard stated in his press conference that he planned to play all 7 seasons, but who can tell that far in advance? What if he gets hurt or doesn’t feel like playing hockey anymore? Most NHL players, even elite caliber players, aren’t still playing hockey at 38 or 39 years old. So if Savard retires before those final two seasons, doesn’t hurt the Bruins financially because his cap hit will already have counted as $4M in each of the previous 5 seasons he played, when in reality, Boston will have already paid out $27 Million in that time. That would actually average out to $5.4 Million per season – that’s a notable difference.

If I were an NHL GM, I’d probably be signing these types of deals all the time too. For now, they’re legal and the players seem to be willing to sign them. But I think it’s time the NHL wised up and put a stop to this. I know these types of topics are generally reserved for Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) discussions, but since we’re always hearing about those General Manager meetings, it would be great to see this topic get tabled at one of those. I’ve said it before in previous blogs, but I just don’t think it’s fair that a team can have a player leave his contract early but still have the advantage of the friendlier cap hit from the original length of the deal. I have two suggestions for the NHL as a way to rectify this looming problem, before it becomes a nightmare.

  1. Put a ‘cap’ (ha!) on the length of the contract. For example, no contracts can be longer than 7 years, and no contract can be signed for longer than 5 years if they player is 30 or older when signing the contract.
  2. No contract can decrease by more than 50% in salary from one year to the other. In Savard’s case, his contract drops by 70% from year 4 to year 5, and drops again 65% from year 5 to year 6. That’s too big of a drop-off from one season to the next and it presents an opportunity for the player to retire/leave the team early while the team takes advantage of the lower cap hit. If you look at Henrik Zetterberg’s contract in Detroit, this suggestion would really change the structure of his contract and make it a less ridiculous. Zetterberg’s contracts drops from $7 Million to $3.35 Million, to $1 Million, year-over-year, at the very end of the contract.

At the end of the day, the NHL needs to do something to either change or re-structure the way these long-term contracts are being signed because teams will continue to bend the rules and push the boundaries of the CBA, as long as they’re allowed to.

On the flipside, I’d thrilled to see that Marc Savard took the classy road and signed for an extremely fair amount of money. Hopefully, more professional athletes follow Savard’s lead and realize that they don’t need to squeeze every last dollar from their team and its owner (s). An average of $4 Million per season to play hockey is still a very nice way to earn a living. And if that allows your team the financial flexibility to keep a strong roster intact, then that’s just even better.

Your Reporter in the Field,


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Taking a stand!

October 20th, 2009

In the world of sports today, often times the concept of team is overshadowed by individuals.  Everyone knows who Terrell Owens, Manny Ramirez, and Shaq are.  These players have a bloated sense of self-importance.  When their play doesn’t grab headlines, the act out like an impetuous child to get attention.  Throwing fellow teammates under the bus, airing team laundry in public, and demanding trades shows exactly how much they have forgotten (to steal a line from Herb Brooks) that the name on the front of the jersey is the hell of a lot more important than the one on the back.  These players are getting out of control.

I’d like to take this opportunity to commend the NHL on taking a stand.  The NHL has devoted the entire month of October to combat this trend.  ”Hockey Fights Cancer” sprung out of a need that arose this summer.  When Dany Heatley thew his baby fit and demanded a trade multiple times because he wanted to be “the guy”,  the powers that be knew they needed to act and bring the pain.  Hockey players are widely known as the most down to earth, friendly, and humble guys in sports.  To have this threatened by the likes of an entitled winger acting like the love child of Kanye West and Whitney Houston had to be stopped.   Ok, Hockey Fights Cancer really is about fighting something way more important than Dany Heatley, but if he wants to elevate his level of importance, ok, let’s go there.

Kudos goes out to Alex Ovechkin, Tim Thomas, Jeff Carter and Sidney Crosby for participating in the Hockey Fights Cancer ads.  Way to demonstrate your good attitudes and willingness to stand up for what is right boys!

NHL Fights Cancer with Alex Ovechkin, Jeff Carter, Sidney Crosby and Tim Thomas, among others

NHL Fights Cancer with Alex Ovechkin, Jeff Carter, Sidney Crosby and Tim Thomas, among others

The fundamental breakdown in Heatley’s understanding of what being “the man” is centers around the fact that his brain hasn’t matured past the age of 14.  He thinks that scoring goals, getting power play time, and winning makes you “the man”.  He must think that doing those things makes you important and beloved.  Those make a you pretty great hockey player, but they don’t make you “the man”.

Vincent Lecavalier donating 3 million dollars to build a pediatric cancer and blood disorders center makes him “the man”.

Zdeno Chara donating and working for Right to Play, travelling to Mozambique to see the good that the organization is doing for children makes him “the man”.

Even the little things make someone “the man”.  Shane Doan stopping to talk to a disabled teen after practice, and not only giving the kid his stick, but taking it back to the locker room and getting other players to sign the stick before bringing it back out for him.  That makes you “the man”.

These are the things that make players beloved and leave a lasting impression.  In 30 years, you’ll barely be a memory, Heatley.  It’s the work you do and your attitude outside the rink that make people remember you after you are gone.

Stay classy, Zdeno Chara, Vincent Lecavalier, Shane Doan, and all the NHL players helping with the NHL Fights Cancer effort.

Thanks for stopping by Dany Healtey, but don’t come back, k?

Veronica Corningstone

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This Town is a break-you-town and bring-you-down-town

October 15th, 2009

You know who is probably more excited that there’s a game tonight than I am: the Ottawa Senators themselves.

Not to quote Frank Sinatra too much, but as he once sang in his classic song:

This town is a lonely town
Not the only town like-a this town
This town is a make-you town
Or a break-you-town and bring-you-down town

This town is a quiet town
Or a riot town like this town
This town is a love-you town
And a shove-you-down and push-you-’round town

This town is an all-right town
For an uptight town like-a this town
This town, it’s a use-you town
An abuse-you town until-you’re-down town

There, I got that out of my system. But in all seriousness, that’s what Ottawa is. You’d almost think that Frank was singing about Ottawa and the woes of being a hockey player here when he belted out those lyrics.

The Senators lost on Monday (not sure if everyone in town knows that yet), and they’ve had three days off to talk about everything that went wrong when they faced the Stanley Cup Champions who just happen to remain undefeated on the road and have beat some very good teams in the process. But hey, that doesn’t matter right?

I’ve taken a look at the schedule though, and I’ve got some healthy advice for the Sens on what games should be designated must-wins. That way we don’t need to talk about the sky falling anymore.

Saturday October 17- Ottawa Senators @ Montreal Canadiens

- 5 days off in between games. And it’s Montreal. If we don’t win this one, the media will be calling for Bryan Murray to bring in more players of Ryan Shannon’s stature, and bumping up Erik Karlsson to play more than 30 minutes a game. As well, Pascal Leclaire will be asked to smoke as many cigarettes as possible, while putting his fist through a wall

Saturday October 24- Ottawa Senators vs. Boston Bruins

- Another 4 days off in between games, but if Ottawa loses this one, they’ll likely be subject to several editorials suggesting that Ottawa could use a player of Zdeno Chara’s stature. Cue the fans calling for Jared Cowen to make the trip from Spokane immediately.

Tuesday December 1- Ottawa Senators @ San Jose Sharks

- There’s not a lot of time in between games here, but if Ottawa loses this game, expect the Jason Spezza/Joe Thornton comparisons to resonate across the continent. Strangely, nothing will be mentioned about Dany Heatley.

Sunday February 14- Ottawa Senators @ New York Islanders

- The last game before the Olympics and the Ottawa Senators have to play the New York Islanders. I’ll be watching the Olympics for the next two weeks, but I don’t want to hear a word about how Ottawa couldn’t close it against the Islanders.

Tuesday March 9- Ottawa Senators @ Edmonton Oilers

- It’s time for Ottawa to march into Rexall Place, and show Penner, Smid, and Cogliano what they’ve been missing and that they should have pressed Dany Heatley harder to waive his no-trade clause. Also, if they lose this one, expect to hear why Pat Quinn should have been named head coach here in Ottawa after hugging the Eugene Melnyk at the World Juniors last January.

Tuesday March 23- Ottawa Senators vs. Philadelphia Flyers

- 3 days off in between games here, but if Ottawa loses this one, I expect that the fans will be calling for Bryan Murray to trade for this Ray Emery character that Philadelphia just pulled out of the KHL. He’s probably pretty affordable, no?

Saturday April 10- Ottawa Senators vs. Buffalo Sabres

- Other than the fact that this could make or break the playoff standings in the Eastern Conference, nobody wants to lose their last game of the season, and listen to all the doubters talking about why Ottawa doesn’t stand a chance in the first round.

So there you have if folks. The must-win games for Ottawa. I will say this though; Ottawa tends to play better when people expect them to lose. I’m not sure if it’s because they’re playing above expectations, or if they actually play better with a chip on their shoulder. So maybe they shouldn’t listen to me at all.

Stay classy, knee-jerk Ottawa fans.

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Hey, we were Truculent first!

October 6th, 2009

There’s something so funny to me about watching Toronto Maple Leafs fans celebrate the arrival of Brian Burke and his emphasis on pugnacity, truculence, belligerence and testosterone (I bet that is the worst smelling locker room in the NHL by the way). Anyways, you’d think they’d discovered the secret of life the way they harp on those four keywords. But given that the Battle of Ontario resumes tonight, don’t you think it would be fitting to show Leafs fans that we were here first?

[puhg-ney-shuh s]
inclined to quarrel or fight readily;

Well lookie here. I hate to use it so soon, but how about the old Bryan McCabe vs. Zdeno Chara just for fun. And be sure to look at the lack of pugnacity in blue.

Look at that. Six feet and 9 inches of pugnacity. And we had him first.

[truhk-yuh-luh nt]
1. fierce; cruel; savagely brutal.
2. brutally harsh; vitriolic; scathing: his truculent criticism of her work.
3. aggressively hostile;

We did this to you guys way sooner then you’ll do to us. Captain Daniel Alfredsson to the rescue here:

Idiot Tucker should have heard the Truculent Train coming behind him.

[buh-lij-er-uh nt]
1. warlike; given to waging war.
2. of warlike character; aggressively hostile; bellicose: a belligerent tone.
3. waging war; engaged in war: a peace treaty between belligerent powers.
4. pertaining to war or to those engaged in war: belligerent rights.

Um, at first I was going to throw up our Spartan introduction, given his warlike characteristics, but I like this one more:

And seriously, even our mascot is more warlike.


So I’m not really sure why Burke had to add testosterone to his speech about the team he was going to build. That’s sort of a suggestion that you previously had women playing for your team. So I looked into it, found a few videos, and as it turns out, you did have women playing for your team. I saw one on Battle of the Blades the other night. That’s awkward.

Stay classy, Battle of Ontario.

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Top ten players the Senators want back

October 3rd, 2009

You don’t know what you’ve got until its gone. Crappy song, but truer words were never spoken.

Ottawa, like many other teams in this league, is beginning to build a rolodex of players that I’m sure they would love to have back. While there’s been a number of players we were glad to see go (I’m looking at you Alexei…. Kaigorodov, not Yashin), Ray Emery’s shutout on Friday was a classic example of a player that maybe we should have held onto.

So in celebration of Ray Emery’s shutout and return to the NHL, it’s time to countdown the Top Ten Players that the Ottawa Senators maybe should have reconsidered letting go.

10.  Dany Heatley

- I may take some flack for this one, but Dany Heatley will probably be a guy down the road that Ottawa would still love to have. As much as I’d like to think he’s going to be a minus – 246 over the rest of the season, it’s really not likely. Heatley should continue to put up dominating goal totals, and be the natural goal scorer we already knew he was. Even though we don’t want to believe it anymore.

9.  Patrick Eaves

- Patrick Eaves will probably be a player that Ottawa looks at in a couple years, and wonder what they were thinking when they let him walk. And you can’t blame Murray entirely for the deal he made. On paper, it was an oft-injured Eaves for a healthy Cory Stillman, in a year that Ottawa was trying to prove that they had to magic to make it to the Cup Finals again. While Eaves never put up huge numbers in Ottawa, he always reflected the “potential” that Ottawa wanted. It will be interesting to see what he does in Detroit now.

8.  Dean McAmmond

- Poor Deaner really got run out of this town with very little fanfare. The problem with that, I find, is that Dean McAmmond was a hugely important player in Ottawa’s run to the Finals. His fourth line, and Peter over at Silver Seven Sens does a fantastic job highlighting this, was the best fourth line in the playoffs that year. Dean was the key component in that lineup, and he even went as far as to drop the gloves in the first round. I still maintain that losing him to that Chris Pronger elbow was a huge blow to the Sens. In fact, if you look at the series, they never really recovered.

7.  Pavol Demitra

- Ottawa may have never given Pavol Demitra the chance he deserved. After being drafted by the Senators, Demitra only played a few games with the Senators. And considering the quality of that team, that’s not saying much. The guy only recorded 24 points with the Senators before holding out and moving on. Across the league, he’s now recorded 752 points in about 819 games played. Not sure if he ever would have put up the same points here in Ottawa, but certainly he’s a player that Ottawa could have used to put them over the top.

6.  Alexandre Daigle

- I know it seems like a weird thing to be putting here, but I think that Alex always gets the rough treatment because he never lived up to his billing as a 1st overall draft pick. He did bring some conceit, and had very little to follow it up with, but he certainly settled into a positive role in his later years as an NHL player. I think he could have provided the depth that Ottawa would have really appreciated. After those years with the Senators, and some ups and downs with the Philadelphia Flyers, Daigle settled into a very positive role with the Minnesota Wild as a third line, two-way player. With the Wild, he recorded 79 points in 124 games. Not bad, as long as you don’t think of him as that 1st round pick.

5.  Ray Emery

- It’s not entirely conclusive that Ray Emery is a player that the Senators might want back, but many people who actually follow hockey, rather than rumours, know that Ray Emery was a good goalie. He was put into two (that’s right, two) awful situations as a Senator. The first was when John Muckler saw fit to sign Martin Gerber, despite Emery showing his ability to carry the team. And the second was when Paddock handed the reigns to Gerber during Emery’s off-season surgery, just to pad the stats of a hot team. Emery had every right to be a bit perturbed about the latter, and it was reflected in his play. He should have a solid season in Philadelphia this year, and give them the best goaltending they’ve had since Ron Hextall.

4.  Tom Preissing

- Since he left Ottawa, Preissing really hasn’t had a chance to thrive. But this is a player that Ottawa probably regrets letting walk. Yes his contract was too steep for Ottawa, but Preissing represented a great puck moving defencemen that the Senators could have used last season. He did fold a bit in the Finals in 2007, and was a small guy, but this will probably be the first season since he left that Ottawa will have that mobility on the back end. Preissing, who can’t be faulted for taking that big contract with LA, is a guy that could have thrived in Ottawa under the right monetary situation.

3.  Martin Havlat

- It might be hard to believe that Martin Havlat is missed here in Ottawa, but this was the secondary scoring that Ottawa has been talking about ever since he left. He could, even before taking a stupid penalty or suspension, single handidly steal a game for the Sens. Remember that playoff series against the Tamba Bay Lightning when he posted 10 points against Lecavalier, St. Louis, Richards and Co.? Havlat represented the speedy second line forward that Ottawa has continually tried to find since Muckler saw fit to bring in Hennessy and Barinka.

2.  Marian Hossa

- You know, this time last year, he probably wouldn’t have made this list. But Marian Hossa, much like Havlat, has represented a player that Ottawa could have tipped the balance in favour of Ottawa. All that said, Ottawa would never had added the scoring depth of Heatley, without getting rid of Hossa, but in his time away from the Senators, he has had a chance to go to the Stanley Cup Finals twice. And while we’ve taken every opportunity to make fun of Hossa on this blog, he still is a player that Ottawa Senators fans would love to still have wearing the SENS on his chest.

1.  Zdeno Chara

- What more can you say. Chara, after a lack lustre start in Boston, has become the player that we remember him as, and more. And Muckler let him walk. There’s plenty of speculation as to why Chara left, Chara is one player that Ottawa will always be able to look at and regret losing. He’s still a monster in this league, has a huge shot, is willing to step up for his teammates, and he probably kept Baton Rouge in business because of his love of ribs. All this to say, Chara should remain number one of this list for years to come.

Stay classy, departed Senators.

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