Sunday, August 28, 2005

Sens trade history 

Chris at Hockey Country has a great (and lengthy) history of the big trades in Sens history. Funny to see a few names from the PEI Sens days too.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Thanks Hossa, welcome Heatley 

I stepped outside coming out of work this afternoon and I heard a train, and train whistle, in the distance. Sounding like a goal horn, I subconsciously added the Hossa, Hossa, Hossa post-goal song afterward.

I'm going to miss Hossa. He's always been a favourite. I think amidst his negotiations, and from having not seen him lately, many Sens fans have been underestimating Hossa recently. Not that he's worth 6 million per, but he's better than many have been giving him credit for lately (on this afternoon's call in show for instance). People seem to have forgotten his physical presence - he's extremely strong on the puck and unafraid to go into the corners. He's also got blazing speed and hands soft as buttah. He may yet lead the leage in scoring. Listening to the TEAM1200 this afternoon you would have thought that he was more Petr Klima than Peter Forsberg (which he may yet become).

He was one of the Sens better playoff performers over the last couple of years. He didn't back down and he created his chances despite the heavier traffic. Who can forget his goal against the Flyers in the 2003 playoffs? I also recall him laying out a nice hits last playoff round with the Leafs.

I'll certainly miss Hossa's play and he's a tough guy to see leave.

That said, I'm absolutely estatic to see Heatley coming to Ottawa. I'm elated. I'm thrilled. I'm psyched. I'm pumped. I'm speechless.

This is the trade that just may entice me to renew my ticket package despite having spent a year being screwed by the NHL. I'm just that excited right now. The Sens would be wise to get on the horn and lock me in now before I calm down.

I liked Heatley as a Thrasher (and Canadian team member), I think I'll love him as a Senator. That Muckler could clear over 8 million of cap room and end up with Heatley is... well it warms the cockles of my heart.

Prior to "The Accident", Dany Heatley was emerging as one of the premier players in the league. 40+ goals. Nearly 90 points. While some have doubts about his physical and mental state since his return, he showed no such signs of trouble (25 points in 31 games). Perhaps a change of scenery is the spark he needs to return to his spot as on of the best young talents, or talents period, in the league.

(That's brief on Heatley, I know, but there will surely be much more in the coming weeks until, and then through the season.)

Hossa to Atlanta?! 

Holy Crap!!!!

This trade all hinges on who the defenceman is:

Devries = Good trade (although I'll miss Hossa)
Phillips or Volchenkov = Muckler needs to be fired

More later, I'm sure.


First, the good news: Marian Hossa is locked up for the next 3 years.

Now, the bad news, courtesy of the zero-sum game environment of the new NHL: It cost 18 mil over three years to get him signed. Someone's going to have to go. With both Redden and Chara up for UFA next year, not everyone's going to fit under the cap (assuming league revenues are down this year and the cap doesn't go up). One last shot at the Cup with the full crew (assuming Muckler doesn't trade one before to get something in return). Carpe Diem, boys.

This is also a deal based partly on expectations and potential rather than simply past production. The Senators expect Hossa to continue improving and growing into an even great impact player.
The onus is now on Hossa to prove it was a good deal.

Update: removed link to the signing story since it now links to the trade story.


In other news, the great Mardi Gras experiment of 2005 has officially come to an end. I was not a big fan of the promotion, but I was even less of a fan of the endless talk about it. Now city councillors can move on to the task of squeezing the last remaining ounce of fun from the pre-game environment by cracking down on tailgating. Sheeesh. And people wonder why Ottawa is seen as the town fun forgot.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


Yay PEI. If they put a case of Keiths at the finish line, wins like this would happen much more often.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Link roundup 

Time to clean up the link stash:

Gades notes 

Whoda thunk it? With the Alouettes' win over the Argos last night, the Renegades retain sole possession of first place in the Eastern division 8 games into the season. It was an exciting and occasionally nerve-wracking game on Thurday night. A few notes:

- I've yet to see the interception in the end zone on the Gades second drive. It was into (IIRC) Yo Murphy's hands and as we started to celebrate the 14-0 lead, the Riders fans in the neighbourhood made sure to let us know that it was instead a INT. None of the highlight shows replayed it, but it must have been a great rip out of Murphy's hands.

- has there ever been such a dramatic turnaround in a defence in one year? The D, especially the secondary, has gone from extremely suspect to spectacular. Their ability to whip out the big play on demand is uncanny.

- Jason Armstead made a spectacular drag and lunge for what should have been a first down. Unfortunately, the ref gave a brutal spot and they had to convert on 3rd.

- will the real Matt Kellett please stand up, please stand up.... Slim Shady (chances of putting it through the uprights lately). Take good care of that groin Matt (not like that), we're going to need you to make some kicks at some point.

- the Sask D did a great job stopping Josh Ranek

- the brutal "Sweet Caroline" lounge singer was gone. Possibly as pennance for booing him off the field last game, the music department did its best to take the crowd out of the game by playing hurtin' songs from the 1950s through the first half. With the sole exception of the eternally cool Man in Black, the tune selection left most fans scratching their head.

- A very cool story from the maintainer of the super-useful Ottawa Renegades Fan Page. I'm going to include it here since the front page content changes pretty freqently and as far as I can tell it's not archived. You should go visit anyway. Anything you need to know about the Gades (roster moves, neg lists, awards, stats, etc.) is all there. His encounter is a great example of why the CFL is so fan friendly:

Thanks you to the folks who showed up at our tailgate last night. We weren't quite as visible as I would have liked, since I couldn't fly the Renegade Nation flag as well as I wanted (or at all, for that matter) but I appreciate the effort and hope to see you again down the road. I guess it'll be a ways down the road since the next home game isn't until September 8th. Yikes.
I want to take a second to thank WR
Yo Murphy for doing something extremely cool for our little group. Yo always gets a warm welcome from Renegade Nation as he drives into the stadium to which he typically responds with a smile, a wave, and a honk of his car horn.
Yesterday afternoon, he responded by bringing us a case of drinks.
As you can imagine, that was totally unexpected and appreciated (and put to good use). A big part of the appeal of the CFL is its accesibility, and Murphy obviously gets that. Many thanks

Very cool indeed.

Next up yet another radio-only game on Friday, in the Peg, against the Blue Bombers.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

New Sens blog in da house 

In catching up with all my hockey blog reading (all 400 posts or so over about 30 feeds - still working on it) I came across a new hockey/Sens blog.

Welcome to Chris at Hockey Country (now on my sidebar too).

Gasp! A Sens post (a.k.a. return of the dodo)! 

"Just when I thought that I was out they pull me back in."- Michael Corleone, The Godfather III
I can't help myself. Despite the NHL's best efforts to bore hockey fans to states ranging from indifference to hostility with the lockout, I can't help myself. After a year of falling into a deep sleep, the NHL draft and free agent scramble have hit like a shot of adrenaline to Mia Wallace's breastplate (whether my revived interest will translate to Senator ticket sales is still very uncertain).

It all started with the draft lottery. Despite the NHL's attempt to piss away a great promotional opportunity by keeping it under wraps, the televised announcement of the lottery would have made for riveting television, had it not been on while I was still at work. The Next One went to the Pens, apparently bringing Bill Gates' cheque book with him for the free agent season ($3 mil over 3 yrs for Andre Fricken Roy - I liked him here in Ottawa, but that's way too much for a goon with decent hands and a good slapshot - big bucks for a team that's been on the verge of collapse for the last few years)

The hottest rumour here in Ottawa was the apparently imminent signing of former Bruin Martin Lapointe. Lapointe is the kind of player we need more of, would have been nice pick-up, but not at the 2.4 million per/3 years that the Hawks got him for. Darren McCarty at 800k on the other hand...that would have been a nice pick-up.

There has been much gnashing of teeth about the fact that the Sens have yet to plunge into the market. It's human nature to want to jump into the fun, but if you step back and think about it, the Sens will be fine if they can just take care of their own RFAs. Not all that exciting, but maybe we'll see a few holes plugged after the dust settles.

In other news, the Ray Emery era has begun. While Martin Prusek was generally solid and occasionally spectacular in the backup role, it's time for Emery to make the next step. Having a goalie tandem of a rusty 40-year old and an untested rookie feels a bit like stepping off a cliff, but then again maybe plunging off a cliff may be less painful than the crashing into brick walls that marked the Lalime era. Hasek and Emery might run off the cliff and run right across the gorge a la Roadrunner, or they might plunge to a grisly and gruesome end a la Wile E. Coyote. It's the question that will keep me on the edge of my seat this season.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Snatching victory from the jaws of defeat 

Hopped in the car on the way home from softball and post-game, just in time to hear the dying seconds of the first half of the Gades/Riders game Friday night. The Gades were down 9-2 and lucky to be down only that according to The Voice's grim tone. Seconds later, Kory Banks picked off yet another pass in the end zone, and the Gades went to the half down only that single TD.

Dozed in and out of the second half (and the book I was reading) but was awake enough to catch the Gades improved offense in the third quarter and spectacular defensive flip over the back lateral TD.

Not much more to say about the game at the moment other than to say it was nice to hear the Gades getting some good breaks for a change. More soon...