Archive for Ottawa Senators

NHL Final Standings Predictions – EAST

Posted in Hockey with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 26, 2009 by FEGNS

nhl east standings -(3.26.2009)

UPDATE: Check out my Western Conference Predictions Here.

With just under 10 games left (give or take a couple of games) for most teams in the NHL, I decided that I’d take a crack at figuring out what the final standings (and therefore the first round of the playoffs) will look like in a couple of weeks.

This is the first post (of two) on this topic… here we’ll discuss the Eastern Conference and what might end up happening in the closing weeks of the regular season.  The Western Conference analysis will be up in a day or two, so check back for it.

Pictured to the right is the current playoff picture in the eastern conference (as of the morning of 3.26.2009)…

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NHL 2009 Trade Deadline

Posted in Hockey with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 4, 2009 by FEGNS

With the NHL Trade Deadline fast approaching at 3:00 pm eastern time today (which as I write this, is roughly 3 hours from now), I thought I’d take a second out from hitting the refresh button on my web browser over and over to write up an analysis of some of the significant things that have happened in the last day or two.

NY RANGERS

The Rangers acquired “bad boy” W Sean Avery (pictured right) via waivers yesterday afternoon, and are now committed to him for the next three seasons.  Three seasons may seem like a like a long time for any team to commit to this guy, but NY seems to be the perfect fit for his extracurricular passions, and his loud mouth persona.  

The wild card in this situation is that Avery has a conditional no trade clause in his contract from the Dallas Stars… If the Rangers do get tired of him before his 3 years are up, it will be that much more difficult for them to move him.  That said, Avery’s antics have rendered him pretty much unwanted by the majority of NHL teams at this point, so trading partners would probably be limited to start with.

No trade clauses aside, this deal was just too good for the Rangers to pass up.  Consider that the juiciest part of this deal is the fact that Avery’s cap hit for the Rangers is only $1.938 million (as the Dallas Stars are charged with half of Avery’s salary and cap hit).  Avery left NY this past off-season solely because he wanted more money than the Rangers wanted to give him.  Well now he’s getting the money that he wanted, and the Rangers get their guy for the price that they wanted.  WIN-WIN.  Great pickup by the Rangers.  He should fit in nicely with a core group of guys that has already accepted him for who he is.

COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS & OTTAWA SENATORS

The Ottawa Senators traded W/C Antoine Vermette (pictured right) to Columbus for G Pascal Leclaire and a 2nd round draft pick.

This is potentially a good deal for both teams involved.  Vermette gives the Blue Jackets more offensive depth, and Leclaire gives the Senators a decent goalie (when healthy). 

I actually think that this deal could have been done without the draft pick, but kudos to Ottawa for getting that extra icing on their cake.

Vermette can play pretty much any forward position, and gives the Jackets a reliable face-off man (something teams need come playoff time), and a guy with great offensive skills and potential.  The Senators get a quality goalie with injury concerns but who can be a franchise goaltender when healthy.

While Leclaire (pictured left) will still likely miss the rest of this season, time will tell how well he does in Ottawa.  The last quality goalie that Ottawa acquired was Martin Gerber, and we’ve seen how that has worked out for the Senators.  The top 60 overall draft choice that they got in the deal will help lessen the blow if Leclaire does turn out to be a bust or injury case in the coming years for the Senators.

Good hockey deal by both sides.  The goaltending load in Columbus (now and in the future) is now squarely on rookie Steve Mason’s shoulders.

NYI trade Comrie and Campoli to Ottawa

Posted in Hockey with tags , , , , , , , on February 21, 2009 by FEGNS

Yesterday the New York Islanders traded center Mike Comrie (pictured left) and defender Chris Campoli to the Ottawa Senators in exchange for forward Dean McAmmond and a very late first-round 2009 draft pick.

This deal is an interesting one because the teams involved are all but out of playoff contention at this point.  Ottawa is 13 points in the standings away from a playoff spot, and the Islanders are a whopping 26 points in the standings away from a playoff berth.   

So what’s the benefit of this deal to both squads?  Well… after signing defender Mark Streit in the off season, the NY Islanders seem to have found their franchise powerplay quarterback of the future.  Campoli had a good year last season but has faded this year for the Islanders, and has become quite the defensive liability.  Both of these things make him expendable at this point for the NYI.

Ottawa, on the other hand, let all their marquis defenders go over the past few years, and now have terrible troubles on both the powerplay, and in transition.  In the 23 year old Campoli, they are giving themselves another option on the back end, that will hopefully pay off in the next couple of years.

Comrie and McAmmond are both unrestricted free agents this summer, and I’d be quite surprised if either of them resigns with their new team, so their impacts will likely be short term.

The most interesting part of this deal to me is the draft pick that the NYI receive for an underachieving defensive prospect and a player that would likely leave town this summer via free agency.  The first round draft pick that the Islanders received is actually the San Jose Sharks first round pick (so the pick will likely be one of the last 3-4 picks in the first round). 

The interesting aspect comes from the fact that the Islanders are the hands down favorite at this point to have the 1st overall draft pick this summer.  Regardless of whether they decide to take center John Tavares, or defender Victor Hedman (pictured right), they will now have another very early pick to address whichever position they don’t address with their first draftee.

The NYI also still have a few other veterans who will be unrestricted free agents this summer, and that playoff contenders will likely be interested in.  So the chances are pretty good that the Islanders could still gain two, or possibly even three more draft picks in the first few rounds.  With solid drafting, this Islanders team could be very, VERY deadly in as soon as two or three years.

The long term outlook in Canada’s capital city is pretty much the same following this trade (or perhaps slightly worse).  Ottawa still has all the same problems that they had before the trade because Campoli is merely a band-aid to their defensive ills… not their solution.  Now, they are also minus a first round draft pick though. 

Only time will tell how good a deal this was for the Senators, but as of right now the Islanders are smelling like roses.