Saturday, August 20, 2005

Sens make a few depth moves

Though we are t-minus 72 hours until Marian Hossa's arbitration hearing in Toronto, the Senators have pretty much wrapped up all their loose ends as far as filling up the roster.

Word is GM John Muckler is still negotiating with 2003 first round pick Patrick Eaves, who I expect to make the team if given a shot, as well as doing his best to try and lure 2002 first round pick and Russian sensation Aleksei Kaigorodov out of his native country. The IIHF's inability to get Russia to sign their new agreement with the NHL makes that difficult, but as they say, anything can be bought for the right price. Whether or not Kaigorodov is worth it is the question. He finished second in Russian Super League scoring last year (when it was full of NHLers), however, he's also said he won't come over if he can't be assured a spot with the big club. Meaning, he won't accept a two-way contract, which are a part of almost all entry level deals.

The Senators did sign a few players yesterday that add to the team's depth. It's doubtful all, or even any, will get significant time with the NHL Senators, but having them at your disposal doesn't hurt.

The first of which was Steve Martins. If the name sounds familar, it should. He's a former two-time Senators (1998-2000 and 2001-2003). A Gatineau native, he was especially popular for a player who really didn't get all that much ice time. I remember him being a strong forechecker, a fast skater, and a solid checker, assets a team can never have enough of. Even though Martins was a favorite of then coach Jacques Martin, he was caught in the financial squeeze and left the team. He's split time with the Blues and their AHL affiliate since. Martins won't put up a lot of points, but he gives them a veteran presence able to step in if necessary, at any forward position no less. Can't hurt.

The other two signings were even more insignificant, but again, depth is depth. Also added were Brett Clouthier and defenceman Tomas Malec. At 6'5" and 225, the Ottawa native Clouthier gives them some toughness. A former second round pick of the Devils, Clouthier's spent four years in the New Jersey system, where he's amassed a whole lotta PIMs in the A. 67's fans might remember him from his days with Kingston, where he served a similar role. With both Chris Neil and Bryan McGrattan ahead of him on the depth chart filling the tough guy void, it's doubtful Clouthier will see any time with Ottawa.

The Slovakian Malec has bounded around from organization to organization, moving from his draft team Florida to Carolina (for whom he played 41 games in the '02-'03 season) to Anaheim. He has a decent background, having won the QMJHL Top Rookie Defenceman as well as being named to the CHL All-Rookie team during the '00-'01 season. His TSN.ca scouting report says he moves the puck well, has good mobility, and isn't timid. However, they also claim his overall game needs much polish and he could do himself a favor and add some bulk to his frame. Like with Clouthier, because of the depth ahead of him, it's unlikely Malec will spend much time in Ottawa.

2 Comments:

At 12:15 PM, Anonymous pete said...

Did Steve Martins play in any of those Leafs/Sens series, because I remember the name and I remember him being a pest.

I recall in the Leafs/Isles series, a middling player called Steve Webb was absolutely huge for them, getting in the way all over the ice and hitting everything taht wasn't nailed down. For a 4th round winger, he somehow managed to interrupt the Leafs' gameplan every time he was on the ice. I bet he was +3 in that series, seriously.

I think Martins was similar?

 
At 3:55 PM, Blogger CMcMurtry said...

Martins played in three Leafs-Sens playoff games, yeah.

I agree about Steve Webb. He was aces in that series. The Islanders faithful chanting "STEVE WEBB *clap clap* STEVE WEBB *clap clap*" will forever be etched into my memory, as will the huge hits he threw on often larger players.

I'm surprised no team has signed him yet. I've heard from Islanders fans that he has a reputation be a strong locker room presence, which some teams may be sacred to inherit (apparently he, like Aucoin and Peca, were on the anti-Yashin side). But he's the kind of fourth liner I'd want on my team.

 

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