Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Well that was fast

About four hours ago, we learned the Russians would not be signing the transfer agreement, meaning, for us anyway, no Alexei Kaigodorov. I wonder what the Sens course of action would be.

Seems like they had a Plan B ready, as they've inked journeyman forward Dean McAmmond to a one-year contract. No terms have been released, but it's probably a safe assumption the salary is close to what they would've paid Kaigodorov (700K).

It this good enough? Does McAmmond fill the second-line center hole? I'm not sure.

McAmmond's 33 and brings a ton of experience, which is good, but his stats paint the picture of a guy on the decline. He registered 37 points on an awful St. Louis team last season, but was also a -25, second worst on the team, ahead of only blueliner Steve Poapst. McAmmond did log second-line center minutes (averaged 16 per game) with the Blues, but I'm not sure I couldn't have been on the second line of that team.

Also somewhat alarming is the fact that despite his pedigree in the league, McAmmond is pretty inexperienced when it matters most, the playoffs. He's played over 700 regular season games, but only 19 post-season ones. A lot of that was because he's been on some really bad teams, however, if we're going to add a seasoned vet, don't we want one who's put some time in in May and June?

McAmmond is versatile in that he can play either the middle or the left side (where the team isn't especially strong), but I have to assume center is where they'll pencil him in for the time being. Unfortunately, adding him doesn't cure our little faceoff problem, as McAmmond over 50% in that category in four years.

All of that said, he's still got great speed and, if paired with one of our own fast skaters, could be a dangerous weapon. He's not known to be a finisher (only scored more than 20 goals once), but again, with the right player who has that ability (Alfie?), might be very useful.

All bets were off when the Russians wouldn't budge, and I guess this was the best Muckler and company could do. However, feels a lot like we've replaced Bryan Smolinski with a guy not much better, if at all.

Of course, I say all of having seen, at most, a dozen games he's played the last two seasons. People who pay closer attention to the Blues and Flames, feel free to chime in and tell me if my assetment is inaccurate.

UPDATE: Ottawa also signed Rockland native Serge Payer to a one-year deal. Payer's no stranger to the organization, having spent the 2003-04 year in Bingo with the Baby Sens, and he played 71 games for the lowly Panthers last season. Probably a depth move.


At 7:29 PM, Blogger James Mirtle said...

McAmmond's a great, character player. What he isn't is a second-line centre — third-line checking left winger sounds about right. He's a great skater, too, and can score more than he did last year, so it's not a bad pickup.

(One big chance he missed to play in the postseason was in 2004, when the Flames went to the finals while he was injured.)

At 8:11 PM, Anonymous Karina said...

I wonder why Fisher is never considered a possibility for the #2 centre - is there something about him I don't know? I've always been impressed with his play (which means, since I am a Leafs fan, I hate him).

At 8:37 PM, Anonymous David Johnson said...

You generally like more offense out of a second line center than either McAmmond or Fisher can provide. Ideally he would be more of a playmaker too. I am not sure who will end up filling that role. It could be Fisher, Vermette, or Eaves but none of them are really second line centers (especially at this point in their careers). What you might see happen is Murray will keep the big line of Spezza, Alfredsson and Heatley in tact and instead of going with second and third lines go more with two second and a half lines if that makes any sense.

As for McAmmond, as James said, he is more of a third line guy either at center or on the wing depending on where guys like Vermette and Eaves end up playing. He is a decent pick up for the Senators though since he is experienced (regular season anyway) and does play with some energy and determination.

At 10:53 PM, Anonymous Hondo said...

Mucklers gettin on my good side. I've always liked McAmmond and thought he seemed like a real hard-working guy and a good fit in Ottawa. I think he'd be really good with Fisher, personally.

At 4:33 AM, Anonymous TomD said...

sounds like he might be a fit on a line say as left wing with Vermette and Kelly...putting Eaves on right wing with Fisher and Schaefer

Notes Eaves does not play center

At 4:21 PM, Blogger Absurdity Miner said...

I wonder if part of the reason they grabbed him was to help Alfie with leadership issues and to build team character.

If he can inspire the younger guys to work harder instead of just relying on their abundant skills, that'll more than make up for any limitations in his playmaking abilities. He'll do fine as a 2nd-lince centre; there's no lack of skill in the club. They just need a different work ethic, and maybe that's something a veteran like McAmmond can contribute.

At 11:49 PM, Blogger Donald said...

I would rather see McAmmmond on the team instead of Kaigodorov. We all know deep down that the sens need a heart transplant more than they need a second line center. Why is it that Fisher's, and Sheaffer's work ethic is unquestionned during the playoffs? We need more players like them. The idea that Kaigodorov would make a significant impact in the playoff is unrealistic. Hear me people, the key to ottawa's success is in staking up veterans "Carolina Hurricane" style. it'll pay off in the end


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