Sunday, November 05, 2006

This is the best y'all could come up with?

When a team struggles, rumors run rampant. This much is to be expected. In a hockey craze market like this, it's what 24/7 sports talk radio stations and hockey columnists live on.

But really people, if we're going to spread nonsense, let's at least make sure it's sensical nonsense. Because what's making the rounds right now certainly isn't.

Firstly, "Eklund" is reporting that the Sens and Flames are in trade talks for a deal that would see the much maligned Daniel Alfredsson go to Calgary for Robyn Regehr.

Now, hopefully, we've all realized long ago that "Eklund" is full of shit. Kinda goes without saying I know. But even a broken clock is right at least two times a day, and one of those times was last summer when he broke the Dany Heatley-Marian Hossa. So when he talks about the Sens, I sort of perk up just a little bit.

All of that said, I have to believe this is total B.S. The Sens are a team that is struggling offensively. Their problem is not on the blueline. So how does this deal make a lick of sense? If you move Alfie, that's even more pressure on Jason Spezza and Heatley, who've folded like cheap tents many times this season already.

The other isn't quite as absurd but it still feels like complete drivel, and that's Bruce Garrioch's report in today's Ottawa Sun that the Sens are seriously looking at Brendan Morrison as a solution to their center-ice troubles. These rumblings aren't new. Over the summer there was such talk, but it never materialized, and it's origins likely laid in the same lame chat rooms that spawn the majority of these things.

I do believe that Ottawa needs an upgrade in the middle. Dean McAmmond and Mike Fisher have both been solid this season however each are more suited for the third line spot. Over the long haul, I'm not convinced either are up to the job. But Brendan Morrison?

Is he really much better? He hit the jackpot by getting paired with Todd Bertuzzi and Markus Naslund when they were at their most dominant and reaped the rewards statistically. Hell, if you or I was in the middle of those two for those seasons, we would've tallied 50 points. Don't get it twisted, he's an above average player that, for the right price, would be a nice addition. $3.2 million is not that right price though.

The Sens payroll is at about $41.8 million. Alexei Kaigorodov leaving (probably for good) cleared about $1 million of room but not nearly enough to bring in a salary of that size. And the guys supposedly going back the other way (Anton Volchenkov or Christoph Schubert) don't help that cause either.

The major problem the Sens are facing is who do you deal? Alfredsson? That would be a disaster. Spezza? He's still too young to give up on entirely. Heatley? It's only a matter of time before he turns it around. Antoine Vermette? That won't sit well with the French Sens fans who maintain the franchise has a conspiracy against players of that ilk.

The team needs scoring, so moving any of those guys doesn't seem plausible. And while some stretch lies on the blueline, as they have seven NHL calibre defencemen, one major injury can change that in a hurry, and it's never a bad thing to have one d-man too many.

A trade wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. A change might be what this team needs. But I just don't see where you deal from and how you make it make sense, both from a hockey perspective and economically.


At 9:43 AM, Blogger Don said...

But what if the Sens could deal Alfredsson for someone of equivalent value? Word last week from Tampa Bay was that John Tortorella wasn't thrilled with the way his big three were leading the team so far this year. If salaries are comparable, any of those three players would bring scoring and some playoff success experience to the club. Great blog, by the way. Hard to find Sens news down here in Virginia.

At 12:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The thing is that this team has accomplished diddly-squat with its current line-up and 'core'.

Say you deal Alfredsson (nominally for Regehr) then you flip Regehr elsewhere for a gritty, tough winner (and winger )with a Cup ring.

As for Spezza, it is still early but those bad habits are ingrained in him and short of benching him for a game, Murray is out of ideas.

So here's my thoughts; get rid of the last of the core of playoff floaters (Redden, Alfie) and bring in some tough as nails players who will NOT accept losing at all.

Then win the Cup!

At 12:12 PM, Anonymous TheIceCobra said...

If the Sens could get Brad Richards for Alfredsson + one of their lesser d-man than they MUST do it! Alfredsson is never goin to win Ottawa anything, cause he´s not a winner, period. As a second line wing on a contending team he´s fine, but not as the go-to-guy on an ever unbalanced offense!

At 12:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

True 'dat -- Morrison is both overrated and overpriced. Having said that, the Canucks are apparently ready to dump him for next to nothing just to get some cap relief. With the savings from ditching Kaigorodov, why not bring him in and see if he has one more good season left in him as a set up man, this time for Heatley? If it doesn't work out, you simply put him on waivers and send him to Bingo. He still collects his NHL salary there, but it doesn't count against the cap.

I wouldn't dismiss this out of hand -- given the lack of top six forwards on the market, Morrison might just be the most attractive item at the garage sale right now. If Melnyk is ready to roll the dice, and potentially have to pay a guy $3.2 to play in Bingo, then go for it.

At 12:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Volchenkov has completely stepped up his game, so trading him right now would be a terrible move. Schubert is nothing special, so if we could deal him and picks/prospects to get that 2nd line guy, then they should go for it. I'd even move Vermette to get the 2nd line center.

At 3:54 PM, Anonymous Matt said...

Schubert is a valuable member of this team. He can play defense and forward without being a liability. Vermette is one of my favourite Sens. He creates offense from a third line, and has incredible speed. I wouldn't part with either of these guys lightly.

At 6:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Absolutely, trading Schubert would be a disaster. He has been consistent and fill in well on offense or d.

Maybe Murray needs to do what Carboneau did with Samsonov and drop Heatley or Spezza down to the third/ fourth line.

At 9:42 AM, Blogger girlysportsrant said...

Sutter has stated many times that Regher is untouchable. So Eklund is full of BS again.

At 3:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Flyers have recalled Nedved, hoping that someone picks him up on waivers for half-price. Hey, for $750,000, isn't he a worthwhile gamble? Yeah, yeah, he can be lazy at times, but put between two good offensive players he can still produce, and might be the second line playmaker the Sens need. He's also a hell of a lot cheaper than Morrison. Why not take advantage of a panic move made by the Flyers?


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