Summer Reading: Hi, this logo thing is a piece of shit.

Ugh…just…

Hi, if you follow my DELIGHTFUL garbage on twitter you may be aware of a running joke I dust off virtually every time the team trots out some new trope like “Young and Hungry” or “#FEARLESS” or infinity. My reaction to these…uhh…eventnnouncements is that I need to make some changes and get a job in the Sens PR department (thxu for favouriting and retweeting btw). Each time a say it I am joking less and less…frankly, I wasn’t really in the first place.

After hyping up a big announcement all weekend which turned out to be “Something something Canada am 2017 it’s the millenniums!” the organization decided to “sweeten the announcement pot” by revealing the Sens 25th anniversary patch pictured above. Yeah, that thing is going to be on the uniform. No, not just sometimes…apparently all year.
When they dropped this piece of dog shit on our heads…well, if you spend any time on twitter you’ll know people including myself were worked up over it. Now, getting worked up is not an unusual reaction for the Sensphere, of course, but this feels different than having a grouchy knee jerk take on a trade, free agent signing or draftee. Nah, this felt like the fans were just tired of being embarrassed by the organization with stuff like this.

Yes, I will admit I was I was excited to see it because my Karlsson heritage jersey still needs a captain “C” and I plan to get one this season (Yeah that’s right I was in on that ground floor with this Karlsson guy). Anyway, I thought maybe if the 25 year patch is nice enough that down the road, I’d get one put on there as well. Hey, after all, I paid extra to get the commemorative Heritage Classic game patch put on my Hertiage Classic jersey for no reason other than that it looked really nice. Turns out if the Sens design a nice thing I CANT WAIT TO GIVE THEM MY MONEY FOR IT.
BREAKING: Money is something the team is apparently greatly in need of.

The Heritage design by Le Collectif is so nice that the team basically hung a different colourway of it in front of me and I couldn’t resist it. Why are we not moving forward with it?

Sure, there was a time before the Heritage and, yes, I have a home red. A Daniel Alfredsson #11. I’ll always want something to wear to the game or out playing pick up. It is about repping my city and my team more than looking cool but here’s the thing. In the time since the Heritage jersey came out and I immediately copped one here’s how many times I’ve worn Old Red:

  • December 1, 2013: Daniel Alfredsson returns to CTC as a Detroit Red Wing
  • December 4, 2014: Daniel Alfredsson signs one day contract with Ottawa Senators, takes pre-game warm up

If this doesn’t prove I was wearing that thing more for the name on the back than the logo on the front I don’t know what to tell you.

The first time I pulled on the Heritage jersey, however, was way different. I felt truly proud. The logo, the colours, the shoulder patches, hell, every name and number combo looks good on it. Even Wiercioch’s dreadful 46. So many numbers on the current home and away just look weird. The heritage design was obviously inspired by the simplicity of original 6 teams and when it came out even hockey writers who typically love to go in on Ottawa’s follies had to admit it looked great. Ahh, the Goode Olde Days of the OG 6, it was a special time when you had to win 8 whole games and slip on a puddle of butterscotch to win a Stanley Cup and the simple design of those simpler times also allowed you to get away with a lot. Here’s what we’re competing with in our division alone:
Montreal Canadiens

The colours are admittedly great here. Ah, the red, white and blue of the Canadian flag. WHO KNEW THAT COMBO WOULD WORK!? But Ima call epic bullshit on this logo. We’re just used to it more than it’s at all nice. That C is stupid and weirdly stretched out in a way that would never fly if it wasn’t so old. Also, H? Can’t spell mHoHnHtHrHeHaHl cHaHnHaHdHiHeHnHs without it. OHhhhh, OHHHHHH my bad turns out it stands for “Club d’Hockey.” Oh, donc, je m’excuse! #ACTUELLEMENT THAT’S NOT THE NAME OF THE FUCKING TEAM.

Toronto Maple Leafs (sic)

It’s bad enough Montreal has a spelling error this one has a grammar error. Do not try to #actually me on that army squadron name thing. Just because some military guy made it up don’t mean it looks right. Isn’t that right, several borders drawn by European colonialists in the Middle East / Africa!? Also, very creative using the national symbol as a logo. Personally, I would have went with the Toronto Canadians…toss an “H” in the mix just to make it real.

Boston Bruins

It’s just a goddamn B with some spokes. You know what? It looks worlds better than pretty much any NHL logo designed in the 1990s or beyond. And it’s a goddamn B with some spokes. Room for improvement: Needs an “H” for the word Hockey.

Detroit Red Wings

K, this one isn’t fair. I’m not asking for the moon here. I’m of the opinion that a sports logo should be simple enough that a child could draw it but this one gets a pass. I don’t care if your kid is Michael Angelos or Leo Nardodelvinchi, they’d only capture but a whisper of the conceptual majik going on here. This is like the Nick Lidstrom of designs. Quietly destroying the opposition…Fuck you, Detroit. Their logo should be a horse shoe.

HOTTT TIP 4 All U YUNG D-ZIGN’RS OUT THERE:
Follow the Major Legaue’s Basebulb model. The teams are so old that the league is just rich with amazing unis…and here’s the secret, they all tend to look pretty much the same and that is okay. Here, I’ll take a team that I’m not even a fan of and, as such, will make an unbiased case as a uniform done right:

BSox

See…it’s not that harrrrrrrrrrrrrrd.
Notice the wild variations on the hat…NONE. Look at all the piping, striping and funky accents: Not that much if any! Sure, the word SOCKS is spelled incorrectly but this thing is so clean (with just the tiniest bit of flare) that I’ma let it cook. Alright, maybe the red one’s a touch zesty for me. This design is so nice your team can trade one of the greatest players of all time to your hated rival and become a laughing stock in their wake for nearly a century and you can STILL not feel embarrassed by what you’re wearing to the ball yard for up to 86 years!
Heyyy speaking of embarrassment, even the Toronto Maple Leafs of baseball have a pretty damn tight kit they can at least be proud of:

CC

See…its not that harrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrd.

Baseball: Just write the goddamn name of the city or team across the chest and put the first letter of the city and or team name on the cap and BOOM, stack paper.
But beware, even baseball has its horrid moments when a team tries to think outside the bun!
Just ask…


Sure…yeah…timeless.

Now THIS is happening:

Ugh.

Real Talk: That pirate head is not exactly worlds away from our 3D logo guy.

Life

In conclusion, I care so much about stuff like this because we as Sens fans have SO LITTLE to hang our collective hat on. The most our franchise has done in just over two decades is get destroyed in one Stanley Cup Final…against the motherfucking Mighty Ducks THE ONLY TEAM WE COULD ACTUALLY LOOK DOWN ON UP UNTIL THAT POINT.
This year our expansion sister franchise Tampa Bay nearly won their second Stanley Cup for their adoring legion of Canadian retirees who go to their games when wintering in Florida. If Ottawa was in the hunt for Cup number 2? Shit like this wouldn’t even be on my radar screen of things I care about. I would do 100 years of SNES garbage for one Cup in my lifetime. EVEN CAROLINA HAS ONE. See what I’m sayin?
Planting a team in between two of the oldest and most storied franchises like Montreal and sort of Toronto, surviving bankruptcy and currently navigating still more economically uncertain times, making it to 25 years is actually a big fucking deal to us as fans. How the the Senators design team and focus group (maybe?) thought that:
An even shinier version of our widely derided 3D logo (even if you like it, it’s undeniable that league-wide it ranks in the bottom 10 or even 5 of any rating you look up), stacked on  a font I’ve never seen connected to the team before, stacked on some out of place Wrestlemania lookin ass Roman numeral mess, stacked on dates that look more like an obituary than a celebration of legacy was acceptable is beyond me. Then again, they haven’t paid attention to how no one outside of our own fans thinks our current logo is at all good since the emergence of the Senagoth a decade ago. If we’re going to play like Cowen can we not at least look like Karlsson?
I thought with the heritage we were turning a corner but stuff like this makes me think it might have been an anomaly.
Yeah, I’ve heard it…the O looks like a zero for how many Cups the team’s won. Guess what: that’s true. Also, let me think of a way to fix that …hmmmmmmmmmmmm…mmm.

Until then, crap like this logo “celebrating” the Senators will continue be embarrassing to the legacy we are still trying to build around the team we so love.
Now that I think of it, the Heritage jersey design itself started as an online petition by a fan who was fed up with the team’s poor design choices….maybe we’ve still got 2 years to make this thing right.

Eric Gryba’s Beard: A Tribute

Goodnight, sweet prince.

Goodnight, sweet prince.

A List of Things Eric Gryba’s Beard is Like

– A 1969 Corvette Stingray

– The smell of pine needles in fall

– Your father’s strong, reassuring hand on your shoulder

– Ernest Hemingway’s typewriter

– Sitting in first class on a trans-Atlantic flight

– The antique ski lift of an alpine retreat

– A sunrise over a small Nova Scotian fishing village

– The clarinet glissando at the beginning of Rhapsody in Blue

– The Baseball Hall of Fame

– Eating a trout you caught off the deck of your cottage

– The sound a fresh can of tennis balls makes when you open it

– Taking your parents out for dinner after your first real paycheque

– The Hubble Deep Field

– Being the first skater on an untouched sheet of ice

– A baby’s laughter

– Your first kiss

– Your last kiss

– A small act of kindness done in secret

– A bearskin rug in front of a roaring fireplace in a winter cabin. A bottle of Woodford Reserve is placed unopened on the mahogany coffee table. Outside it begins to snow.

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Your Half-Assed 2015 Draft Preview

43-the-draft-is-coming-back

PROLOGUE

Through a series of poor life decisions, I recently found myself engaged in conversation with some Leafs fans. I had been lured to the bar under the false pretense of “Watching the Jays”, but upon my arrival, I realized I had stumbled into a trap and the gathering was actually a Mike Babcock Celebration Dinner.

“The one thing we know,” said one of my so-called friends, “is that if you give Mike Babcock good players, his systems are pretty much unbeatable. Just look at what he did in the Olympics.” The other Leafs fan nodded gravely. “Canada shut down Sweden in that Gold Medal Game. It wasn’t even close.”

“Yes,” I replied as I tried to resist the urge to carve out my own eyeballs with a spoon, “Only Mike Babcock was capable of making the hard decisions like ‘Do I start Carey Price or Roberto Luongo?’ or ‘How much ice time should I give Marty St. Louis?’. My dude scratched P.K. Subban. I bet he’s gonna love Jake Gardiner and Morgan Reilly.”

Undaunted, they continued: “He’s exactly the sort of coach I want coaching our young players. I think they want to draft Hanifin most, but they’ll take Marner if Hanifin’s not available.”

“Yeah, I bet Marner would be great in Toronto. I’m sure the famously forgiving Toronto media would not go out of their way to destroy the spirit of a Good Local Boy. By the way, how much alcohol do you think it would take for me to forget this conversation forever?”

Just as I was about to rush the bar and chug a bottle of tequila before anyone could stop me, a question was posed. “Hey Luke, where are the Senators drafting in the first round?”

I racked my brain. “Umm…something like 17th? I haven’t really been paying attention to draft position on account of having MADE THE PLAYOFFS.”

“So who would you like to take there?”

“I like the look of…Oliver Kylington?”, I said naming the most obscure Swedish prospect I could.

“Oh man, he’s dropped like a stone in the scouting rankings this season.”

So much for trying to impress by dropping names I heard on Twitter once. Turns out Leafs fans are pretty up on their draft minutiae. I guess that’s what happens when all you’ve had to look forward to for 8 months is that moment when you finally learn which teenagers will inevitably disappoint you. Being a Leafs fan is a lot like being an expecting parent of triplets in that way.

I’m not about that life. I’m not about to sit here and deliver blistering hot takes on a bunch of players I’ve barely watched. (Sample Hot Take: “I watched Lawson Crouse play in Kingston once. He impressed me, but not as much as Erik Gudbranson impressed me when I watched him a few years ago. Thx 4 reading.”) Amateur scouting is pretty difficult even if you’re a professional. You think I’m gonna buy what Craig Button has to say? He couldn’t even trade up to select a halfway decent pocket square.

Some teams who hire actual professionals can’t beat Central Scouting Services on average1, which is a little like going on Top Chef and losing to a guy with a frozen dinner and a microwave. Unless watching prospects is your life, your draft preview article should be exactly seven words long: “Your guess is as good as mine.”

Will that stop me from telling you exactly what I expect this weekend? Absolutely not! I’m gonna make like Balaam and start talking out of my ass!

Pierre Dorion or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Draft

Here’s something you rarely hear talked about: The Ottawa Senators are a hockey team which operates within fairly tight financial constraints. Normally these constraints manifest in the form of spending less money on hockey players, but the Sens also seem to have developed some guidelines to try to maximize drafting and development value as well. Based on what we’ve seen for the past seven or eight years, here’s what I expect to see this weekend:

1. The Senators will play it safe in the first round

Cody Ceci and Curtis Lazar were Ottawa’s last two first round picks in 2012 and 2013 respectively (Ottawa selected Bobby Ryan in the first round last year), and they’re both notable for how “projectable” they were. Lazar in particular was noted for having the game that would “best translate to the NHL” even as flashier players such as Anthony Mantha, Frederik Gauthier, and Hunter Shinkaruk were still on the board. The Bryan et. al. have rightly concluded that a budget team like Ottawa can’t afford to whiff on too many first round picks, and looking at their track record, you’d have to say they’ve done a pretty good job at drafting NHL players. Since 2008, I’d say the closest thing to a bust Ottawa has drafted would be Jared Cowen or Matt Puempel. And by bust, I mean “Jared Cowen has played 200 NHL games, and Matt Puempel’s going to have a good chance to make the team out of camp this season.”

Whoever the Senators draft in the first round this year, I’m sure Bryan Murray will say he’s capable of being a real good player in this league, but more importantly, he’ll probably be right.

2. The Senators might not play it safe in the first round

On the other hand, sometimes the Senators look at what’s available and say “You know what? We’re going to trade up (!!!) for an undersized Swedish force of nature who has one goal in seven games against men.” or “Actually, we’re going to pass on the QMJHL All-Star in favour of the kid whose favourite hobby is also the first two letters of the team he plays for in Sweden.” Is a history of reaching for risky Swedes an argument in favour of Oliver Kylington? Your guess is as good as mine!

Speaking of Swedes…

3. The Senators will not draft any Europeans, unless they’re Swedish

Click this link and as you scroll down, take special note of the nationality column. Ottawa is drafting players from a selection of countries that even most NFL teams would find limited in scope. The one player not part of the Canada-United States-Sweden triumvirate is Jakub Culek tha GAWD who was drafted out of the QMJHL. I think in light of the Senators’ limited resources, they don’t really bother scouting European players at all, preferring instead to maximize their return on investment in North America and Sweden. (This is also why I think the Senators were never going to take Vladimir Tarasenko with the draft pick they trade for David Rundblad, so we can nip that little bit of revisionist history in the bud.) Basically, unless your favourite Slovakian wunderkind happens to play in North America at the moment, I doubt he’s coming to Ottawa. Sorry, Europhiles.

4. The Senators will draft A Good Local Boy

The phrase “hometown discount” gets thrown around disparagingly from time to time, but you can’t tell me that Marc Methot or Jean-Gabriel Pageau didn’t take one. Kelly Summers, Vincent Dunn, Cody Ceci, Corey Cowick, and Mark Borowiecki are some other examples of Good Valley Boys who got drafted by the team they grew up watching on the CBC The New RO. The reasoning goes that if you draft players who like the Ottawa area because they are from the Ottawa area, they’re going to be more likely to want to stay in the Ottawa area (regardless of how much some might want them to leave). Here’s the thing though: it works! Listen to Pageau talk about his new deal2. The first words out of his mouth are about how he’s from the area and how he’s thrilled to be able to stick around where he’s got his family and friends.

Get excited, Sens fans, because this weekend the Senators are gonna be drafting The Pride of Merrickville Ontario, whoever he is.

5. Watch for “upside” in the mid to late rounds

If you’re confident in your ability to draft solid NHLers in the first two rounds, it means you can afford to take a few more risks later on. Maybe that means drafting a guy with soft hands who can’t skate and was injured for most of his draft eligible year. Maybe that means taking a flyer on a guy who has high end skill, but also has concussion problems. Maybe it means taking a look at a guy who played for an off-brand US junior hockey league, but had more points per game than Johnny Gaudreau that year.

The good news is that you only need to hit on one of these guys every four or five years to make it worth your while. Who else is feeling lucky?!?! *blows on dice at craps table*

The Wisdom

210 players are drafted into the NHL every year, but most will never see an NHL game because there’s less than 700 roster spots available in the league. If three or four of the seven players you draft see any amount of NHL time, you’re doing better than average. Without a Top 10 pick, it’s unlikely the Senators draft the next Erik Karlsson or Mark Stone this year, but that’s only because it’s unlikely that they could draft the next Erik Karlsson or Mark Stone any year. I bet they’ll draft the next Condra or Pageau or Wiercioch though, and while that may not be the most exciting thing in the world, that’s the type of basic hockey team building competency that stops the Senators from turning into the New Jersey Devils.

The Draft: Like a long-term savings bond for your hockey team. Who wouldn’t be excited for that?

1. This is a good read. Turns out Ottawa comes out pretty far ahead in terms of their drafting ability over the long term.

2. Not the FDR type of New Deal.

Is consistency the unrecognized analytics factor?

I’ve been thinking a lot about this Senators’ goalie situation and the fact that we just absolutely MUST trade a goaltender and get good value back otherwise everyone’s going to write 200 blog posts about how we didn’t. I was also thinking about how Chicago is probably going to have to trade another 3-4 good players to stay under the cap next year, and Cory Crawford, he of the lucrative new deal could be on the block.

If I were a GM in either situation, what would I do? Could Chicago really go into next year with Scott Darling as its starting goaltender? Would Ottawa go into next year with an injury-prone older starter and Wildcard Hammond? How about Lehner, who has all of the potential in the world but is in the middle of his own personal time travel journey?

This led me to think about how much GMs pay for potential and projections, and how little they pay for consistency. Here’s a theory:

In an analytics-driven, salary-cap era, a player’s value is expressed in three ways: 1) The degree to which he drives possession. 2) His statline relative to his peers. And 3) How much money he makes.

Each of these three factors are dependent on one another. It’s why expensive Alex Ovechkin can be one of the best players in the world and still have people question his value, and why scoreless Erik Condra can be cheap and drive possession but be allowed to walk for nothing.

(I guess there’s a fourth factor in here encompassing all of those other intangible qualities, like sticktoittiveness and likeability and being a good dude.)

One factor that I think might be missing in all of this is if a player performs consistently. I know, you must be thinking “this is obvious. If a player performs well consistently, then a GM knows it and factors it in.” But I’m talking about if a player performs only averagely, but consistently. I’d like to argue that that consistency provides a level of value over and above the player’s statline and possession metrics.

Because a player is consistent, it means that a GM can plan around him. He can better understand the gaps on a team in a coming year and spend his meager resources, in terms of picks and cap space, to plug those gaps, confident in the knowledge that they won’t produce yet more gaps.

This is the place in the blog post where I would love to include a spreadsheet of the most consistent players, but frankly I don’t have the data. War on Ice will give you cumulative totals, but I don’t have the patience to download stats season-by-season and run the spreadsheets to describe variance. What I’d love to see, though, is which players above a certain threshold for possession (so we weed out the players who are consistently bad) display the lowest variance from season to season. Basically what you end up with are players about whom you know what to expect. And that, in itself, has value.

I know I’m mixing up skaters and goalies here, and I don’t know if Chicago will trade Cory Crawford, especially if he helps them win another Cup. But I do know that if Chicago can find a cheaper option with less variance in his statline, they can reliably pour the savings elsewhere to compensate. The same holds true for Ottawa. Lehner might have a higher ceiling, but also a higher variance than, say, Craig Anderson. And knowing that variance has value.

I hope you enjoyed this summertime blog post. Stay safe everyone, and wear sunscreen.

Re:Bort Cards: Goalers

goal

Goalers, right? Like dads say!

Look, Ima be str8 with you. It’s going to be pretty tough to write these without making them about much more than SCINTILLATING takes on who to keep and who to trade and how I learned to know who Andrew Hammond is.
I’ll save you a bunch of time and just summarize my plan: You trade Chris Dreiger for Yakupov and a 1st, open a bed & breakfast / detective agency called The Lehner n’ Hammy Arms and finally make Craig Anderson Editor in Chief of WTYKY which he will eventually turn into a very unsuccessful Corvette Modification Quarterly. That’s what we’re all thinking, correct? What’s that? It’s not even June and you’re looking for something to read between now and training camp?
Alright, it’s your funeral…

Goal’s Keep Letter Grade Teacher says…every take a blog brings, an a-hole gets his wings.
Greg Anderton A  Another super solid year for Andy. Rocking some of the leagues best numbers and playing the majority of your starts when the team is flirting with a lottery pick? Sounds like our Andy alright!
Actually, at this point in his tenure as a Senator, I am starting to develop a profound frustration. The frustration with his performance isn’t even negative toward him. No, for all the talk of taking advantage of young players in their so called prime years, I worry that we are squandering / have squandered #PEAK Anderson.
Guy has been one of the best goaltenders in the league on some lacklustre Ottawa teams for a couple of years now. All we have to show for it is one playoff round win. Turning 34 this summer, I wonder how much longer the kind of performances we are getting from Anderson can be expected. With all the debate of what goalie the organization should move forward with, I sometimes wonder if it’s time that we send Anderson some place where he can make a real run before his age starts catching up with him. You know, to repay him for that shutout win against the Leafs in his Sens debut back in 2011. That’s not to say I would be mad if he stayed. There are worse things that can happen than having a really good goaltender who, sure, is getting up there in pro athlete years. If he’s continues playing he has been? Can’t complain.
Throbbin Leather C So yeah. This might get emotional. Gentle reader, I know you skim WTYKY for my balanced approach to …covering(?) your Ottawa Senators. I must confess that I’m not sure I’m thinking straight about The Lehner. It might be a touch late to bring this up but I suppose this is as good a time as any to come clean about something serious: I am not, nor have I ever been, a professional hockey talent evaluator. Lehner has only solidified this fact the past two seasons. My beautiful thanx4reading and I would appreciate that you respect our privacy at this difficult time.
K.
What is Robin Lehner? Is he amazing? Is he just kind of aight? Is he overrated because he is such an engaging personality with a style of play that  looks so awesome but isn’t overly effective? Is he starting to be somehow underrated because despite a lack of results he has a comparable development record to Carey Price? Is he a head case whose performance is all over the place? In the past 3 or 4 seasons that I’ve been watching him develop I have seen him be all of those things.
What’s important to keep in mind, and I’m far from the first person to point this out, is that despite being drafted way back in ’09, he’s closer in age to Zibanejad and Stone than he is to those “time for the next step” guys like Turris or Wiercioch. So for a guy who plays the extremely unforgiving position of goalie it should be noted that his learning curve has been kind of insane (like him!).
It seems to be that maybe because Lehner is so vocal about wanting the starting job so bad (good thing IMO) that it ends up making ME impatient for him to take it to the next level (bad thing).
A popular knock against Craig Anderson, especially going forward, is that he seems to suffer an injury of the long term variety every season. The result is that Lehner pretty much gets an annual opportunity to steal the starter spot…and…doesn’t. This season was no different.
Hammond, as once in a lifetime as his run was,  in an exaggerated way, proved if you make yourself the guy, coach will keep you as the guy. I mean, they gave Hammy the first two starts of a playoff series against a high seed with only 25 career NHL games under his belt. Think Lehner wouldn’t become starter if he just started wrecking shop? As the cheaper, younger option, the organisation probably
wants him to take over as starter.
The thing I have a hard time with is this: Another season in the books another losing record for Lehner. Granted he doesn’t have the best teams playing in front of him but neither does Andy and he’s managed to eek out more W’s than L’s every year. Now add into that Andrew “One Loss Larry” Hammond to make things start to look worse for Lehnny.
What’s troubling about being a fan and trying to stay patient with a developing prospect, is the last awesome thing I can remember Lehner doing was going on that 3 game unbeaten streak…which was all the way back in early November…of 2013. It’s not like he hasn’t had good games but you gotta throw us dat patience rewarding bone every now and then. Like how Condra DID score on a breakaway in the playoffs!I could just keep going back and forth on this forever. I totally support if Murray chooses Lehner going forward. We love Lehner. At this point I’m just not sure if I’m blinded a bit by that love. Sucks to see him get such a brutal injury to finish his season early but with a 9-12-3 record coupled with a 3.09GAA and .905 SV% and another blown chance at pulling away from Andy, I cant help but be disappointed. There’s still plenty of time for Lehner to redeem himself I’m just afraid he might not do it in a Sens uniform.
Andyrew Hamburgson A++ *Fills crack pipe with an orange Skittle, lights and smokes it…listen, it’s not as big a deal as it has to be… just to get some ideas going, you know?*
Where to start with this one. A story: Remember Bobby Butler? K, imagine he didn’t have the distinction of a Hobey Baker nomination or ever standing out in Binghamton or in any way…Hmmm wait, maybe this: Remember Tim HUSSEIN Thomas? K, only imagine he never had the distinction of being a two time NCAA All American or being drafted by an NHL club. What I’m saying here is, there are a lot of heart warming underdog stories in the NHL but damn G, Hammond’s college/pro career is MAD quiet in terms of accomplishments. Even the underdoggiest of all Martin St. Louis boasts an 85 points in 35 games year, 2 Hobey Baker noms and an ECAC championship in college. Finished his school’s all time leading scorer too. Now, that’s how you get overlooked PROPER-LIKE.
Hammond’s record in his first season in college? That would be a big 0-12-2…so…sure he won some team MVPs on some godawful Bolling Green teams where he finished with a stinkline adorned 30-68-13 record. His SV% indicated he played well enough on those teams but it’s not like we pump the tires of the best player on the Evansville Icemen; that shit is inconsequential until further notice. What I’m saying here is I’m amazed Andrew Hammond even made the American Hockey League. That’s almost what makes HamSNBC (nickname idea) hard to write about. Up until now, he has had a career of being passed over…That. Made. Sense.
St. Louis or Thomas were obviously good but their respective merits were ignored for whatever reasons. Hammond was traded in Junior A.
Nothing about his season makes any sense and I think I can speak for everyone by saying it’s awesome.
I think his recent signing has jarred some and why not? A few bulletproof months netted him the same extension term as Robin Lehner coming off his ELC and that was 5 years into his development. The way the last two off-seasons have gone, of course Hammond goes nearly undefeated for months and needs to be re-signed. Cant have so much as a year left on his deal just so we can be sure. Nope. Either way, 3 years is a lot after 27 NHL games but I think it’s not unreasonable that that Bryan Murray and Co. gambled that he’s at least CURTIS MCELHINNEY good. Much as we love having the Anderson-Lehner tandem, did any of us really think it was all that long for this world? A new fighter has entered the tournament and has taken the backup spot, for cheap. What I like about Hammond is that despite whomever is left and deemed the starter in October, I believe he will be breathing down their neck for their job, keeping them sharp whi—what’s that? I haven’t really touched on the Hamburglar’s actual performance? Oh…Andrew had a satisfactory season. He met some of the expectations I had of him at the beginning of the year.
Chrisp Diapers

(Ugh, what is this? Mad Magazine? I feel sorry for people who read this website. (Srry 2 U)

Participation Forgotten in this whole mix is Chris Driedger. Yes, he only played a little over a period but pretty cool that he stopped all 10 shots that he faced. If that doesn’t sound impressive, consider that up to that point he played that year on a team where a bunch of his teammates were roofers (great practice for the Sens where several roster players own other businesses outside the rink). Anyway, no joke, even though it was one period its still super impressive to go from the ECHL to holding the fort against a team as strong as the President’s Trophy winning Rangers. I would imagine Derek Stepan can shoot a bajillion times harder than *Doesn’t bother to look up who the best player in the ECHL is because who gives a damn*. It’s probably also worth mentioning that at 21 years of age, the only player on the roster younger than him is Curtis Lazar and he hasn’t even been born yet!
Driedger went undefeated in his 8 games in Binghamton which is nice. With the signing of hottt college prospect Matt O’Connor the spotlight is off Driegs to keep doing his thing in the shadows. I’ll keeping an eye on him, so you don’t have to.

Liked what you skimmed? Check out my SCORCHING hot evaluations of this season’s forward group and defense corps.

2014-2015 Retort Cards: Forwards

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Due to overwhelming demand, I return with my flippant letter grade assessments of the performances of professional athletes all of whom, it should be noted, could beat the crap out of me before giving me a swirly.
WELP…it’s a spiritual journey of a read as turns out there are way more forwards on the team than defensemen…so let’s get started shall we?

Forwardsman Letter Grade Teacher says…every take a blog brings, an a-hole gets his wings.
Kyle Turris A Yo. On some admittedly petty shit, massive shout out to the kid for finishing the season with more points than Jason Spezza. I know I’m starting off on a hater tip but Turris doesn’t get to play in a top 6 with Jamie Benn, Tyler Segiun, and..is Ales Hemsky a top 6 player still? Anyway, KT continues to quietly get better and better and prove that he’s a quality 2 way centre at rock bottom prices.
Kyle Turris: Service, Selection, Value.
The best way to describe his game is with this question: Have you ever watched a Sens game and said, “Ah, goddamn it Turris what are you thinking?” He’s just such a smart, dependable player. He makes skating fast look hilariously easy and is continually proving himself a clutch performer.
He is the hockey player version of how he got traded to the Sens and sneakily was like, “Oh, the number 7 is available? Lemme just lowkey put that on my back.”
Mike Bananajazz A To go from starting last season in the AHL to getting extended looks on the top line and putting up a career high in both goals and assists (a 13 point jump) qualifies as a pretty damn impressive season. While I am unabashedly a Ziba fan, I will admit every time I heard Bryan Murray say that he saw Zibanejad’s ceiling as a first line centre, I had my doubts. Personally, I saw him topping out as a Mike Fisher type of rugged, dependable pivot who can put up around 40 to 50 points.
This season, especially when Dave Cameron took over, I felt I started to see the kind of top line potential in him Murray was talking about. Watching homeboy strong arm his way past defenders or shrug someone off his back who probably weighs 200lbs is pretty exciting considering this kid just turned 22 last month. Yes, he is younger than Mark Stone and JGP and aleady has 200 games and 3 playoff series under his belt.
The aspiring young Dubstep artist finished the year with a solid 20 goals and 46 points but what’s most exciting is I think he can do much, much better than that.
David Wandleg D+ I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, how this guy put up 51 points JUST LAST YEAR is a complete mystery to me. I want to see what that even looks like. Can someone please put together a supercut of that? Talk about a tease. When Leggz was signed as an FA I figured he would mentor Zibanejad while he continued to develop. What we got was 4th line centre who consistently makes the safe play. Which, hey, is fair…but you know who else was kind of that? Zenon Konopka who you can pay in Sub Club stamps.
Also, I remember hearing he was “fast.” Okay. Did my dude age considerably between May and October 2014? Thing is, I didn’t even think Legwand was particularly bad at his assignment. What is so disappointing is what his assignment ended up being. I guess I expected a lot more of someone with his career, paycheque, and hell, the numbers he had put up just one year earlier.
Jean Gabriel Pizza Hotline A What? You’re a 5 foot 8 call up and you beat Zack Smith out of the 3rd line centre job and I’m going to give you anything other than an A? That’s nothing against Zack Smith per se. I just think as far as most GMs seem to go, Z is basically the ideal candidate for 3rd line centre.  An agitator who plays with a physical edge and can get on the score sheet occasionally. Pageau is these things plus the team’s second best faceoff man, a frustratingly elusive skater and crack penalty killer. He was a key component of what might have been Ottawa’s best line through much of the 2nd half and playoffs. As Curtis Lazar gets more comfortable playing in the NHL, I expect Pageau’s production to make a decent jump. Should Erik Condra have to leave this summer, I expect JGP to become heir to King Condra’s throne as “guy on the PK you trust the buhjezuz out of with the puck.” Easily one of my favourite players on the team at this point.
Courteous Lazar B First, a round of applause to our fan base for keeping their cool and staying patient with Lazar as he had some ups and downs dealing with the massive learning curve of making the NHL straight from junior as a teen. He’s not the generational talent that most guys who make that kind of jump are so, I was proud to see everyone ready to accept some baby steps. A little more courteousness over killer instinct in the first half of the season but nothing to be concerned about. After the WJCs, Lazar noticeably had more confidence and played a very solid second half. The points are a bit quiet but not abnormal for a rookie with upside. Consider future Hart/Scoring title winner Corey Perry had a modest 25 points his first season. Not to compare them beyond that but some awesome players spend their first year just taking it in. What Lazar’s ceiling is, to me, is not of much concern at this point. Ima let him just cook. If the club’s most inexperienced player captained his junior team to a WHL championship and Memorial Cup as well as Canada to a gold medal (on home ice no less)…all in the last calendar year? Yeah, I think it’s safe to feel good about this kid’s ability to handle pressure and grow.
Zmith D- I’d imagine it was a very frustrating year for the Smith Treat (?). I don’t want to get this twisted that I’m dogging on a guy for missing nearly half the season with a very gross sounding injury. That kind of thing can’t be helped.
No, what’s really rough for Smith is that it became quite clear that he lost his place on the team this year. He was supposed to spend time on the wing and put up bigger numbers. He struggled mightily at that. His game isn’t about points per se but homie has shown the ability to put up 13 or 14 goals in the past. You cant be putting up the same sat line as Chris Philips (3 ponts!) in basically the same amount of games (37 to Phillie’s 36). Greening gunna get bought out for just 2 fewer points than that, girl!
The quintessential mythic “Bryan Murray type player” with his size and toughness, as I already mentioned, was beat out cleanly by the diminutive JGP. What’s worse, even Legwand, unspectacular as he was, held down the 4th line centre slot instead of Smith. He also got bounced in the playoffs for Neil, who up to that point wasn’t given the time of day by Dave Cameron.
Simply put, life came at this guy fast this year. I still think he’s a very useful player who’s a bit of a coach’s dream and has a very reasonable contract. And because of that I believe that he be used to sweeten a trade package in the off season. It happens.
Mark Stone A+++ Just a little taste of how when you write about hockey stuff, shit can change on a dime. A reading from Stoner’s player bio on TSN.ca: “Could use more work on his skating and play without the puck.” I feel you. You don’t top the league in takeaways as a rookie without making a couple of enemies.
K, enough nitpicking. Let’s get to the good stuff:
Mark Stone is what I’ve been waiting to happen to the Sens in the time since Erik Karlsson emerged. A super talent that pretty unexpectedly pulls away from the rest of the prospects. Before someone hits me with the #ACTUALLY about EK being a 1st round pick, remember his initial ceiling was possibly to be a “Brian Rafalsky type” Respect due to BR’s Cup winning ass but EK ended up more of a workaday “Up for his 2nd Norris trophy in 4 years and team captain at age 24” type. I think, like Karlsson, among Sens fans we were pretty confident Stone would eventually find a place on the team but a season like this? And so soon? Wow.
I could really drone on with what you already know about what an amazing year he had but I think it can best be summed up this way: When he was injured in game 1 of the playoffs, it hurt the Sens chances of winning the series significantly. The guy was healthy scratched at the beginning of the season BTFingW. At the risk of sounding over the top, if Stone’s game reminds me of another Sens player it’s Alfie. Those feelings were strengthened when his wrist was fractured and he still managed to put up 4 assists in 6 games. Like #11, even with the chips stacked heavily against him, he adjusted his play and just found a way to get it done.
Bobbito Ryan B This is a bit of a tough one. Bobby’s year reminds me of Craig Anderson’s last season. Obvious struggles that came at parts of the season where they would be most noticeable/memorable. But also, like Anderson in January of ’14, Bobby carried the fucking team at some points. Namely the Western road trip that helped kick off Ottawa’s playoff run.
His season was much like his playoffs. The story is that he was ice cold and sure he had a couple of weak games where he was in his head, but upon closer inspection he scored 2 goals in a big Ottawa win and played some pretty strong games in that series as well. If not for the outstanding play of Stone, Hoffman and Zibanejad during Ryan’s cold streak, this off season could have been one where much of the good he did would be completely overshadowed a bad stretch. With Ryan here for the long haul I am looking at this one big picture. In his two seasons here so far, he has yet to hit the 30 goal mark he routinely did while playing with the Ducks (actual team name). That’s too bad but watching him game in and game out I think Ryan might emerge as more of a playmaker and not just a sniper on this team. I guess what I’m saying is, it’s okay with me if he doesn’t put up 30 goals as long as he’s making his line better. Despite the cold snap, this was his most productive season since 2011-12. When he couldn’t find the back of the net I found he would routinely get on goalies doorstep. Even if he’s not scoring, goalies still have to respect him when he is in position to tap it in. I think this helped free up his linemates.
I also definitely appreciate how much he’s emerging as a leader on the team as we enter the next chapter of the franchise. I expect more next year mostly because I know he can provide more.
Alex Chiasson C (u l8r) The human Participation ribbon. What really can be said about Alex Chiasson’s season at this point? No, seriously, lil help here, it’s very hard to think of anything to say about this guy. There is understandable disappointment with him on the Sensphere given that he was the centrepiece of the Jason Spezza trade.
If this is your view, take my advice: Look at the removal Jason Spezza’s hefty salary and the pressure to resign him as the REAL centrepiece of that trade.
Look, as fans, we have a propensity to slot players into two categories: Goats and Golden Boys. Sure Chiasson is a goat but at the end of the day, it’s tough to sit here and say a guy who put up 11 goals and 26 points (more than fan favourites JGP and Condra) while spending much of the season on the 4th line a “failure.”  He was fine. I was hoping he would at least CHALLENGE the far less experienced Stone for a top six spot on the right side. At no point was that even a conversation.
In conclusion, I don’t hate the guy and at just 24 I could see room for him to grow still but if one RFA wasn’t extended, you’d be hard pressed to make an argument for anyone over him.
Erik Condra A Trying to think if there’s ever been a guy in Sens history who had a job as boring as penalty killer and also had as much trouble finishing a breakaway/in general as Condra who was more of a fan favourite. Im thinking maybe Antoine Vermette…but he had LADIES tho.
Regardless, there’s nobody on the team, aside from Karlsson, who I trust more with the puck than Condra. Just super smart and great at what he does. It will be a shame if he goes but every team seems to have to make these tough decisions once in a while in the cap world. The reality of budget indicates that despite getting paid relatively little by NHL standards, Condra might have to be sacrificed to move toward the future and retain young RFAs.
If he does go, I could not be happier that he went out like a boss making Carey Price his step-nephew on a beautiful goal in all alone. Look for Ottawa to have a significantly weaker penalty kill next year should they be without him.
Chris Neil C- Oh boy, here we go. K, this is going to sound a little over the top but I straight up think it was a pretty huge moment in the history of the franchise that after being given a clean bill of health Neiler was scratched for an extended period of time as the team went on their unprecedented march to a Wildcard spot.
In his 12 years in the capital, even on far better iterations of the team, the idea of a coach saying, “nah, we good” to Neil’s services is jaw dropping. The biggest part of it was that it was the right call to sit him. I highly doubt having him there to “keep the other team honest” was on many people’s minds during that final stretch of the season. Winning is winning and they did a lot of it while Neil, an Assistant Captain, had to watch from the press box.
I think he did an admirable job when he was plugged into the high intensity play of the post-season for two games after missing months. At his age that could not have been easy.
Bryan Murray indicated at the end of the season that some veteran players want to be moved. Much speculation is that the person is David Legwand and it probably is. But if I’m Neil and I’ve been with the team for 12 years and wear a letter and get sat for weeks on end because the team is doing so well without me? I might be wanting to head where my services are more in demand.
Mike Hoffman A You know Mark Stone is fuckin’ up the rookie game for everyone when you lead the entire team with 27 goals in your first full season and you’re not the breakout story of your team. Don’t even get me started on this Hammurderer guy. Talk about bad timing poor Hoff wasn’t even the second biggest breakout story on the Sens.
I will be very interested in his extension this summer as I find Hoffman’s regularly labelled as a guy who might have peaked but uh… it’s not like the Sens can’t use this guy’s kind of speed and scoring touch going forward. He spent a bit of time on the 4th line in the playoffs where one false move can cost a coach his job. That obviously shows he still needs to round out his game and asdsdkfjakdjfhsgrgg. Honestly, who DOESNT need to round out their game in this work a day world? (See below for answer).
Hoffman was eventually returned to the top 6 where he scored the most important goal of the series against the Habs.
Confession: I wasn’t completely sold on the guy at the beginning of the season and was concerned he was a little overhyped by fans and media. With 26 of his biscuits coming at even strength I will admit I was totally wrong. I feel like he could score 7 less next year and I wouldn’t sweat it. You cant have enough 20+ goal scorers who can skate like the wind.
Clarke MacArthur A- Even perfect hockey players go on dry streaks. Grizz had a pretty rough one this year. He suffered a scary head injury too. But you know how MacArthur-types respond to adversity like that? They come back like bosses that none of that shit happened to and help get the goddamn squad into the playoffs.
Additionally I thought he was a beast in the playoffs especially in games when no one else was. I was tempted to give him a B+ but as the only spark in a couple of those rough ass early playoff games against the Habs I gotta bump the boy up. Confident he will return to his normal self on October.
Milan Michalek B Poor Milo, he’s the kind of dude who can do something amazing like put up 35 goals (equal to B Ryan’s career high) and still have fans be all “Doze Spezza passes tho.”
Milo’s super underappreciated I find. This year was no exception. Blessed is the guy who you can plug into the top six one game and put him on the 4th line to kill penalties the next and receive quietly solid performance from each and no complaints from him on what is frankly a pretty harsh demotion. All you hear about Milo from players and staff is how he is a “good pro” and you know what? I believe it. Before he went down with a concussion, Michalek was absolutely flying for a good stretch of the season and when the Sens really needed it too. He’s the kind of player who would be totally reasonable at $4M per on other teams…but ours is broke so you know how that go. Would love to see a him hit the 40+ bracket in points but considering how good he is defensively having him around a point every other game is fine to me.
Matt Puempel Σ Great to see the kid get a couple goals in what ended up being a pretty short call up. What the end of season numbers don’t tell you is how close some of his scoring chances were. He showed in a short time he can be a pretty dangerous presence and i think think the team noticed that. A bounce here or an inch or two there and Pumps (sorry) might have had 4 or 5 goals.
I was super bummed out that just as seemed to get more comfortable his season ended with a high ankle sprain. It’s an injury I’ve had myself and know how frustratingly long the healing and rehabbing process is. Luckily, he’s got a great strength and conditioning staff looking after him unlike I did (thanks Obama).
Shane Prince µ Heyyyy speaking of “Thanks Obama” good to see my favourite right wing left winger Princey finally get a cup of coffee as he has been toiling away in Binghamton and improving every year since 2011. I have no idea if Prince ever gets a legit shot but at 22, as Hoffman has shown, he’s still a good amount of road ahead to prove himself an NHLer.
I’m sure its tough to get only 2 games. One was strong the other not so great but getting a nice assist is a good first step.
Have a great summer. Hit the gym hard and don’t get too distracted campaigning for Ted Cruz! He got this.
College Greening God bless Got paid $2, 650, 000.00 to score an empty net goal where he didn’t even shoot the puck on the play. Greening finished the year with the distinction of all time franchise leader in Cost Per Point. His salary increases next year and again the year after. Thanks for reading.
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WTYKY Film Room: The Sens Say Thank You

As their last official act of the 2014-15 NHL season, the Ottawa Senators and their digital media team recorded a thank you video for us, the fans. We here at WTYKY would be remiss if we didn’t bring you a full breakdown of this off-ice content. It’s kinda our thing.

Whatever, it’s the summer. Just roll with it.

0:01

Look, if there’s one thing we’ve all learned from our Grade 8 graduation, it’s that nothing puts one in the mood for reflection like the soothing tones of a gently plucked acoustic guitar. Sometimes when something happens in my life, I’ll take out my second-hand 12 string and play the first few chords of Wonderwall just in case it turns out to be worth remembering later. Once I was served McDonald’s breakfast at 11:02 AM on a Sunday morning, even though Macca’s has a STRICT policy regarding the sale of Egg McMuffin’s past 11 on weekends, and I commemorated the event with a photo slideshow I created using iMovie. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of using Rick Wakeman’s The Six Wives of Henry VIII as the soundtrack, which totally ruined the vibe and it ended up getting badly downvoted on Reddit. Should have just used something by CSNY-Era Neil Young instead. Lesson learned.

You’ll notice that the Sens digital media team has not made the same schoolboy error I did so many weeks years ago. They may not be able to afford the rights to that one Green Day song whose name no one really knows, but they do know two dudes with guitars, effects pedals, a working knowledge of Garage Band, and an appreciation for Mumford and Sons’ new sound. Consider the tone set.

0:06

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Look, you may say that life is all about colouring outside the lines, but would you take that sort of BS from your tattoo artist?

That’s what I thought.

0:23

Not content to just be his team’s lead-off hitter in the Orleans fastpitch league this summer, Mark Stone gets this end-of-year video started as well! Let’s see how he goes.

0:26

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Ah, the classic look of a man who did not expect the phrase “continued support” to be written on the next line of the cue card.

0:30

Mika Zibanejad is a man of few words. You may think that a trite “Thank you Sens Army for your support” betrays a lack of interest, but take a second look. You think he’d put on his best boat shoes and fitted ball cap for just anyone? Love is about actions as well as words.

0:33

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Milo comes in and delivers his lines with the self-assured confidence of a man who knows that even if he didn’t have the best season, he still outscored Ales Hemsky. That said, I have to comment on some of the sartorial decisions going on here. Now, I don’t know what sort of life Milan Michalek had as a young boy growing up in communist Czechoslovakia. For all I know, he aspired to one day wear the trappings of the most capitalist institutions as a way to rebel against his Stalinist oppressors. I don’t know what else would inspire one to support the New York Yankees of all teams. You might as well just walk around in an BNP Paribas golf shirt or wear a blazer made of sea turtle shells with the Exxon Mobil logo stitched on it. If any sports team can be thought of as truly evil, it is the New York Yankees.

0:38

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Like I was saying, the New York Yankees are one of the finest franchises in all of sports and I feel honoured to even be allowed to cast my gaze upon their officially licensed headwear.

0:40

Bloody hell, Jean-Gabriel Pageau is the most long-winded francophone since Marcel Proust! Here is a translation of JGP’s message to Sens Fans.

I am an angel sent to earth by God to torment all those who would stand against the Ottawa Senators. Erik Condra and I will play on a line together for as long as there is hockey being played in the capital of this great nation. Sens rule, all them other teams stink. Thanks for a great season.

It’s amazing how good my French is after having taken two (2) French courses over a decade ago.

0:53

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You hear what Patrick Wiercioch is saying, but you cannot listen his words because he is looking deep within your soul to judge you and your darkest secrets. I bet if this guy blinked more often (read: more than zero times) he would have been scratched less.

1:13

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Jared Cowen is an NHL defenseman with the Ottawa Senators organization.

1:17

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See, now this is what I’m talking about. Andrew Hammond isn’t about baseball bandwagons, endorsement deals, or swag from his cousin’s music production company in which he has a 2.5% stake. There’s just a nice sweater, a Nike hat off-the-rack, and a simple “Thank you, Sens fans” which gets the job done without fanfare. Andrew Hammond is the Andrew Hammond of this video.

1:22

Likewise, Chris Neil knows the drill. He’s not here to do anything fancy, he’s just gonna say his lines into the camera and go off on a change. That’s called being a veteran, folks.

1:30

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Is Alex Chiasson’s lid game reflective of the fact that deep down he suspects he may have peaked in college?

No, YOU’RE projecting!

1:46

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You can tell Eric Gryba really went all out for this video because he shaved earlier that morning.

1:51

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Some might see this image as proof that Colin Greening is alive, but I’m not believing anything until I see a take where he’s holding today’s paper.

1:53

“Hey Sens fans, Curtis Lazar here.”

Curtis Lazar isn’t so vain as to think that just because you’re on this website for the team he plays for, it automatically means you know who he is. No, he’s gonna introduce himself, and you know why? ‘Cause he wasn’t raised in a goddamn barn, that’s why. After nearly a full year of watching Curtis Lazar on and off the ice, I can say confidently that “Meeting your parents for the first time” is just his default mode of interacting with people. He’s just so…earnest. He even said it was a joy to put on a show for us! Curtis, stop it. The joy is all ours.

2:09

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Is this to be Erik Condra’s last appearance in an Ottawa Senators video? Is the man who has given us so many memorable moments over the years going out in a Detroit Tigers ballcap (Michigan represent!) while playing with his jacket’s zipper? As much as we’d all love to see this guy be the 9th person on the team to hold the Stanley Cup aloft before he rides off just wide of the sunset, some things are too beautiful for this world. Erik Condra is one of those things.

2:20

Enough of the scrubs. Now we’re getting into The Faces of the Franchise™. Kyle Turris and Bobby Ryan (or as you know him, “This is Bobby”) are givens, but who is the creamy middle of this Top 6 Sandwich? It’s Mike Hoffman! If I were Mike Hoffman’s agent (and really, who’s to say I’m not?), I’d be taking this video to the RFA negotiations this summer. “If my client doesn’t deserve to get paid like a top forward, why’s he in this part of the video instead of back with Cowen and Neil? Look, Turris makes $3.5 Million a year, Bobby makes $7 million a year, so let’s split the difference and go $5.5 Million.” Bryan Murray’s gonna be hoisted by his own digital media petard on this one.

2:40

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Codi Ceci looks good in a sheltered role here. Maybe you’d like to see more out of the kid, but he only just turned 21! Let’s not rush him. Look at everything he’s already incorporating into his game. He’s got the backwards hat of Jared Cowen, the chain of Kyle Turris, and the barely controlled hair of Mark Stone. Cody Ceci is all upside.

2:43

I gotta come clean: I’ve never been able to get a handle on Craig Anderson. Some people have very strong feelings about Craig Anderson, but I am not one of them. He’s very good, but he’s not even Ottawa’s best ever goaltender who routinely suffers mysterious injuries. I don’t know what else to say here. Nice hat, I guess? Thx 4 reading.

2:47

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“They didn’t give me the C, so I’m gonna give them the V………………neck.” – Chris Phillips.

2:53

I love Erik Karlsson. Has he ever been uncomfortable in any social situation? Both on and off the ice, EK only has to show up to crush it out of the park. I can’t wait to see his speech when he accepts his Norris Trophy next month. He’ll probably thank his dog and tumblr. It’s going to rule.

3:23

thebryan

I just wanted to take this opportunity to remind you that Bryan Murray is, both figuratively and literally, a boss. All hail The Bryan.

3:26

Ah, life comes at one fast. Dave Cameron started out the year as The Guy with the Earpiece on Paul Maclean’s bench, and now he’s repping the whole coaching staff and painting thank you messages on the ice. Cameron ends the year and the video the same way he began as head coach: talking directly and matter-of-factly with that soothing but totally unplaceable accent. I hope he gets a summer job recording audiobooks or something.

I think we’re done here.