23.08.2010: In which we scale Mount Puckmore and plant a sparkly Sens flag in Ron Tugnutt’s head

James to peter, me
show details Aug 20 (3 days ago)

Good Morning Star Shines,

These Mount Puckmores can make me feel pretty depressed. Though the recent Phoenix Coyotes one made me feel a bit better – Jeremy Roenick? I mean…I loves me some JR but…Phoenix JR? All the original six ones are bummers as they have so much history and each enjoyed a legendary player or five in the ranks at one point or the other. The Wings one was especially rough though, where Steve Yzerman (former Nepean Raider like *ahem* yours truly…uh… only…uh… the Raiders home ice is now named after him) is written about, and not even unreasonably, for his unparalleled leadership and sacrifice to a team that has been around for something like …70 years AND HOW DETROIT WAS WILLING TO GIVE US ANYONE ON THE WINGS INCLUDING YZERMAN!!!! for our Daigle pick. I remember at the time hearing about that potential Yzerman for the Daigle pick story and basically praying “please don’t do it please don’t do it!!!” RRRRRR “Sont of a bitch!” – Jean Claude Van Damme in Street Fighter the movie.

Anyway, back to Mount Puckmore…So it was Daigle, Yashin, The Good Goalie we Never Had (alright this is getting a bit much), and Alfie. Goddamn it. 3 Controversies and Alfie? I wish Peter Raymaakers put it together rather than Dany Heatley Speedwagon. I mean I appreciated that he was being self depreciating but did he really have to put that much fodder on that goddamn thing? Or is buddy with the HI-LARIOUS message board handle correct? (btw, I stupidly thought initially that his name was a crack at how Heater is the slowest goddamn skater…but its actually a zing about killing his best friend. Stay classy whoever!)  Was he Samsonite off or was he on point?

What does your Ottawa Senators Mount Puckmore look like?

Conrad to James
show details Aug 20 (3 days ago)

Good question. I agree that the inclusion of a goalie concept, especially, is a head-scratcher. “The Sens have never had a franchise goalie!” Ok, but this describes a number of teams. How is this specific to Ottawa, let alone defining? Goaltending was only identified as a weakness relative to the stacked lineups of yesteryear. Because it’s easier to pick on than “The Sens third line doesn’t…grind…hard enough…?” or “Shaun Van Allen isn’t Gary Roberts.”

I think it’s fair to include Yashin. Team’s first ever pick, held a number of franchise records for a number of years, all of which were achieved when the team was basically an adomination. I would probably keep him in. At least as metaphor for the rocky start.

Alfie, obviously, is a no brainer.

Daigle is pushing it. I mean, yes he was a bust. No more so than any number of busts (Stefan), and certainly not franchise defining. These are the sort of things that get glazed over when teams with history – even shitty ones, without an extended history of winning, like St. Louis, Toronto, Boston – start to tally their key players. Ottawa will get there.

So: my other two:

Jason Spezza – because, like you said James, he’s the meta-Senator. All criticisms, and all potential, center on him. Is he an elite centerman, future captain, dominant forward? Or is he a soft player who makes bad decisions, is overpaid and poorly developed? Your answer generally depends on where you live and which team your dad likes. But for better or worse, he represents the promise and failures of the franchise. And for the remainder of his long deal, his performance will dictate the rest of the team’s. If he thinks the wilting scrutiny was tough this past summer, imagine what it’s going to be like after Alfie retires…

Chris Phillips – I know, I know: he isn’t flashy. He’s only been a solid top 4 shutdown defenceman on this team for thirteen years. We lose Chara and he steps up and continues to play against the top scorers in the league. You know that no matter which coach he’s playing for, in no matter what system, you’re going to get Big Rig’s solid if unspectacular play. Exactly the type of stay-at-home defenceman every team would like to have kicking around, even if they aren’t building the team around the guy.

So, no, Phillips and Spezza aren’t, say, Lidstrom and Yzerman. They are way better than a banner that says “This team had a lot of years as a shit-show” though, which is basically what DHSW did with that lazy Mount Puckmore.

Honorable mentions: Heatley. Yeah, I know, he broke everyone’s hearts. He was still dynamite for this team for a few years, put up back-to-back 50 goal seasons, helped make up one of the most fun 1st lines I’ve ever watched, and his trade request, again, was a franchise defining moment.

James to me, peter
show details Aug 20 (3 days ago)

Great list Conrad! Also, thanks for picking basically the exact same lineup as me. I knew I shouldnt have graciously waited. I’m too damn gallant. Phillips was definitely on my list. I always thought of him as “unspectacular but a guy you definitely need” then I got a better job -wink!- and started to go to a lot more games and realized that dude is pretty amazing at his job. I watched him shut down the shit (thing?) out of Ovechkin – which is like wrestling an aligator- and handle as best as one can the top lines of some pretty serious clubs. Not flashy but vital.

C, you’re right about Yashin. He was basically Ottawa’s first truly good player. He put up very respectable numbers on garbage dump teams and consistently at that. You know what? in retrospect, and in the fog of homer vision …I must say he was a little mistreated by the team too. You know what else though? EFF this two-time holdin’ out, Islanders fourth liner shipped out still under contract to SKA St. Petersburg carrying his own equipment bag now chump… “My father always said life’s biggest tragedy was wasted talent” – Line from whoever played the main character in A Bronx Tale. I ain’t puttinz no talent waster on my mountain.

Alfie – Praise be his name. That is all.

–          Here comes the curve ball.

Eugene Melnyk – Yeah. Im doin’ it. Anyone who thinks I should blow up this mountain…should blow themselves up. Okay, so the Euge is a bit of plump tanned billionaire. You’re never fully going to be like “Hey this is my kind of guy!” but damn it this guy bought the team and took them from the brink and I will be forever thankful for that. THAT to me was a franchise defining moment. The Euge Era has also been a much, much more enjoyable one for we lowly fans. He has TOTALLY LEGAL (Not Guilty Yall got to FEEL ME) deep pockets and a patience that only a guy who watches games from an outdoor bar in the Caribbean is capable of. Bottom line: Team ownership has to be one of the biggest crap shoots out there…and I am not terrified of this guy signing the cheques. Also, he is suing Dany Heatley.

Spezza – Giggz. Again, the Ottawa Senators of players. Since his first few games I’ve been in this guy’s corner and will likely take a couple of years off my life in the process of remaining in his corner. Love him or hate him the guy tries. He has all the talent in the world and if he continues to try to get better I think that he can do great things. *Does 15 Hail Marys*

Phillips – A bit of an unsung hero outside of Ottawa. Conrad wrapped it up quite nicely there but if I may add…Recently in the Citizen they were interviewing Phillips about what he thought about getting a new defense partner and Gonchar’s added mobility and how it will effect him and he more or less said “it should be fine, I’ll miss Volchenkov but I’ve been through quite a few systems and a lot of changes over the years so…” and you think damn. That guy HAS been solid for over a decade whether doing the Martin trap game or cleaning up with Pizza line’s leftovers …I mean turnovers. I mean calzones…which is a Pizza Turnover.

Honorable mention: Without a doubt Anton Volchenkov. No secret to my pals that he was one of my all time favs. I don’t know why I didn’t actually just put him on the list. Our franchise goalie if ever there was one. No one gave to our team like that guy…Alfie a close second. Alfie plays hurt…Android was always hurt. Maybe he gets honorable mention b/c I am still sad that with the last stroke of the pen of him re-signing I was finally going to get my Volchenkov jersey. Damn. Gunna miss ya out there, A Train. None of those hunched over wincing skates back the bench were wasted on this fan. Wasn’t it the best when he scored? It would be jump out of your seat satisfying. Sigh…Karlsson will YOU be my new Valentine?

So surprised Conrad didn’t put Dean McAmmond on his list.

Phun Phact: I was looking at some non reliable numbers on the wikipedia list of all Senators players and discovered Todd White had 26 fewer points than Alexandre Daigle despite playing 156 or so fewer games as a Sen!

Conrad to James, peter
show details Aug 20 (3 days ago)

Oh yeah, I’ve got my All Time Fave Third Liners Unless It Was a Weird Year In Which Case You’re Up Kid, Get In There With Alfie players, which include: 1) Dean McAmmond – total vet, classy as hell, worked his ass off, could occasionally pull off a beautiful deke, is one of those guys who I always noticed on the ice but for reasons apparent to people who coach but not to me never seemed to get more than 6 minutes of Smirnoff Ice Time; 2)  Vaclav Varada. Terrifying to behold. He was basically an orc; 3) Arveds(s?)on: this guy was one of those almost 20 goal scorers who made up the peak years’ depth. Could occasionally pull something unbelievable off, would score two goals in a big game, and was considered, by everyone else, to be a player who benefited from being on a good team but wasn’t good himself (p.s. they said this about everyone); 4) Mike Comrie: I’ll never understand why we didn’t re-sign this guy for $2.5M – $3M for five years and call it a day. He played well, was occasionally clutch, loved the city, was dating Hilary Duff, was part of a team with crazy chemistry, and is not Alex Fucking Kovalev @ $5M; 5) Bri(y?)an Smolinski: see Arveds(s?)on, except smugger and American and actually pretty fucking funny in an interview.

You know, I hadn’t even thought about including management or coaches in my list, and if I could do a re-do, I’d remove Spezza (he’s young! He’ll make my list next year) and include Jacques Martin. Look at the team that guy inherited, and look at where he took them. He made them credible, won a Jack Adams. For all we know they could have become the Thrashers of Southern Ontario. Sure, all the Leaf defeats happened under his reign, but I was pretty happy for the guy this last season going to the Conference Finals. It was big for him to knock off the Caps and Pens with that Habs team.

Oh, and Bobby Butler. Kid’s played two games, but I gotta feeling. It’s probably just the name.

James to me, peter
show details Aug 20 (3 days ago)

Could the guy seriously have a better name? You know his parents had to put Robert Butler on the birth cerrtificate but with a winking knowingness that only long term visionaries have. PLEASE WORK OUT if only that i can yell at the team in my best Whitney Houston voice “BOBBY BBBEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

peter to me, James
show details Aug 20 (3 days ago)

1. Firestone
2. Alfredsson
3. Sylvain Turgeon

Okay so I’m going waaaay off the board with my pics but I refuse to engange in any kind of revisionist history that ignores the fact that at one point the Sens were the worst thing on skates since Tonya Harding (too soon?). Not that I’m implying you guys made incorrect pics, I’m just choosing to give a little credit to a time when the Civic Centre resembled the basement at Grampa’s rest home.

1. Pretty sure the Ottawa franchise bid was presented on cardboard with macaroni and sparkles. We’re talking about a group suggesting an NHL team play in a broom closet for two years while they fight with the most confused group of city councillors in a city renowned for its poor management. All for an arena in the middle of nowhere constructed on dot com dollars and the polish of Firestone’s bridgework. Ottawa didn’t have the tanned George Hamilton-esque charm of an Esposito brother to glad-hand his way around the ownership committee, all the while fighting off bids from cities that are still trying to acquire teams! The fact that we even have a team to root for is an achievement of the highest order.

2. I remember watching an exhibition game in Alfie’s rookie season. He was wearing number 63 and was hell on skates. I remember thinking, holy shit this guy is going to be good. I had no idea he’d be this good. And I was a kid suffering from a severe case of hyperbole at the time. Thanks proactiv solution!

3. Again back to the dark days when the sens were compared to the terrible Washington teams of the 70’s. There was absolutely no offensive dynamism. Alexei Yashin and his frustrating production was a year away. An aging Turgeon (already a ten year vet) was producing well above his station. Maybe it’s the mist at the corners of my eyes when I think back to those days but Turgeon was the best player on a horrible team in 1992 and that deserves some recoginition. Hey Gen. Custer is remembered for a similar situation correct?

James Mirtle Tweeted about our last stupid post (actual sentence that people understand in 2010) because we mentioned him and it probably triggered his Google Erogenous Zone. Our site traffic quadrupled for that day. Soooooo…

Conrad to peter, James
show details Aug 20 (2 days ago)

James Mirtle (who, for the record, we’re a fan of) Tweeted about our last stupid post (actual sentence that people understand in 2010) because we mentioned him and it probably triggered his Google Erogenous Zone. Our site traffic quadrupled for that day. Soooooo…

James Mirtle, Greg Wyshynski, Pension Plan Puppets, Nick Kypreos, Darren Dreger, Don Cherry, Father Christmas, Kuklas Korner, Shaq (you know he’s Googling himself), Gary Bettman, Purple Monkey Dishwasher, Hockey’s Future, Schwarma King


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