“See girl, only thing I’m tryin’ to extablish with you is not who’s right and who’s wrong but what’s right and what’s wrong, Real Talk.” – Robert Sylvester Kelly
Hi welcome to this website. How’s everyone’s day going? *pretends to listen to story about re-grouting bathroom tiles* Hey I think that’s the TOPS… Say, shut up a minute and lets unpack the drama filled Friday that was.
First off, I am glad that you and I are here after a weekend has passed and we’ve had time to bury our feelings under a thick blanket of pizza and beer.
Personally I spent my Friday morning trading jabs with people in the Sensphere. I’d say that they were just buying into media hype and that they thought the sky was not falling because Alfie was not yet signed. I mean, after all, Murray himself had flat out said in the press THE DAY BEFORE s and I quote, “Chill the fuck out, the shit’s good as done I GOT THIS H’YUH.” Then boom the most hockey obsessed source on the planet TSN dropped that Alfie was indeed headed to Motown. Shit. Uhhh. Hmm. Owww. Then Bryan Murray goes and makes a bit of a troll move: Guys, I know the captain and face of the franchise is gone but don’t worry NOW YOU CAN CHEER FOR THIS TORONTO MAPLE LEAF. I’ve braced for something like Alfie’s departure for a long time but must admit I was as gutted as any other Senators fan when it actually happened, as evidenced here by this embedded tweet that i cant get to look like the opposite of bullshit:
Not the greatest follow up that could have happened. Then complete radio silence from the organisation which caused a period of rage on the Sensphere that I do not wish to relive here. Little did we know that a few hours later that Bryan Murray had completed what was the biggest trade in Sens history since Ottawa acquired Dan[n]y Heatley for Marian Hossa when he landed power forward Bobby Ryan of the Ducks (cool team name j/k) for Jakob Silfverberg, propsect Stefan Noesen and Ottawa’s 1st round pick in 2014.
Okay, now I’ve done my recap of the events that transpired. We’ve all had a weekend to eat so much junk food, meet our friend Steven for drinks to talk about it, and we’ve all gone and seen Wu Tang Clan perform…well maybe it was just me that did that stuff but you know what? NO JUDGMENTS with whatever way you’ve been coping. I’ve had a couple of days to think about it and you know what? I feel okay with how it shook out.
First thing’s first: Don’t get it twisted, losing Daniel Alfredsson sucks big time. I’ve been proudly wearing my red number 11 to games and out on the shinny rink for years. I’m as big an Alfie fan as you’ll meet. I’ve been saying for a couple of seasons now whenever the trade deadline time came around and rumors were flying that hey if Alfie wanted to leave he’d have all the right in the world too. He’s done more for the franchise than any player in its history and no one can ever take that away from him. He wants to go for a cup? Go for it. Now that it’s happened I must admit it was way harder to come to grips with than I had anticipated.
It also didn’t help that it went down the way it did. I’ve read articles that blame Alfie, ones that blame management and everything in between. All I know is that situations like this happen all the time in the NHL and this time it’s happening to us and it sucks. It also made me sympathize with Toronto fans and how they had to basically go through Friday for nearly an entire off season with Sundin. That had to have been rough. So, one way or another it happened and frankly it could have been worse. I’ll take the quick band aid rip off way. So that’s it? That’s how I’m okay with it? No not entirely.
WARNING THINGS ARE ABOUT TO GET PRETTY “REAL TALK” UP IN HERE SO READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED …also, haters to the left.
Whether it was gamesmanship or not I vividly remember Brian Burke’s reaction to Dany Heatley’s trade request. He said that whenever he receives such notice from a player no matter who they are that they can basically get the fuck out because he ain’t got no time for half steppin. While I don’t feel quite THAT harsh, honestly, if Alfie’s head’s not fully here and committed to Ottawa I’m fine with him playing somewhere else in his twilight. I still love him. I just hope he’s not disappointed when the Red Wings DON’T win the Stanley Cup [Real Talk]. Also, if the team is on a budget does anyone think maybe the 5.5 million dollars he eventually commanded was a bit much for a guy who’ll turn 41 this year? [REAL TALK!] While it’s also quite fair to say that Alfie is a very, very special 40 year old and that you should pay absolutely anything to retain the captain we know that the Senators are not really in a position to get wild salary-wise especially with several RFA’s still to resign…including newly discovered restricted free agent Cowen (Murray get on that btw). Alfie gets a crazy pay day and gets to play for what he feels is a contender. Happy trails see you at the number 11 retirement where I will stand and cheer….aaaand probably cry because my psychologist says I have a very healthy emotional relationship to the Ottawa Senators.
Next, despite that absolutely gutting subtraction from the team can we not say that that was an absolutely huge Free Agent day for Bryan Murray? For all the griping about the urgent need for top 6 scoring help that we’ve all been guilty of the past few years Murray not only lands a top six winger but also a top THREE winger? Damn. Since Heater’s exodus to San Jose/Minnesota/Golden Corral Buffet and Grill, how much ink has been spilled about Spezza needing a legit top flight winger to play with? Here he is folks. Here he is. The price was steep and I will definitely miss Jakob Silfverberg who had big potential here but ever since the 2011 draft when Ottawa took 3 forwards in the first round alone you knew quality some young forwards were going to get moved at some point. Anaheim made sure they got a great return in Silfverberg a quality prospect and a 1st round pick. I think that this is the big boy version of the Turris for Rundblad and a second trade. Stings to do but if it fulfills a team need with a high quality player well that’s how big trades work in the NHL nowadays. Both teams have to win. The Seguin / Eriksson plus deal is a great recent example. You might lean one way or the other but the word “fleece” tends to be hyperbole when important players move nowadays.
With the additions of Ryan and MacArthur (still adjusting to rooting for this guy after years of hate!) I cannot dispute that Ottawa’s top six is not just improved but vastly improved. This morning’s uhh…RE-addition of Joe Corvo (900K for a bottom pairing defenseman who can move the puck well? I will TAKE that) also helps the back end and gives a little more time for Ceci and Borowiecki to develop.
There are no guarantees in sports but MacArthur and Ryan do not have the same questions surrounding them like the far past their primes Kovalev and Gonchar did nor the “can this guy play a full NHL season without dying 1000 deaths” that Cheechoo and Latendresse had looming over them. These acquisitions are tremendous until further notice. Ottawa will have young, able quality guys coming into camp who will be ready to play and likely very excited to be part of an exciting young group that features a career point per game centre, the best defenseman in the game, a very high quality goaltending tandem and the coach of the year. (See what i did there!)
In closing, one need not look further than the banner of this blog to know what we’re staring in the eyes of here. We’ve been quietly discussing for a couple of years now what the Senators next chapter would look like when Alfredsson inevitably made his leave. In 2013-2014 we are going to get to see it. I was as gutted as the next fan when it happened and felt bruised as to how it went down but you know what? I cant deny that it’s a very exciting time to be an Ottawa Senators fan. We’ve lost our heart and soul but we will find a new one. The sheer determination and bravery that Erik Karlsson showed this year has really stuck with me as I’m sure it did many others. As did his enthusiasm to sign back here long term as soon as his entry level deal was up. Will he be made captain? I’d be in favor of it. Will he actually? No ( but maybe just not yet). To me, this couldn’t happen at a better time. If we lost Alfie during the Cory Clouston era? I’d have jumped out of a goddamn window. Like I’ve already worn out, if it was going to happen it was going to happen and there’s nothing we fans can do to change it. I am just thankful that it went down when there’s not only heaps of promise going forward but now an additional will to take it to the next level and some very exciting players to help do it. Let me be the first to say it: Welcome To Your Karlsson Years ©®™™™™©®™