2010 NHL Trade Deadline: To the surprise of no one, Senators targeting defensemen

To say that the Ottawa Senators are in
third place in the Eastern Conference is surprising is an
understatement. Yet there they are, winners of 14 of their last 16 games
and playing the best hockey in Ottawa since 2008.

What’s abnormal
about their standing in the East stems mostly from the fact that the
Senators are the only team in the top 12 in the NHL to have a point
different in the negative (minus-1). They’re having some issues scoring
goals, sort of, but their defense and goaltending have been a bit a bit
suspect as well (amazingly, they are near the top in the NHL in shots
allowed per game). Yet the Senators are drastically thin on defense, and that’s where Aaron Ward might come in…

The Senators are gearing up for a playoff run
that is hopefully a bit more successful than their last attempt, and
currently have just six healthy defensemen on the roster, two of which
are on entry-level contracts. So it stands within reason that they’ll be
targeting a defensemen at the trade deadline. Of course, GM
Bryan Murray says they need to maintain team chemistry.

“Some
of the guys I’m talking to now — and I don’t know all of the
defencemen — I do know the personality of the defenceman, and I just
want to get a good guy,” Murray said. “He doesn’t have to be a star, he
just has to be able to play some games. Just don’t come and rock the
boat.”

Could that player be the Hurricanes’ Aaron
Ward? He’ll be a free agent this summer, but he’ll certainly provide a
veteran presence on the blue line for the playoffs and he’s not
necessarily a guy who it going to ‘rock the boat’. What’s going to be
tough for Murray is that every team knows they need a defenseman; but if
he’s going to try and not oversell, while still fighting to keep the
feel of his team intact, then good on him.

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    Predators tab Roman Josi as new captain, call him ‘our Roger Federer’

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    The Nashville Predators boasted some appealing options to take the torch from Mike Fisher as captain, but really there was only one obvious name: Roman Josi.

    Josi officially became the team’s eighth captain on Tuesday. Ryan Ellis appears to be second-in-command as “associate” captain, while they seem interested in spreading the leadership wealth around otherwise:

    As captain, Josi will see an increased role on the Predators leadership team, which will also see some new appointments. Defenseman Ryan Ellis has been named as the team’s associate captain, while Ryan Johansen, Filip Forsberg and Mattias Ekholm will all serve as alternate captains. In addition, Pekka Rinne, P.K. Subban and Nick Bonino have all taken positions within the leadership group.

    If that’s not a sign that the team is taking this seriously – kind of amusingly so – consider that Ellis and Josi “interviewed” for the position and Peter Laviolette evoked military structures in discussing the decision, as sports teams love to do.

    Josi seemed flattered when GM David Poile described him as “our Roger Federer,” a fellow Swiss sports star.

    At face value, that’s great, especially since it breaks through the near-corporate-speak that saddles announcements like these.

    That said, it’s funny to compare the leader in a team sport to a tennis player, among the most individualistic athletes in all of sport. There aren’t many moments of teamwork beyond doubles and rare events like the Davis Cup.

    Overall, it’s another strong decision by the Predators. It’s merely fun to tease them a bit about the cornier aspects.

    Awful injury news for Blues’ Bouwmeester, Sanford

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    Hockey’s training camps and exhibition games share a lot of similarities, big-picture wise, with other sports.

    As much as they’re all about evaluating players trying to make rosters and rule tweaks heading into each season, the “winners” of a pre-season may just be the teams that make it out without any significant injuries. The St. Louis Blues aren’t one of those winners.

    The team announced unsettling injury updates for defenseman Jay Bouwmeester and forward Zach Sanford on Tuesday.

    Sanford is expected to miss five-to-six months after undergoing shoulder surgery. That virtually wipes out an important season for a guy who was still trying to stake his claim to a full-time roster spot.

    Bouwmeester’s situation is probably more troubling, potentially, as he’s already a key defenseman for the Blues (averaging more than 22 minutes last season, which was a slight decrease from recent work). The team announced that Bouwmeester suffered a fractured ankle and will be re-evaluated in three weeks.

    As tormenting as day-to-day updates can be, “check back in three weeks” makes for even greater anxiety.

    It does open up some opportunities for other players in the Blues organization, for whatever that’s worth.

    This news comes shortly after the Ottawa Senators announced that Colin White will miss multiple weeks with a broken wrist.

    You almost wonder if we’ll start to see fewer practice updates like these:

    Senators’ prospect Colin White out 6-8 weeks with broken wrist

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    Bad news for the Ottawa Senators today.

    The club announced Tuesday that prospect center Colin White is out six to eight weeks with a broken left wrist.

    The Senators selected White 21st overall in the 2015 NHL Draft. After two years at Boston College, he signed his entry-level deal in April and appeared in two regular season games for Ottawa. He also appeared in a Stanley Cup playoff game, though he only saw 2:39 of ice time.

    That’s certainly disappointing for White, who could’ve had a shot to make the big club out of training camp. One of the question marks for Ottawa had been the status of fellow center Derick Brassard, who had offseason shoulder surgery with a recovery timeline of four to five months.

    “I come here and worry about myself, do the right things on and off the ice, take care of my body. If I’m playing well and taking care of my game, I’ll fight for a spot,” White told the Ottawa Citizen prior to training camp.

    It was a little on the foggy side for Canucks practice in Shanghai

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    The Vancouver Canucks dealt with some adverse conditions as they hit the ice at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai in preparation for this week’s 2017 NHL China Games exhibition series versus the L.A. Kings.

    According to the pictures, it was a little on the foggy side for their practice.

    Is that . . . Henrik Sedin in the distance?

    The Canucks and Kings face off Thursday at Mercedes-Benz Arena, before traveling to Beijing for Saturday’s game at Wukesong Arena.

    The good news? It appears the fog was lifted in time for the Kings’ practice.