Sens let Latendresse walk


The Ottawa Senators’ resilient 2013 season argues that the franchise’s future is bright. Still, GM Bryan Murray has a lot of questions to answer (and probably some significant holes to fill).

Murray at least took care of one of them on Wednesday, as the Ottawa Sun reports that he parted ways with Guillaume Latendresse.

The explanation was simple enough for the oft-injured 26-year-old winger: he couldn’t get it done, although his tough luck with injuries begs a few “what if?” questions.

“If he hadn’t have gotten hurt he’d have been able to contribute here,” Murray said.

” … We knew his foot speed wasn’t going to be the reason we signed him. We thought around the net, being a front-of-the-net, goals, offensive zone type of guy and it never really got there for him.”

The report indicates that Mike Lundin and Peter Regin will be shown the door as well.

Daniel Alfredsson’s retirement is possibly the most significant change, but there are some other things to ponder.

At 39, Sergei Gonchar’s best days are behind him, so is it worth giving him the two-year contract he’s reportedly asking for? Will the team sign guys with one year left on their deals (such as Milan Michalek, Cory Conacher, Robin Lehner and Jared Cowen) to extensions?

There’s a lot to like about this team, although it could look quite different in 2013-14.

Latendresse seems upbeat about it, at least.


Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

Jarret Stoll, Mats Zuccarello
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For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.

The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.

They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.

It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.

Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)

Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.

This post will be updated if there’s video of that staggering sequence.

Welcome back, Babs: Red Wings chase Bernier

Mike Babcock
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Mike Babcock admitted that there might be a painful transformation as he tries to fix the Toronto Maple Leafs.

His old friends made that abundantly, painfully clear on Friday.

As of this writing, the Detroit Red Wings are up 4-0 on the Buds. Justin Abdelkader just completed a hat trick with James Reimer in net, so the subplot isn’t just about Jonathan Bernier having another tough start.

The big story might just be Detroit’s varied new line of Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin (who scored his first career goal) and Henrik Zetterberg. At the moment, they’ve combined for seven points.

This post will be updated if Detroit’s tribute video to Babcock surfaces.

Really, though, this beating has been about as ugly as this blanket so far.

Here’s video of Abdelkader’s hat trick: