Daniel Alfredsson’s departure from Ottawa for Detroit stung fans and team executives alike in Canada’s capital city. Everyone from GM Bryan Murray to Kyle Turris have said and made their peace with his choice, but one thing they should realize is they’re better off now without him.
Sure, Alfredsson’s leadership and veteran know-how will be missed in a locker room that’s decidedly young, but from a purely offensive standpoint, the Senators are a better team.
Take a look at what their forward lines could shape up to be now with Bobby Ryan taking Alfredsson’s place and Clark MacArthur replacing Jakob Silfverberg.
Milan Michalek – Jason Spezza – Bobby Ryan
Clarke MacArthur – Kyle Turris – Mika Zibanejad
Colin Greening – Zack Smith – Cory Conacher
Erik Condra – Jim O’Brien – Chris Neil
What you have there is a team with scoring talent on three lines and a fourth line that will be annoying and grinding. Pesky, if you will.
Ryan is a four-time 30-goal guy and more than young enough (26) to do it again. Alfredsson at 41 was generally good for 20 goals per season. It doesn’t take a mathematician to tell you 30 is more than 20.
MacArthur’s offensive work in Toronto was often hampered by how coach Randy Carlyle used him but he was always productive. That kind of added scoring “oomph” to the second line helps give them balance.
With the defensive group they’ve got in front of a goalie tandem of Craig Anderson and Robin Lehner, it sure looks like Ottawa has a great team.
As long as they don’t get scorched by injuries the way they did last year (Spezza, Karlsson, Michalek) they’re a contender potentially worthy of making Alfredsson regret his decision to leave.
One of the driving forces behind the NHL’s growth over the last decade is moving on.
John Collins, who’s served as the league’s chief operating officer for the last seven years, will be leaving his post to embark on a new business opportunity.
More, from the League:
Collins, who joined the NHL in November 2006, had been COO since August 2008.
“John leaves a lasting mark,” said Commissioner Bettman. “His energy, creativity and skill at building strategic partnerships helped drive significant revenue growth for our League. We are grateful for his many contributions and wish him the best in his new endeavors.”
Said Collins, “I’m grateful to Commissioner Bettman for his leadership and friendship over the past nine years. He had a vision for extending the reach of the NHL and supported us completely as we set out to make the game as big as it deserves to be.
“The NHL’s future is filled with promise and potential and I will admire and cheer the League’s successes to come on the global stage.”
Collins, 53, was regarded as one of main presences behind a number of the NHL’s most successful initiatives, including the Winter Classic and Stadium Series, the HBO 24/7 collaboration, the relaunched World Cup of Hockey, Canadian and American television deals and partnerships with companies like SAP, Adidas, Major League Baseball Advanced Media and GoPro.
During Collins’ tenure, the NHL was twice named “Sports League of the Year” by the SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily — once in 2011, and again in 2014.
Columbus will have some reinforcements up front when it takes on the Devils tomorrow in New Jersey.
Brandon Dubinsky, who’s missed the last six games with an elbow injury, and Alexander Wennberg — who’s also missed the last six games, but with a foot ailment — have both been activated from injured reserve, and should be available for selection on Wednesday.
The Winter Classic Alumni Game is back this year, scheduled for New Year’s Eve at Gillette Stadium between former members of the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins.
Today, the NHL announced the rosters and coaching staffs.
Famous ex-Habs that will take to the outdoor ice include Larry Robinson, Guy Carbonneau, and Mats Naslund. Behind the bench will be Yvan Cournoyer, Jacques Demers and Guy Lafleur, among others.
The home side will counter with Bruins legends Ray Bourque, Cam Neely, and “Nifty” Rick Middleton, while Don Cherry, Mike Milbury, and Derek Sanderson will be among the coaches. (Quite a trio of personalities right there.)