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.
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.