Senators coach Paul MacLean is like a lot of Senators fans in the sense that he’s disappointed to see Daniel Alfredsson leave, but excited by the addition of Bobby Ryan.
The 26-year-old forward reached the 30-goal mark for four consecutive seasons going into the 2013 campaign. That kind of goal scoring prowess is something MacLean feels the team has been lacking for quite a while.
But who will Ryan skate alongside in five-on-five situations? Playmaker Jason Spezza seems like a natural fit, but MacLean doesn’t want to get ahead of himself.
“The chemistry (Ryan) gets, is it going to be with Jason Spezza or Kyle Turris or Mika (Zibanejad), whoever he gets the best chemistry with is who we’re going to play him with,” MacLean said, according to the Senators’ official website.
Regardless of who Ryan’s linemates end up being, this seems like a golden opportunity for him. In 2011-12 and 2013 respectively, Ryan ranked seventh on the Anaheim Ducks in power-play ice time, but he’s likely to play a much bigger role with the man advantage in Ottawa. That change alone could help him challenge his career-high of 35 goals.
As PHT’s mentioned before, the Florida Panthers stand as a fascinating contrast between youth and experience.
Let’s not kid ourselves, though; fresh faces usually beat out gray beards, at least when it comes to teams that are still trying to build toward contender status.
While it’s by no means official, two Panthers beat writers – the Miami Herald’s George Richards and the Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov – report that the Panthers are likely to pass on Martin Havlat.
It wasn’t just about the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad leading the charge. Other young Panthers (maybe most notably Quinton Howden and Connor Brickley) made the team, thus making Havlat less necessary.
One would assume that it might be tough for the 34-year-old to find work, at least if he insists upon only an NHL deal.
Health issues continue to dog him, but he’s no longer one of those guys who tantalizes with talent when he is healthy enough to play.
Havlat also doesn’t really bring much to the table defensively. While other veterans can kill penalties and show a little more verstaility, Havlat’s greatest selling point is scoring.
Could this be it for a solid career that may nonetheless end with a “What if?” or two?
Considering all of the controversy surrounding the 41-game suspension for Raffi Torres, some might have lost track of the guy who received that hit: Jakob Silfverberg.
The good news is that, at the moment, it seems like he’s OK.
The Anaheim Ducks announced that he skated on his own and will be involved in the team’s next practice:
That falls in line with some of the fall-out from the hit, as head coach Bruce Boudreau let out a relieved “thank goodness” at the young forward seemingly dodging a bullet.
Here’s video of the hit and the suspension decision:
Silfverberg, 24, enjoyed a nice breakout in 2014-15, especially during the playoffs.
Keep in mind that injuries can sometimes crop up later than expected, especially potential head injuries/concussions. Still, it seems like the initial reaction is that the damage was minimal.