Tag: Cody Ceci

Jared Cowen

Trade target Cowen says Sens’ support has been ‘awesome’

It’s safe to say Jared Cowen knows he hasn’t lived up to expectations in Ottawa.

And it’s safe to say he appreciates the Sens sticking with him — even though teams have called about a potential trade.

“It’s awesome to have that support and I feel that same way about myself,” Cowen said this week, per the Ottawa Sun. “I know that it’s not just me that feels I can be a lot better and be the player that I know I’m going to be and I want to be.”

Cowen, taken ninth overall in 2009, has struggled to replicate the success he found during his rookie year in 2011-12, when he scored 17 points in 82 games, averaged nearly 19 minutes a night and received a handful of Calder votes — pretty impressive for a 21-year-old defenseman.

Injuries have played a role in Cowen’s declide — hip and abdominal issues sidelined him for extensive periods — and that’s led to teams inquiring about potential availability, given his size (6-foot-5, 228 pounds) and the fact Cowen only turned 24 in January.

Doesn’t sound like Ottawa is willing to make a move, however.

From the Sun:

Senators GM Bryan Murray along with assistants Pierre Dorion and Randy Lee have received a lot of calls from teams interested in Cowen but dealing him wasn’t an option because it’s difficult for any organization to give up on a young defenceman who still has upside potential.

With two years left at $3.1 million per-season, the Senators want to see what they’ve got in Cowen and that’s why he hasn’t been dealt. He’s looking forward to a big year under coach Dave Cameron and wants to show he can return to the form.

One would assume Cowen’s in the group of seven defensemen Ottawa will mostly rely on this year, along with Erik Karlsson, Marc Methot, Cody Ceci, Patrick Wiercioch, Mark Borowiecki and Chris Phillips.

That said, there are other blueliners knocking on the door, including Chris Wideman, a minor-league standout that won last year’s Eddie Shore Award as the AHL’s top defenseman.

Sens’ biggest question: Defensemen not named Karlsson

Jared Cowen, Robin Lehner
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Let’s face it: most teams would see a big drop-off between Erik Karlsson and the rest of their defensemen.

Even so, whether by choice or budgetary constraints, it seems like “same old, same old” for the Ottawa Senators’ blueline beyond their Swedish superstar.

(OK, that’s unfair to a very nice defenseman in Marc Methot, but the general outlook remains pretty shaky.)

Take a peek at their projected pairings, via the Ottawa Sun:

Methot – Karlsson
Patrick Wiercioch – Cody Ceci
Mark Borowiecki – Chris Phillips

Other options who might bump depth guys: Chris Wideman and Jared Cowen

That doesn’t exactly jump out as a group that will smother the opposition (or consistently, effectively move the puck out of the zone failing that), does it?

It’s not just a matter of looking iffy on paper, as the Senators range from middle-of-the-pack to the bottom 10 in various defensive stats. After all, we can only really speculate regarding just how much Andrew Hammond’s fast-food Cinderella streak truly covered up some own-zone blemishes in 2014-15.

Even if you make the case for the occasional piece beyond Karlsson and Methot, it’s tough to imagine an honest GM being happy staying pat with this group. The Senators seem like they’ll need to live with “Karlsson and everyone else” for another year, nonetheless.

With the emergence of Mark Stone and Mike Hoffman, Ottawa’s offense seems far more formidable, and Craig Anderson + Hammond make for an intriguing combo in net.

As brilliant as Karlsson is, you get the impression that this defense may force the Sens to outscore their problems.

Report: With Sabres gig gone, Richardson to re-sign in Ottawa

Luke Richardson 3

Rumored to be in the running for the now-filled Buffalo head coaching gig, Luke Richardson — the bench boss of Ottawa’s AHL affiliate in Binghamton — appears primed to stick with the Sens.

More, from the Ottawa Sun:

League sources say the Senators have tabled an offer to the 46-year-old former defenceman and while a deal isn’t in place it could happen soon now that the Buffalo coaching situation has been settled.

It’s believed the two sides need to work out the final details of the contract.

Richardson, at one point the oddsmakers’ favorite to get the Sabres job that eventually went to Dan Bylsma, is held in pretty high regard throughout the NHL. Few his age can match the combination of experience as a coach and player; Richardson appeared in over 1,400 games with the Leafs, Oilers, Flyers, Blue Jackets, Lightning and Senators before immediately moving behind the bench, where he spent three years as Ottawa’s assistant coach (under both Cory Clouston and Paul MacLean) before transitioning to the American League.

During his time in Bingo, Richardson has played a key role in the development of guys like Mike Hoffman, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Patrick Wiercioch, Cody Ceci and Mark Stone, one of the this year’s Calder Trophy finalists.

But despite Richardson’s good standing league-wide, the Sens hadn’t been asked by any clubs for permission to interview him. That came as a bit of a surprise, especially after Buffalo lost out on the Mike Babcock sweepstakes; there were also (since filled) vacancies in Edmonton, San Jose and Toronto and head coaches are still needed in Detroit and New Jersey.

Richardson favored to be next Buffalo coach, says oddsmaker

Luke Richardson 3

Ex-NHLer Luke Richardson, currently coaching Ottawa’s AHL team in Binghamton, is the odds-on favorite to be the next head coach of the Buffalo Sabres, according to online oddsmaker Bovada.

Richardson, 46, has strong ties to Sabres GM Tim Murray from their time together in the Canadian capital. He’s worked extensively with a number of prospects (Mike Hoffman, Cody Ceci and Calder finalist Mark Stone) that Murray helped draft in Ottawa prior to taking the Buffalo gig, and is regarded as a good mentor with an ability to develop players.

Here’s the entire coaching odds list, per Bovada:

Luke Richardson 3/2

Dan Bylsma 11/4

Mike Babcock 11/4

Todd McLellan 3/1

John Tortorella 15/2

Peter Horacek 17/2

The Sabres fired former head coach Ted Nolan two weeks ago, shortly after he wrapped his second season on the job. The veteran bench boss racked up a 40-87-17 record during his time with the Sabres; Buffalo finished 30th in the NHL this year but failed to win the draft lottery, and will pick second overall at June’s entry draft in Florida.

Neil out, Chiasson in as Sens look to stave off elimination again

Ottawa Senators v Philadelphia Flyers

Out with the old, in with the new.

That’s the strategy Ottawa will employ this evening as it looks to win its second consecutive game against Montreal and keep the series (currently 3-1 in favor of the Habs) alive — veteran Chris Neil, who played in Games 3 and 4, will be dropped from the lineup in favor of Alex Chiasson, who hasn’t played since Game 2.

Neil, 35, was a non-factor in each of the last two outings, and only played 6:06 in Game 4.

Chiasson, 24, fits with the youth movement that head coach Dave Cameron implemented upon taking the gig from Paul MacLean, and continues to push today; only two Senators in the lineup tonight are over the age of 30 (winger Milan Michalek and goalie Craig Anderson).

Meanwhile, the likes of Curtis Lazar (19 years old), Cody Ceci (21), Mika Zibanejad (21), Jean-Gabriel Pageau (22) and Calder nominee Mark Stone (22) continue to see significant minutes.