Tag: Jim O’Brien

Bobby Ryan

Retooled Senators better off without Alfredsson


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.

Capitals’ Ovechkin held pointless in loss to Senators


It appears Alex Ovechkin hasn’t yet solved his scoring woes.

Once one of the most prolific scorers in the NHL, Ovechkin has one goal and two points in the Washington Capitals’ first six games of the season.

On Tuesday, two days after finally notching his first of 2013, Ovechkin was kept off the score sheet and the struggling Capitals coughed up a 2-0 lead to the Ottawa Senators, eventually losing 3-2.

Ovechkin was reduced to just two shots on goal.

“Of course, I want to be in the position where I score goals and help my team win,” he told Globe and Mail hockey writer Roy MacGregor prior to Tuesday’s game against Ottawa. “If I have an opportunity to score, I have to score.”

The Capitals gave up a late second period goal to Jim O’Brien, and the Senators tied it early in the third period thanks to Milan Michalek.

A member of the Capitals for nearly 10 years earlier in his career, Sergei Gonchar scored the winner on the power play with less than three minutes remaining.

“It’s a tough one because when you play a really good hockey game you obviously want the win. When you have a 2-0 lead that should be enough in this league,” Capitals head coach Adam Oates told Katie Carrera of the Washington Post.

The Senators played without Jason Spezza, who is dealing with an “upper body injury.”

Parise, Suter headline NHL-laden charity game in Minnesota, set for…Oct. 28

Zach Parise, Ryan Suter

On Sunday, Oct. 28, over 20 NHL players will participate in a charity game at the University of Minnesota to raise funds for Defending The Blue Line, an organization ensuring children of military members can participate in the game of hockey.

It promises to be a star-studded affair.

Headlining the game will be the Wild’s two big summer signings — Zach Parise and Ryan Suter — along with a host of other NHL players:

George Parros, Clayton Stoner, Keith Ballard, Davis Drewiske, Jack Hillen, Stu Bickel, Darroll Powe, Justin Braun, Erik Johnson, Blake Wheeler, James Van Riemsdyk, Mikko Koivu, Stephane Veilleux, Mike Lundin, Chris Porter, Kyle Okposo, Paul Martin, Kyle Brodziak, Jim O’Brien, Cal Clutterbuck and Ryan Carter.

Now, for the interesting part — the date of the game is, as you might’ve noticed, Oct. 28…yet the NHL has only canceled games through Oct. 24.

Defending The Blue Line has addressed this issue:

In the event the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NHL & NHLPA is settled prior to the event, DTBL reserves the right to provide an alternate game, or convert the monies spent on event tickets to a charitable donation to DTBL.

Player list will be subject to change pending players taking contracts in Europe or other markets.

So there’s the disclaimer.

At same time, you have to wonder where the players’ heads are at with regards to a deal getting done, given that 22 of them have verbally committed to playing on the 28th.

Sens prospect Zibanejad to play in North America this season

2011 NHL Entry Draft - Portraits

After playing most of last season with Djugardens of the Swedish Elite League, Mika Zibanejad will spent 2012-13 in North America.

That’s the word from NHL.com as Ottawa assistant GM Tim Murray said Zibanejad — taken sixth overall at the 2011 draft — will either be with the Senators or their AHL affiliate in Binghamton next season.

“He’s staying no matter what,” Murray said. “Whether its Ottawa or Binghamton, we’re not sending him back. So he’s here.”

Zibanejad made the Senators out of training camp last season as an 18-year-old, only to be sent back to Djugardens in late October. Murray said the “loss of confidence” played a big role in returning Zibanejad to Sweden — confidence that quickly came back.

Upon his return, the talented center scored notched 13 points in 26 regular season games and scored the overtime goal in the championship game at the 2012 World Juniors.

Zibanejad will face a tough test cracking the Ottawa lineup this year. Jason Spezza and Kyle Turris seem entrenched as the No. 1 and 2 centers, meaning he’ll battle with Jim O’Brien, Peter Regin and Stephane Da Costa for a spot.

Jim O’Brien inks a two-year extension with the Senators

Jim O'Brien #42 of the Ottawa Senators skates against the New York Islanders at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on April 1, 2012 in Uniondale, New York. The Senators defeated the Islanders 5-1.
(March 31, 2012 - Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America)

The Ottawa Senators have announced that they have locked Jim O’Brien up to a two-year contract extension. O’Brien, who was a restricted free agent, will come with a $637,500 annual cap hit, according to Cap Geek.

O’Brien was taken by the Ottawa Senators with the 29th overall pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft and he established himself as a regular with the team in the second half of the 2011-12 campaign. He ended up playing in the entirity of the Senators’ seven-game first-round series against the New York Rangers.

Given that the deal is reportedly one-way, O’Brien is a good bet to make the Ottawa Senators’ opening game roster. It’s worth noting that he was an offensive force with the AHL Binghamton Senators, but he will likely serve as a bottom-six forward with Ottawa next season.