Tag: Marc Methot

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.

Ottawa Senators ’15-16 Outlook

Ottawa Senators v Vancouver Canucks
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What happens after the honeymoon period wears off?

The Ottawa Senators may be a great test run for such theories in 2015-16. After all, there was a stark difference between the team that left MacLean making sardonic jokes on his way out the door to the one that stormed its way into the postseason under Dave Cameron.

So, what happens when Cameron gets to hold a training camp with this roster? Also, what happens if their goaltending is merely average after Andrew Hammond’s stupendous, burger-earning run?

One interesting thing to consider: some credit Ottawa’s turnaround with Cameron as much as they did with “The Hamburglar.” The possession improvements from MacLean to Cameron were occasionally drastic, but the common theme is that younger players like Mike Hoffman and Mark Stone emerged while veterans faded into the background.

Perceptions change, but the personnel’s largely the same

There are exceptions (see: Robin Lehner’s exodus), yet the Senators are more or less the same team after a quiet summer. It’s interesting, then, that it’s still difficult to forecast this team’s future.

Hoffman, Stone and Mika Zibanejad saw big gains under Cameron. Kyle Turris proved that he can be a top center in the NHL. More will be expected from Bobby Ryan while Erik Karlsson is, well, Erik Karlsson.

The offense looks like a solid strength, but Ottawa’s roster faces plenty of questions. The defense sees a huge drop-off beyond their top pairing of Karlsson and Marc Methot while Hammond could easily generate a goalie controversy with probable starter Craig Anderson.

In other words, by defying expectations in 2014-15, Cameron and the Senators raised the bar awfully high for next season. Will they fall short of that mark?

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.

Sens GM Murray to return, Cameron offered extension


Despite an ongoing battle with Stage 4 colon cancer, Bryan Murray isn’t quitting his day job.

“I’ve talked to the doctors, I’ve talked to my family,” Murray said at Ottawa’s end-of-season media availability on Wednesday. “If my health holds up and everything, I can keep doing this job — and it’s better than sitting on the couch at home, I think.”

Murray, diagnosed last July, didn’t expand much on that decision, opting rather to dive into the work he’s already doing — specifically, a new contract extension for head coach Dave Cameron.

Murray said the midseason coaching change to Cameron from Paul MacLean completely turned the team around, evident in Ottawa’s stellar 23-3-3 run to make the playoffs.

“We played more of a pressure game, we played a quicker game, we broke the puck out better and we weren’t hemmed in our own end as much as we were,” Murray explained. “[Cameron’s] ability to communicate with them, to get them to perform and believe in themselves — [it] turned around a season that could’ve gone sideways very quickly after Christmas.”

As for other news and nuggets from today’s presser:

• The Sens will make a contract offer to Andrew “The Hamburglar” Hammond, who starred during the aforementioned playoff push. Hammond, a pending UFA, went 20-1-2 with a .941 save percentage and 1.79 GAA, but faltered in the playoffs and ceded his No. 1 gig to Craig Anderson.

• On the topic of goalies, Robin Lehner — who’s concussion opened up a spot for Hammond back in February — is still dealing with headaches and has been told to “shut it down” for another week. Murray said that if Hammond accepts Ottawa’s offer, “there will be a change with one of the other two guys,” meaning Lehner or Anderson could be moved.

• Defenseman Jared Cowen will undergo sports hernia surgery. Marc Methot, who was reportedly headed for elbow surgery, may no longer need the procedure.

• Murray has given Cameron the green light to hire an assistant coach to replace the late Mark Reeds, who passed away earlier this month.

Finally — and fittingly — Murray ended his presser by confirming he’s healthy enough to deal with the rigors of being the GM, adding that the work is, at times, good for him.

“I always feel better when we win,” he explained. “Even when I didn’t have health issues, I always feel better when we win.”

Sens’ MacArthur, Methot battled hip injuries in series vs. Habs

Marc Methot

Marc Methot and Clarke MacArthur were among the Sens battling injuries in their first round loss to the Montreal Canadiens.

According to hockey insider Pierre LeBrun, both played through hip flexor injuries during the six-game series.

MacArthur missed the second half of Game 5 with the injury. He told reporters on Sunday morning that he had “hyper-extended” his “lower body injury” in Ottawa’s 5-1 win.

The 30-year-old had two goals in the six games while registering a minus-2 rating in the series.

Methot actually averaged more ice time per game in the six games than he did during the regular season. The 29-year-old had a minus-1 rating in the series while averaging 23:48 in ice time. Methot averaged 22:40 in ice time in 45 regular season games.

MacArthur and Methot’s injuries are in addition to the microfracture Mark Stone suffered in his right wrist in Game 1 of the series.

Ottawa will hold its season-ending media availability on Tuesday at which time further injury information is likely to be revealed.