Tag: Ottawa Senators


Need a goalie? No shortage of options out there


Don’t underestimate the importance of the backup goalie. In today’s NHL, where parity reigns, it can be the difference between making and missing the playoffs.

Think that’s overstating things? Give Jim Nill a call in Dallas. The Stars’ GM gambled on Anders Lindback this season, and it cost his team big time. With a capable backup, the Stars wouldn’t have had to lean so heavily on a struggling Kari Lehtonen. Dallas went on to finish with the NHL’s second-worst team save percentage (.895). Also, seven points back of a playoff spot.

Meanwhile, remember what Andrew Hammond did for the Senators? And Eddie Lack for the Canucks when Ryan Miller went down with an injury? Do either of those teams make the playoffs without such solid play from their backups?

Having one capable goalie is nice. Having two is even better. Heck, in the Senators’ case, it was three.

Remember that on July 1 when unrestricted free agents are expected to include Antti Niemi, Karri Ramo, Michal Neuvirth, and Jhonas Enroth. (As of today, Devan Dubnyk can become unrestricted as well, but it would be a surprise if he doesn’t re-sign with Minnesota.)

And then there’s the trade market. The Senators are trying to trade Craig Anderson or Robin Lehner. The Canucks are expected to deal one of Lack or Jacob Markstrom. The Blackhawks have three goalies under contract; what could Antti Raanta fetch them? Would the Leafs trade James Reimer? They’d listen to offers, that’s for sure.

So yeah, lots of options out there.

In spite of all the supply, Canucks GM Jim Benning is confident there’s enough demand that he’ll be able to recover something for either Lack or Markstrom.

“I think there’s enough teams that need goalies that if we decide to move someone that we won’t have a problem doing it,” he said recently in a radio interview.

And according to a report in the Ottawa Sun, there are seven teams interested in the Senators’ goalies.

The Edmonton Oilers are probably one of those seven teams. They finished the season with the NHL’s worst team save percentage (.888).

“I’ve had discussions on teams with goalies,” GM Peter Chiarelli said yesterday. “We’ve got a goalie under contract in Ben Scrivens.”

We’ve speculated that the Oilers may have interest in a veteran like Anderson, but Chiarelli refused to get into specifics.

“Obviously I’m not going to comment on any discussions with specific teams,” he said.

So, expect plenty of goalies to change clubs this summer. And when the 16 playoff teams are finalized for 2016, don’t be surprised if we’re looking back at one or two moves that made a difference between making and missing.

Related: If Anderson is available, should the Oilers be interested?

Report: Senators, coach Cameron agree to extension

Ottawa Senators v Winnipeg Jets
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The Ottawa Senators have signed head coach Dave Cameron to a two-year extension, according to the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch.

Cameron became Ottawa’s bench boss after Paul MacLean was let go on Dec. 8. Under his guidance, the Senators posted a 32-15-8 record, including a 21-3-3 finish to make the playoffs after all hope seemed lost.

His success was largely thanks to the trust he put in his young core. Rookie Mark Stone saw his playing time substantially increase under Cameron with him logging a then season-high 19:07 minutes in the new head coach’s debut. Stone went on to play a key role in Ottawa’s Cinderella Story and earned a Calder Trophy nomination.

Cameron was also the benefactor of goaltender Andrew Hammond’s improbable rise. The 27-year-old netminder had a 1.79 GAA and .941 save percentage in 24 contests.

Before joining Ottawa as an assistant coach in 2011, he served as the head coach of the OHL’s Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors and led them to the 2011 Memorial Cup.

Report: Cameron nearing a two-year extension with the Senators

Ottawa Los Angeles

According to Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun the Senators and coach Dave Cameron are nearing an agreement on a two-year contract extension.

Cameron took over the head coaching duties after Paul MacLean was fired on Dec. 8.

The 56-year-old led the Senators to a 32-15-8 record good for the first wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Cameron is also close to filling out his coaching staff.

Garrioch’s sources say former Colorado Avalanche assistant coach Andre Tourigny, will fill the spot left by Mark Reeds who passed away in April.

Tourigny was an assistant on Cameron’s coaching staff when Team Canada won silver at the world junior championship’s in 2011.

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.

Report: Sens’ Murray to retire after next season

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According to the CBC, Ottawa Senators GM Bryan Murray plans to retire after next season.

Murray, who is battling Stage 4 colon cancer, is currently in the middle of preparing for next month’s NHL Draft.

“I’m not as energized as I once was, but age has a little to do with that as well as the sickness,” said Murray.

The 72-year-old has one more year remaining on his contract. He expects to shift to an advisor role following the 2015-16 season.

“[I like the idea] of sharing some knowledge to the young people that will eventually take over here and help as much as I can rebuild this hockey team to a contending hockey team,” Murray said.

Murray will be responsible for finding his replacement.

“All Eugene (Melnyk) said to me was, ‘you’re going to pick the next guy, Bryan. Work with me on it, but you come up with when you’re going to transfer it over’,” said Murray said in January.

Murray has been the club’s general manager since June 2007.

Related: Sens’ Murray hopes to bring cancer awareness