Ottawa Senators

Keep the Kia: Denial, acceptance and going last in the fantasy draft

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The beauty of the 2015 NHL All-Star Game’s fantasy draft is recreating that feeling of picking teams in a way that evokes playground nostalgia. Of course, there’s one subversive twist … a single player experiences something they likely didn’t encounter often as kids: getting picked last.

With media availability kicking in on Friday, some players shared their thoughts on possibly following Phil Kessel as an All-Star who was tabbed last. The range of emotions seemed quite varied.

For Ottawa Senators forward Bobby Ryan, the consolation prize of a new car won’t be enough incentive to go last overall, as he told the Ottawa Citizen.

“I really don’t want a Kia,” Ryan says. “Although if it happened, I’m not going to be upset about it. Mom will have a nice ride.”

Ryan noted that he already dropped former Anaheim Ducks teammate Ryan Getzlaf to try to convince him that he would be a “mid-round steal.”

While Ryan represents the denial phase, New Jersey Devils veteran Patrik Elias seems to cover the acceptance spectrum, as the Bergen Record reports.

“It is what it is,” Elias said. “It’s good for the fans. It’s fine. The draft is the draft. I don’t care where I’m picked. I’m just happy to be there.”

While Elias takes the veteran approach, Arizona Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson is almost like the new kid at school.

One imagines Kessel’s reaction would simply be, “Oh no, not again,” even if he seems to say otherwise.

Related

Odds are on Zemgus Girgensons, Radim Vrbata going last

PHT’s take

Girgensons, Vrbata favored to go last at fantasy draft, says oddsmaker

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For the record, Friday is Media Day for the 2015 All-Star weekend, not Pick on Zemgus Girgensons Day.

Brovada released some 2015 All-Star odds today, covering obvious questions such as who will be selected first and last during the fantasy draft (as well as more esoteric ones, like Jaroslav Halak and Carey Price being on the same team).

Let’s start with who might be selected last:

Who will be picked last in the 2015 NHL All Star Draft 
Any Other Player                       3/1
Zemgus Girgensons (BUF)         4/1
Radim Vrbata (VAN)                  4/1
Patrik Elias (NJ)                        5/1
Bobby Ryan (OTT)                     6/1
Tyler Johnson (TB)                    6/1
Phil Kessel (TOR)                      9/1
Vladimir Tarasenko (STL)           15/1
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (EDM)     15/1
Tyler Seguin (DAL)                    20/1
Patrice Bergeron (BOS)             30/1
Jakub Voracek (PHI)                  30/1
Claude Giroux (PHI)                   50/1
Alex Ovechkin (WAS)                100/1
Steven Stamkos (TB)                 100/1
Ryan Johansen (CLB)                100/1
Anze Kopitar (LA)                      100/1
John Tavares (NYI)                    100/1

(Don’t sleep on the “one of the captains outright trolling a friend and/or teammate,” by the way.)

On the flip side, who might get selected first?

Who will be picked first in the 2015 NHL All Star Draft 
Alex Ovechkin (WAS)                2/1
Steven Stamkos (TB)                 2/1
Ryan Johansen (CLB)                4/1
Duncan Keith (CHI)                    10/1
Corey Crawford (CHI)                 10/1
Shea Weber (NAS)                    12/1
Anze Kopitar (LA)                      30/1
John Tavares (NYI)                    30/1
Phil Kessel (TOR)                      30/1
Brent Seabrook (CHI)                 40/1
Carey Price (MON)                     40/1
Claude Giroux (PHI)                   40/1
Patrice Bergeron (BOS)             40/1
Tyler Seguin (DAL)                    40/1
Any Other Player                       40/1
Zemgus Girgensons (BUF)         50/1
Jakub Voracek (PHI)                  50/1
Vladimir Tarasenko (STL)           50/1
Jaroslav Halak (NYI)                  80/1
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (EDM)     80/1
Ryan Suter (MIN)                       80/1
Tyler Johnson (TB)                    80/1
Bobby Ryan (OTT)                     80/1
Marc-Andre Fleury (PIT)             80/1
Roberto Luongo (FLA)               80/1
Mark Giordano (CAL)                 80/1
Brent Burns (SJ)                        100/1
Dustin Byfuglien (WPG)             100/1
Erik Johnson (COL)                   100/1
Justin Faulk (CAR)                     100/1
Kevin Shattenkirk (STL)              100/1
Patrik Elias (NJ)                        100/1
Radim Vrbata (VAN)                  100/1
Oliver Ekman-Larsson (PHO)      100/1

Despite being one of the better offensive defensemen in the NHL, Oliver Ekman-Larsson said he wouldn’t be shocked if he went last:

As far as who will win, Team Toews is at even odds while Team Foligno’s -140 (5/7). Finally, some of the odder bits:

Will Carey Price (MON) and Jaroslav Halak (NYI) be on the same All Star Team?        
Yes                  EVEN   (1/1)
No                    -140      (5/7)
 
Will Ryan Johansen (CLB) and Nick Foligno (CLB) be on the same All Star Team?     
Yes                  – 200     (1/2)
No                    +150     (3/2)
 
Will Jonathan Toews (CHI), Corey Crawford (CHI), Duncan Keith (CHI) and Brent Seabrook (CHI) and be on the same All Star Team?   
Yes                  +550     (11/2)
No                    -900     (1/9)

Is anyone else a little disappointed that “uncomfortable Phil Kessel facial expressions” wasn’t a category? (Taking over-four.)

Agent on Sens’ Greening: ‘I think he’s an NHL player’

Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray hasn’t been able to find a trade partner for Colin Greening and hinted a stint in the American Hockey League could be next for the forward.

“I tried to encourage them (other GMs) to give him an opportunity through a trade or whatever vehicle it may be. At this point, there’s nothing for him,” Murray told TSN Radio 1200 in Ottawa on Monday. “I just told him eventually here, if we don’t get something done, he’s got to play hockey. You can’t play hockey as the 23rd, 24th guy on the roster here so I may have to put him on waivers here at some point in time.”

Greening has one goal and minus-3 rating to go along with 27 penalty minutes in 20 games this season. The 28-year-old hasn’t played since Jan. 8 and has been a healthy scratch in five straight games.

Murray told TSN Radio that he’s considering placing Greening on waivers following the All-Star break. If Greening clears, he could be headed for a stint with the Binghamton Senators. He hasn’t played in the AHL since playing 59 games with the Senators’ affiliate during the 2010-11 season.

“I don’t expect him to be in the American Hockey League,” Greening’s agent, Allain Roy, told PHT this week. “At this point it’s not something we’re really talking about. I think he’s an NHL player and within the time frame Bryan wants, he’ll find a home in the NHL.”

Roy, understandably, believes there is a suitor in the NHL for his client’s services, but with another year remaining on his three-year, $7.95 million contract, which carries a cap hit of $2.65 million, it might be a tough sell for a player, who has scored 10 or more goals once in his career.

“He’s a big winger that can skate and play physical. I would think that maybe some teams out there that need that and with this being the all star break, there’s going to be some teams looking to make a run in the second half,” said Roy. “We’ll wait and see what’s going to happen.”

As a result of the play of Jean-Gabriel Pageau and the emergence of rookie Curtis Lazar, Greening has been a healthy scratch in 22 of Ottawa’s 46 games this season.

“He’s a young guy, he’s got a lot of years left,” Roy said. “He’s an NHL player, he just needs to find another NHL home, if it’s not Ottawa.”

Sens’ GM Bryan Murray will make a decision on his future after this season

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Bryan Murray plans to make a decision on his future in the business following this season.

The Senators general manager is battling Stage 4 colon cancer and going for regular chemotherapy treatments while maintaining his position in Ottawa’s front office.

“I think I’ve got to take a look at it at the end of this year,” Murray told the Ottawa Citizen. “My wife would like me to take off. Geri’s been good, though. She says, ‘I know you have to have something to do.’

“I don’t know whether I can just put my feet up.”

Murray took over as Senators head coach in 2004 leading the club to a Stanley Cup final appearance in 2007.

“What am I going to do?” Murray said. “Play through the year. Wait and see. I have to have a talk with Eugene. He has something to say here, too.

“Maybe it’s time to move on. That’s OK, too.”

When the 72-year-old does step aside, he’ll appoint a successor.

“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.

Once he hands over his GM duties, Murray would like to remain a part of the organization in an advisor role.

“I’m very interested in what happens here, I’m real proud of this group and the people we have,” Murray said. “I wish we were higher up (in the standings) but I see a young team that’s going to be pretty good. So I have real interest in doing the right thing for them.”

Legwand, Hatcher reach agreement to buy OHL Sarnia Sting

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Ottawa Senators forward David Legwand has teamed up with retired NHL defenseman Derian Hatcher to buy the OHL Sarnia Sting from current owner Larry Ciccarelli, per the league’s website.

“This is an exciting day for both David and myself,” Hatcher said. “We know this area extremely well and look forward to building something special in Sarnia. We are committed to this community and are excited to get started once we have approval from the OHL and its Board of Governors.”

Hatcher and Legwand are both products of the Ontario Hockey League, so their decision to buy the Sting hits close to home.

Sarnia, which at one time employed Steven Stamkos, produced two first-round draft picks in 2014 in Anthony DeAngelo (19th, Tampa Bay) and Nikolay Goldobin (27th, San Jose). The 2014-15 squad features forward Pavel Zacha, who might be a top-10 pick in this year’s draft. Nikita Korostelev isn’t as highly regarded as Zacha, but he might also end up going high in the 2015 draft.

The Sting have a 22-16-3-2 record this season.