Have Cheap Defensemen become that Valuable?

So the Ottawa Senators just traded Dean McAmmond and a late first round pick for Mike Comrie and Chris Campoli.  Mike Comrie is set to become an unrestricted free agent so for a team that won’t make the playoffs (though maybe Bryan Murray is dreaming otherwise), he presents very little value in return, let alone the fact that he really isn’t that good of a player anyway.  He’s not good enough offensively (for the most part) to play on the top two lines, and too weak defensively and inconsistent to play on a third line checking role. So in essence

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Hartsburg gets axed for Murray's failures

Let me start off by saying that I wasn’t a huge fan of the Hartsburg hiring as I don’t think Hartsburg had done anything at the NHL level to show that he is a true top level coach, something that the Senators definititely should have been looking for. But he was available and relatively inexpensive and maybe that is why Murray hired him. But this is seemingly Murray’s second bad coach hiring after John Paddock failed a season ago and was fired less than 12 months ago. But Murray’s bad decisions go beyond coaching. Some of his player personnel decision

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Avery Antics and Fallout

There’s been a lot of talk about Sean Avery‘s recent comments and its suspension but I think there’s still some issues to discuss. There’s been some talk about the league’s motivations behind the suspension, considering that a hit from behind to the head these days gets you only 3 games. Here are some things to take into consideration as well. 1 – Avery’s smart. He knows what he has to do to drum up some excitement. A while ago he made a comment about how villains and heroes sell and he has no problem playing the villain. He relishes that

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Thoughts…

– No surprise from anyone that Dustin Penner got benched by Craig MacTavish. The $4.25m man never lived up to expectations and probably never well. Brian Burke felt that the massive overpayment would have ramifications on the free agent market, but it didn’t, but regardless Burke gets the last laugh because now the Oilers are stuck with Penner for a long time. Except the hockey gods are giving Penner another chance, now with Fernando Pisani is sidelined with a broken ankle. – Craig Hartsburg is once again going to re-unite the Pizza Line. I never understood the fascination with breaking

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David's 2008-09 NHL Predictions

I believe we are in for some serious surprises in both conferences as I don’t think there are many teams that are sure bets to make the playoffs and in both conferences, particularly the west, there are several younger teams ready to make a push for a playoff spot. All that means that some teams expecting to make the playoffs won’t. Eastern Conference 1. New Jersey Devils 2. Montreal Canadiens 3. Washington Capitals 4. New York Rangers 5. Pittsburgh Penguins 6. Buffalo Sabres 7. Ottawa Senators 8. Boston Bruins 9. Philadelphia Flyers 10. Tampa Bay Lightning 11. Carolina Hurricanes 12.

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Thoughts…

– Mike Smith proved that he can handle the load. And it also proved that the Lightning need more time to gel together, after their choppy game. Speaking of turnovers, Andrej Meszaros played one of his more subpar games. I still question whether or not he deserves the ‘A’. The Lightning couldn’t get anything going, and none of the lines other than the top line showed any real chemistry. If it wasn’t for Smith the game could’ve been a blowout had the Rangers not been so rusty. – The Rangers’ top line looks good, but the second line, other than

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Ottawa Senators

No other team in the NHL teeters as much as the Sens on being a Cup contender or just merely a playoff contender. The Sens are talented, but asides from their top players the rest of the roster looks rather average, and once again, because they failed to add some much needed scoring depth, will have to rely on their Big Three. With new coach Craig Hartsburg behind the bench, the Sens will be looking to establish an identity after a monumental collapse last season with John Paddock and the Ray Emery debacle. The Sens are one year removed from

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Mixing and Matching

Training camp’s all about establishing chemistry and figuring out which players go where. ESPN’s Sean Allen provides some insight and here are the highlights: Zach Bogosian seems to be penciled in to make the team, and Allen figures him to hit the 40-point mark, but I highly doubt it. I think their top powerplay quarterbacks are going to be Ron Hainsey and Tobias Enstrom. With Justin Williams out for most of the season it means a spot has opened up beside Eric Staal. The likely candidate is Patrick Eaves, although Sergei Samsonov, who has rejuvenated his career in Carolina, may

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All Smiles

For Mats Sundin, whose latest press conference revealed no new information about his hockey career. The Swede is still contemplating offers from as many as 6 teams, and potentially be the stumbling block of all the trades that would’ve been made already. Sundin now says that he will not make a decision before the NHL season, which means that guys like Mathieu Schneider, who was expected to be moved depending on where Sundin signs, won’t have to anymore. The sitting Duck has been itching to find out his new home, and sources say it is rumoured to be a strong

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Cleaning Up the Mess-zaros

So the Lightning were in fact seriously interested in Andrej Meszaros, and they got what they wanted, once again. The young blueliner was unable to come to terms on a contract with the Sens, after asking for roughly $1m/year higher than what Bryan Murray was willing to give. In exchange, the Sens will receive two blueliners, Filip Kuba and Alex Picard, as well as the first round pick acquired from San Jose in the Dan Boyle trade. This is not a sign-and-trade deal, meaning that the Lightning will have to negotiate with Meszaros on a new contract, although that should

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