Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Sens Rumours Galore - Sundin, Meszaros, The Fonz

Well, we might as well start with the Garrioch pieces that appeared in today's Sun. We have the news of the John Tortorella firing and the implications that Sens GM Bryan Murray might change his thinking now that the Fonz is available.
"The only concern with Tortorella is the amount of power this guy wants," a league executive said. "He wants to make sure that everything in the organization is done his way."

- Ottawa Sun

Perhaps the more insightful article on the Tortorella firing comes from Ken Warren of the Ottawa Citizen who basically pours cold water on the idea. It seems Murray isn't interested.

"Murray said yesterday his new coach would likely come from a group of candidates he had already spoken to -- meaning that Tortorella isn't necessarily on his radar. ...

"I heard I was waiting for a particular guy on another team ... that's not true," Murray said. "Very definitely the people I'm talking to, I've got permission to talk to, and, at this point in time, I'm going to hire one of them."

- Ottawa Citizen

So it looks like Murray is set to hire either Bob Hartley, Craig Hartsburg or Peter DeBoer who is slated for an interview today according to Warren.

To Black Aces, both Hartley and Hartsburg aren't very appealing but DeBoer looks promising if all the accolades NHL insiders are heaping on him is true. Hartsburg has a very spotty NHL record as head coach even though he has been successful in every other league. That sounds exactly like John Paddock actually.

Bob Hartley just seems like a miserable sonofabitch though he has a penchant for loving tough hockey, so that might be an improvement in this pacifist organization. You can be sure there would have been some retribution on Steve Downie if Hartley had been coach instead of Paddock last season.

There's a part of me that would like to see Tortorella coach of the Senators, if only to see him in scrums telling reporters like Garrioch to "f**k off" which he did to Larry Brooks last year.

A mean sonofabitch coach would be a refreshing change in Bytown but it sounds like Murray has his mind made up already.

Next up is the Garrioch story about the Philadelphia Flyers and an unnamed team in Russia being very interested in Andre Meszaros. Garrioch reports that Meszaros turned down a 3.5 million deal to play in Russia next year but he may be in for a big raise anyways as he's a restricted free agent this summer.

"Holmgren, who sources say held several discussions with Murray before Monday's GMs' meetings in Detroit, might be willing to offer winger Scottie Upshall or centre R.J. Umberger, who is a restricted free agent after making $1.25 million last season, for Meszaros.
"You have to be careful about giving up defencemen because everybody is looking for them," a league executive said. "Especially, young defencemen. That's where you have to be careful. You can't just give up on a guy because he's had a tough couple of years.

"Sure, it's going to be hard to pay (Meszaros), but you have to find a way. (The Senators) used to have the best blue line in the league."

- Ottawa Sun

It seems I just wrote about this the other day. Giving up on Meszaros, even for players like Scottie Upshall or the overrated R.J. Umberger (remember Fernando Pisani?) would be foolish and get this team nowhere. Murray must do everything he can to protect the remaining skilled players on this team, including Jason Spezza, who would be winning scoring titles for another team if the incredibly short-sighted Ottawa fans had their way.

Can you imagine the Senators losing Wade Redden and Meszaros in the same year (as well as the recently departed Joe Corvo)? Who would run the powerplay? Strangely, this doomsday scenario is not that farfetched with no guarantees that a saviour like Brian Campbell will even want to sign in Ottawa.

Meszaros might make mistakes from time to time but a skilled player can be molded with some patience. Let's face it. Chris Phillips or Brian Lee are not going to run the power play. Lee might one day but first he has to hit puberty.

Murray is a smart man. He won't be swayed by public opinion.
Next up, and perhaps most explosive of all, Eklund The Reliable is reporting that Mats Sundin will not sign with the Leafs and is leaning towards either Montreal or Ottawa.

"this email from a source in New York...

"Mats Sundin WILL return to the NHL and not to the Maple Leafs, However he wants to stay in Canada and in the East. The Canadiens are preparing a major offer, although Dan Alfredsson is making a big pitch as well. Look for Sundin to see who is taking over in Ottawa as coach before making his decision."

-Hockey Buzz

That is right up there with some of the insane rumours that Eklund has posted in his time but it is truly hard to imagine Sundin in red and black. There just seems like too much enmity over the years from both sides.
Sundin in Ottawa would be a mindblowing turn of events. Imagine a powerplay of Alfie, Sundin, Spezza, Heatley and Stillman.

I just tried to but my mind automatically shut off because the vision was simply too powerful for my delicate circuitry.

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