In last week’s edition of some of the headlines around the NHL, I made special note of Pittsburgh long time netminder, Matt Murray, heading to the low tier Ottawa Senators to take over for Anderson. To be fair to them I did mention the Sens have some quality pieces with a bright future, however, it was nothing compared to what their owner came out with.
Melnyk made mention that his squad would win the cup within four years. I am not even going to bother with the entire quote as the only way it would add context would be to know it was said sarcastically. Based on the response of others following the league…it doesn’t appear that way.
Now this is not the first time Melnyk has been wild in an interview, and his connection to the city, fans, and players has also been strained in the past. Making outrageous promises, which I don’t think anyone legitimately thinks is a promise, won’t help Ottawa faithful respect his commitment to the team anymore. However, let’s look at some of the good things going the Senators way!
In addition to the Murray deal, today it came down Evgenii Dadonov had inked a 15 million dollar deal sending him to the Canadian capital for three years. Dadonov has had some respectable output in Miami yet that team has grown a bit stagnant with results and it’s unsurprising to see some of these pieces want to find another home.
This was part of what seemed to be an unraveling of Panthers’ talent in a very short span. It was announced that Hoffman, previously of the Senators, is also looking for a new home. Currently, he is the top winger available – made especially precious due to his left-handed shot. The rumor mill is actively churning where he might go. One TSN source outlined that the most likely potential homes at the moment seem to be Nashville, Columbus, or Boston. It really depends on what his goals are.
All three present quality in different respects though only one of those is likely to be a contender in the short term. Still, it would not surprise me in the least to see him end up out west too. Sometimes players get a bit stale with being the punching bag out East, which Hoffman has spent most of his career despite being a part of one historic conference finals run as big underdogs in Ottawa in 16/17.
The biggest deal of the week was undoubtedly Taylor Hall flying from Arizona back to the east to join the Buffalo Sabres when the next season resumes. The hockey memes were out and alive when that was announced and one has to question the decision.
As much as I love knowing that stars are willing to go to smallish markets that are not standouts as contenders, Hall has kind of only done that. Drafted to the Oilers as the first overall NHL pick ages ago, he was traded to a struggling Devils team, then a struggling Coyotes team, and now the Sabres.
All four clubs have had bright spots along the way, but overall have been in the sewers of the league for most of the time Hall has played with them. Perhaps he is just punishing himself for some past sin? I don’t expect this to change the Sabres results too much sadly as it hasn’t in all the stations he’s stopped over at.