SENATORS: A Week in Review – March 1-March 6, 2017
SENATORS: A Week in Review
is a weekly column looking back at
the week in Ottawa Senators hockey
written by #OLMSports Dave Gross.
Feature image Courtesy NHLI via Getty Images
Well now, that certainly wasn't dull.
The Ottawa Senators have generally chosen to play spectator at the NHL trade deadline and let the others do the dance.
This year? Just the opposite – Ottawa, arguably, was leading the entire waltz.
It started early when the Senators acquired pest Alex Burrows from Vancouver. Burrows is an interesting and somewhat puzzling pick-up. Soon to be 36, his best days are well behind him. The fact that GM Pierre Dorion then extended Burrows for another two years is, well, baffling.
The asking-taking price was not inconsiderable. Centre Jonathan Dahlen is expected to be a good pro, likely a productive second-liner.
The thought is that Burrows will provide much-needed snap and grit to the Senators. I disagree, Ottawa is already rough and rumbling with the likes of Zack Smith, Chris Neil and Mark Borowiecki. Add to the mix that Burrows is a referee target and it doesn't bode well for Ottawa's post-season discipline level. Dumb penalties kill; they kill faster in the playoffs.
The acquisition of forward Viktor Stalberg for a third-round pick makes a bit more sense. Dorion said he wanted to bulk up the third- and fourth-lines and he accomplished that with Stalberg, who's a solid pro.
And onto Curtis Lazar.
The pundits were all over this kid when he was considered a first-round steal at pick No. 17 in the 2013 entry draft. After a stellar junior career – including a stint as captain of the world junior team – Lazar never blossomed.
It is very unusual to see a prospect not get developed properly in the Senators organization. This is one of the few NHL clubs that gets-things-done-right regarding development; year after year.
Somehow the pasta didn't stick to the wall with Lazar.
He never seemed to be a fit. And Ottawa appeared to be scratching its head as to where he fit. So he sat, and was moved up and down from the AHL to the NHL.
We all realize he's a great kid, and you hope his switch back to the west will see Lazar find his way. Doesn't Calgary figure to be the right fit? Lazar plays the 'Calgary way.' Grit and gumption.
Ottawa gathers 25-year-old defenceman Jyrki Jokipakka in the deal. The only thing I know about Jyrki Jokipakka is that he'll be a pain for beat-writers to spell out, night after night.
Dorion maintained the Senators are a better club now after the deadline, but you have to wonder about the future.
NOTES AND NOTIONS: Garry Galley again proved his value in Sportsnet's deadline coverage. You won't find a better evaluator . . . Ditto for Ray Ferraro over on TSN . . . Glad to see Louie DeBrusk part of the Rogers panel as well. If there was a tougher OHL player during my tenure (maybe John Erskine?) covering the circuit, I can't think of him . . . If Montreal and Ottawa ever do meet this post-season, what a fire. The Habs picked up Steve Ott and Dwight King at the deadline. Could be a war . . . Shawn Thornton's chuckle said it all after Sunday night's 'tussle' with Dion Phaneuf. If you're going to look the part, be the part Dion . . . It's going to be nip-and-tuck but this could turn out to be a MUCH better year for Canadian teams looking for a playoff spot. Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary and Edmonton all have legitimate shots at making the post-season (of the five candidates, you'd have to say Edmonton is the lone certainty at this point). Last season, zero Canadian clubs pushed their way in.
WEEK THAT WAS:
Tuesday: Ottawa 2, New Jersey 1
Friday: Carolina 3, Ottawa 0
Sunday: Ottawa 2, Florida 1
Monday: Tampa 5, Ottawa 1
Thursday: Colorado at Ottawa (7:30 pm)
Saturday: Columbus at Ottawa (7 pm)
Monday: Boston at Ottawa (7:30 pm)