NHL Canadian Corner – Saturday, July 6, 2013.

Ottawa deals with losing Daniel Alfredsson and gaining Bobby Ryan, the Maple Leafs re-sign Jonathan Bernier, plus updates on the Jets, Oilers, Canucks, Flames and Canadiens.

Farewell, Alfie.

Farewell, Alfie.

OTTAWA CITIZEN/OTTAWA SUN: Senators fans are dealing with the loss of long-time captain Daniel Alfredsson to Detroit via free agency and the addition via trade of scoring star Bobby Ryan. The Sun’s Bruce Garrioch examined Alfredsson’s departure, which ultimately came down to a desire to play for a Stanley Cup contender this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I was as surprised as most by Alfredsson’s departure, but it’s understandable why he did it. At 40, he probably only has a year or two left in his NHL playing career and believes his best chance of winning a Cup now is with Detroit. The Senators are a rising young club but aren’t Cup contender material yet. Still, it would be ironic if the Senators actually wound up in the Cup Final next spring.

Ryan is a terrific replacement whose long-term offensive value is better for the young Senators than Alfredsson’s at this point, but Ryan won’t replace Alfie’s leadership.

Some Senators fans are calling Alfredsson a traitor. For what? He gave your team seventeen seasons. He could’ve bailed two years ago when management blew up the roster to rebuild but stayed. Alfredsson gave everything he had for the Senators, and was a pillar in the community, contributing to local charities. He owes the Senators nothing. Senators fans, meanwhile, owe “Alfie” a debt of gratitude for a fine career. 

NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK/NATIONAL POST: The Toronto Maple Leafs signed Jonathan Bernier to a two-year, $5.8 million contract yesterday.  Meanwhile, on Prince Edward Island, Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf will marry actress Elisha Cuthbert today.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Decent contract for Bernier, who’ll be jockeying with James Reimer for the starter’s role this season. Congratulations to Phaneuf and Cuthbert on their nuptials. No, I didn’t get an invitation. Such a shame, I just got my tuxedo t-shirt out of the dryer…

EDMONTON SUN: Terry Jones believes the moves made by Oilers GM Craig MacTavish ( “goaltender Jason LaBarbera (Phoenix), defencemen Andrew Ference (Boston) and Philip Larsen (Dallas) as well as forwards Boyd Gordon (Phoenix), Jesse Joensuu (NY Islanders) Will Acton (Toronto AHL) and Ryan Hamilton (Toronto AHL”) make the club better, but he still has work to do. Jones writes the Oilers still need a top-six power forward, a top-two defense partner for Justin Schultz, and depth on their checking lines.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I daresay MacTavish will continue to check out the remainders in the UFA market to address some of those needs. If he seeks a top-two defenseman, he’ll  have to go to the trade market. There’s speculation MacTavish is still interested in Flyers blueliner Braydon Coburn, but landing him could cost a good young player as part of the return.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff will put his focus upon re-signing key RFAs Zach Bogosian, Blake Wheeler and Bryan Little. Cheveldayoff didn’t make any UFA signings but acquired winger Devin Setoguchi via trade from the Wild.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some pundits were ripping Cheveldayoff yesterday for not making a big splash, overlooking the fact they have to re-sign Bogosian, Wheeler and Little, whose raises will eat up significant cap space. Unless Cheveldayoff shakes things up by trading Evander Kane or Dustin Byfuglien (which I don’t anticipate), don’t expect him to make any significant additions this summer.

CALGARY HERALD: Flames GM Jay Feaster kept busy yesterday making minor moves, including acquiring defenseman Kris Russell from the St. Louis Blues via trade. He still needs to add some veteran depth at center, especially on the second line.

VANCOUVER PROVINCE: The Canucks, lacking cap space to make any major free agent signings, made a value signing by inking forward Brad Richardson to a two-year, $2.3 million contract.

LA PRESSE: The Montreal Canadiens yesterday acquired enforcer George Parros from the Florida Panthers in exchange for minor leaguer Philippe Lefebvre and a seventh rounder in 2014.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This move was made to take pressure off Brandon Prust from being in the enforcer role. I hope Parros is prepared to play more than six minutes per game in ice time, as coach Michel Therien usually prefers his enforcers take regular shifts on the checking lines.

14 Comments

  1. While not a Sens fan, I can understand why some fans feel that Alfie deserted their team. Through the years, some players are identified with the only team that they played for. When we think of, for example, Joe Sakic, Steve Yzerman, Mario Lemieux, we know that they played for only one team.

    It’s one thing if the team trades a player of his stature at the trade deadline for a better chance of a Stanley Cup run, such as Ray Bourque a few years ago, and Jerome Iginla last year, however, assuming that the Senators continued to keep Alfie, ultimately, if was his choice to leave.

    It’s doubtful that leaving will stain his legacy with the Sens long-term, however, he will likely be jeered for any games at Ottawa this season (at least after the obligatory video of his career highlights).

    • Sakic, Yzerman, Lemieux won Cups with their teams, they didn’t “have to” leave whereas Alfredsson (and Bourque) left for a chance to win the Cup, key difference. If the Sens had won the Cup, against Anaheim, for example, I firmly believe that Alfie would be (or would have) retired a Senator.

  2. I believe once the shock of Alfredsson leaving passes most true Ottawa fan’s will accept it without any hard feelings. I doubt he gets booed on his return (other than by a few malcontents), quite the opposite in fact. He was loved and respected the fan’s and his commitment to the team and community will not be forgotten that easily.

  3. Oil should ask about Gunnarrson on the Leafs. He had a bad hip injury or something all year. The year prior he played extremely well and carried Phaneuf at times. I think the injury hampered him this year. The Leafs need to shed some salary to make room for the RFA signings and possibly Rielly’s entrance. Gunnar can probably be gotten for a reasonable price and would fit into the 2/3 position with the Oil.

    • while this makes sense for the oil, i’m not sure the buds would be in a position to experiment on their blue line. it wouldn’t be like Carlyle to rush a young dman, and any forward the oil would be willing to send back would be no better than colborne, ashton or other marlie they could bring up.

    • Let’s just leave Gunnarsson where he is, thank you. If he comes to camp healthy, he’ll be a real asset to the Leafs.

  4. Only a minority of ridiculous Sens fans will maintain a negative reaction towards Alfie. He has done and meant so much to this community. Any employee has the right to go and work for another “company” if he or she feels that its a better opportunity. Thanks Alfie for everything that you’ve done for our city, go Sens go!

  5. I think after the UFA pool is empty, the Oil might consider Markov for their D needs and Calgary might look at Plekaneks for centre. Plekaneks is a good 2 centre. I think, though, the Flames do not make a move until Cmalerri is dealt, as the flood repairs are going to hurt financially. Markov played almost season between the KHL and NHL and held up pretty well. Again, there does not seem to be a lot on the UFA market and it should not be expensive to get him. He is also in the last year of his contract so could be worth the risk vs price tag. Both players could likely be had for a second rounder and in the case of Pleks through in a C/D prospect and it is fair enough. MB would likely ask for a similar prospect but I doubt he gets it.
    For Montreal, the loss of Markov would be well worth it as it gives ice for prospects that could use it. Pleks on the other hand would hurt. Who would replace him? DD? He would leave a serious hole but it would mean a better first rounder for the Habs.

    • not a habs fan, but I’d loved to see tinordi get more ice time. dude is a beast.

      i’d really like to see pleks and briere play 1 and 1a for a season. can’t see how that could be bad for the habs.

      • Agreed on both counts. Wonder what happens when Parros teaches Tinordi how fight?

    • If Pleks is traded (which I would be fine with under certain circumstances) he could fetch a very solid return for a team looking for a awesome second line center who kills penalties. If you look at the available UFA’s, who’s better at center? Is Weiss better than Pleks?

      Package him with beaulieu and a second rounder and I think you can get a great return. Especially if its for a top 2 D.

      Then you have accept that the Eller line is going to play 15 mins a game and he is our #1 PK center. I think Ellers close to being at Pleks level so this season is important for him.

  6. Alfie owes us fans NOTHING. He is a fantastic leader and fans knew he was leaving Ottawa in the next year or two.

    What really annoys me about the anger is fans are quick to forget: this is a Captain that took a PAY CUT and actually agreed not to be paid during the Rod Bryden/John Muckler days in order for the Sens to make payroll to the other players on the roster AND to go out and sign a big name. He got Bondra for his troubles.

    We may not like it, but we owe him more then most seem to feel he is owed. Time and time again this organization has been neutered by crappy GM’s and awful owners. He stayed through all of that. And now we turn our backs on him. Classy.

    And i’m a die hard Sens fan.

  7. Not a Sens fan and never will be but Alfie to Detroit for a better chance to win a Cup is ok with me. He gave that team all that he could. He owes the Senators nothing..anymore than they do him..Hockey is a business..there comes a time when all players, great or small, must move on. If Wayne can get traded and make the best of it, then so can Alfie

  8. Alvie will be sorely disappointed, as the Wings will not be a Cup contender with that defense.
    Moreover, they lack true grit on their top three lines. Only Justin Abdelkader brings that if Cleary is not re-signed. Franzen is gutless and the rest of the top six guys – Dats, Zetter, Alfie, Nyquist – are not noted for their toughness.