Welcome back Chris!

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There had been speculations before the start of free agency that former Ottawa Senator forward Chris Kelly could be someone that general manager Pierre Dorion had interest in acquiring. It looks like this is a case of where there is smoke there is fire.
Today the Senators have announced that the club has signed forward Chris Kelly to a one-year deal that will pay him $900k.

Drafted in the third round (94 overall) of the 1999 NHL Entry draft by the Ottawa Senators, Kelly spent his first three seasons in the AHL with the Grand Rapids Griffins (former Senators AHL affiliate) and Binghamton Senators (current AHL affiliate) before getting his first taste of NHL hockey, appearing in four games in February with the Senators.

Kelly would spend the next year with the Binghamton Senators where he set a career high in goals (24) and assists (36) in 77 games on a pretty good team. While he didn’t put up 117 points like Jason Spezza did that season, Kelly did finish the season with a team leading plus/minus of +30.

It wasn’t until the 2005 – 06′ season that Kelly began his National Hockey League career. In his first full 82 game season Kelly scored 10 goals and had 20 assists with a +21 rating and a faceoff percentage of 45.7%  – on a pretty good Senators team.

He spent the next four and a half seasons with the Senators playing another 377 games in which he scored 65 goals and 81 assists and having his faceoff percentage never dip below 45%

Kelly was dealt to the Boston Bruins on February 15, 2011, for a second-round draft pick at the upcoming 2011 NHL Entry Draft – a pick the Ottawa Senators used on forward Shane Prince.

Kelly went on to win the Stanley Cup with the Bruins that year – on a pretty good Bruins team. 

While it was rumored the Senators might have tried to reacquire Kelly, the Bruins locked him up and he would go on to spend the next five seasons with the Black and Gold.

Kelly played mainly on the third line with the Bruins and was a very reliable penalty killer, he was also a leader on and off the ice Kelly had served as one of the Bruins alternate captains.

These are the exact qualities that Senators general manager Pierre Doiron was looking for:

“In our evaluation of our roster we felt that we needed to add another player with the ability to succeed in close situations and on the penalty kill. Chris will be able to contribute to both of those while adding another accomplished leader to our group. He understands the type of commitment that is necessary to play at a championship level.”

If Chris Kelly is 100% after his broken femur (or as best as possible) – then I’m of the opinion that this is a very solid pickup for the Senators. He provides experience depth at the center position and on the penalty kill – he can also play the wing which is an added bonus if the Senators choose to deploy him with Lazar (who would like to get to his natural position of enter) and off the ice he’s a professional who leads by example.

Updated to include video:

Midweek Recap

A collection of Ottawa Senators articles from around the web!

Cameron back behind the bench

Former Ottawa Senators head coach Dave Cameron will be back behind the bench in the NHL for the 2016 – 17 season. Cameron will serve as assistant coach to Glen Gulutzan in Calgary with the Flames. –TSN

Chabot underwhelms

2015 first round draft pick (18 overall) Thomas Chabot seems to have assistant general manager Randy Lee disappointed with what he had at the Senators Development camp.

“I thought Thomas should have been a bit more intense, I thought Thomas should have dominated”

“I think Thomas should look at the landscape and see we’ve got six signed defencemen (to NHL contracts) … Thomas and I have talked about it.”

-Randy Lee, Ottawa Senators assistant general manager

-Ottawa Sun

Curious case of Mike Hoffman

Don Brennan, of the Ottawa Sun, wrote a good article about Senators forward Mike Hoffman. The lightning-rod restricted free agent still need to show what hes got (as crazy as that sounds.)

Before they give him $25 million over five seasons, or $20 million over four, or whatever the ask is, they want to make sure Hoffman is more than just a first three-quarters of the season wonder.

-Ottawa Sun

Hoffman has also decided to file for Salary Arbitration. Salary arbitration hearings will be held in Toronto from July 20 to Aug. 4.

-NHLPA

Resigned

dzingel-feb16-blog

Name : Ryan Dzingel
Position: Center
Age: 24 (03.09.92)
Shoots: Right
Term: one -year two- way contract.
Price tag: $750k (NHL) / $72.5k (AHL)
Comparables: Cedric Paquette ($812.5k), Zach Sill ($612.5k), Cody Bass ($612.5k)

Drafted in the 7th round (204 overall) of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft by the Ottawa Senators.

2015 -2016: In his second season in the American Hockey League with the Binghamton Senators, Dzingel set career highs in assists (24) and points (36) in 44 games.

He also spent time with the Ottawa Senators. In 30 games Dzingel scored 3 goals and had 6 assists.

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Name: Fredrik Claesson
Position: Defense
Age: 23 (11.24.92)
Shoots: Left
Term: one -year two- way contract.
Price tag: $700k (NHL) / $100k (AHL)
Comparables: Chris Wideman ($800k), Mark Barberio ($750k), Zach Trotman ($650k)

Drafted in the 5th round (126 overall) of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft by the Ottawa Senators.

2015 -2016: In his fourth season in the American Hockey League with the Binghamton Senators, Claesson had 3 goals and 7 assists in 55 games.

He also spent time with the Ottawa Senators. In 16 games Claesson picked up two helpers – plus 33 hits and 30 blocked shots.

 

 

Sunday Hits -07.03.16

A collection of headlines from the past 24 hours.

Thunder brewing

According to KSN TV  Ottawa Senators assistant general manager Randy Lee said the Senators East Coast Hockey League affiliate would be the Wichita Thunder.

The Senators had used the Evansville IceMen last season as their ECHL Affiliate, but the team has ECHL approval to relocate to Owensboro, Kentucky, pending a complete renovation of the Owensboro Sports Center.

First Scrimmage in the books

Ken Warren at the Ottawa Citizen has some quotes from a few Senators prospects after  Saturday’s intrasquad scrimmage at the clubs development camp at the Kanata Recreation Complex.

Forward Gabriel Gagne:

“I have to, with my size, be a power forward, I have to be hard. I have to shoot, move my feet, finish my hits. I have to show everybody I can finish my hits, win my one-on-one battles.”

Forward Markus Nurmi:

“This year, I have to get some muscles and more weight, that’s the thing.”

Forward Logan Brown:

This summer, I’m really working on my explosiveness, and that’s what is missing in my game. The big goal for everyone is to make the big step (to the NHL) at 18, but I’m definitely going to try and do that, and make it hard for the Senators to send me back to Windsor.”

White and Chabot

More from the Ottawa Citizen, forward Colin White will in fact return to Boston College for another season (Darren Dreger tweeted this would probably happen back in May.)

“I’m going back to school. We’ll see what happens and go from there. Development wise, it will be good for me to get bigger and stronger. We all decided that it would be best for me.” – Colin White

As for defenseman Thomas Chabot, Senators general manager Pierre Dorion believes that he will be able to push for a spot this season on the clubs roster.

“It’s nice to hear that. Since I’ve been two years old, I have been thinking about playing in the NHL one day.” – Thomas Chabot

July 1st recap

The General Manager of the Ottawa Senators, Pierre Dorion,  told fans not to get to excited for the start of Free Agency. Dorion is still evaluating his team, he believes they under preformed last season, so going all – in on the “big names” that became available wasn’t something that was going to happen.

Instead of jumping into the deep end of free agency, Dorion popped a toe in the water acquiring an AHL forward and resigning his own prospects in the season. Here is a recap of what the Senators did on Day 1:

Resigned

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  • Name : Michael Kostka
  • Position: Defense
  • Age: 30 (11.28.85)
  • Shoots: Right
  • Term: one -year two- way contract.
  • Price tag: $800k (NHL) / $325k (AHL)
  • Comparables: Trevor van Riemsdyk ($825k), Chris Wideman ($800k), Mark Barberio ($750k)

On July 1, 2015, Kostka signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Ottawa Senators.

2015-2016: Kostka played 50 games with the Binghamton Senators, he had 5 goals (2nd most among Binghamton defensemen) and 24 assists (which led Binghamton defensemen.)

Kostka also played 15 games with the Ottawa Senators. He registered 1 assist and was a plus 6.

casey-bailey-1-of-1

Name : Casey Bailey
Position: Right Wing / Center
Age: 24 (10.27.91)
Shoots: Right
Term: one -year two- way contract.
Price tag: $874,125 (NHL) / $70k (AHL)

The undrafted forward signed his first professional contract last season with the Toronto Maple Leafs on March 21, 2015 . On February 9, 2016 Bailey was apart of  a nine-player trade that involved Dion Phaneuf.

2015 – 2016: In 38 games with the Toronto Marlies (Toronto Maple Leafs AHL affiliate) Bailey scored 4 goals and had 14 assists. In the following 30 games that he played after the trade to the Binghamton Senators Bailey scored 7 goals and had another 14 assists.

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  • Name: Max McCormick
  • Position: Right Wing
  • Age: 24 (05.01.92)
  • Shoots: Left
  • Term: One – year two – way contract.
  • Price tag: $650k (NHL) / $72.5k (AHL)
  • ComparablesDaniel Carr ($725k), Bryan Rust ($640k),  Tyler Randell ($600k)

Drafted in the 6th round (171 overall) of the 2011 NHL Entry draft McCormick  signed a two-year entry-level contract with the Senators On May 28, 2014.

2015 – 2016: McCormick played 57 games with the Binghamton Senators, scoring a career high 15 goals and 15 assists while racking up 143 penalty minutes (trailing only Zach Stortini who had 182 PIM.)

McCormick also played 20 games with the Ottawa Senators. He scored 2 goals and had 2 assists and 37 PIM.

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Name: Phil Varone
Position: Center
Age: 25 (04.12.90)
Shoots: Left
Term: One – year two – way contract.
Price tag: $700k (NHL) / $325k (AHL)
Comparables: Kyle Schempp ($705k), Scott Wilson ($625k), Seth Griffith ($625k)

Drafted in the 5th round (147 overall) by the San Jose Sharks, he was traded to the Ottawa Senators as part of a seven-player deal February 27, 2016, by the Buffalo Sabres.

2015 -2016: Varone began the season with the Rochester Americans (Buffalo Sabres affiliate) scoring 13 goals and picking up 19 assists in 44 games. Varone played 21 games with the Binghamton Senators scoring 6 goals and picking up 17 assists.

Varone also scored a goal and had an assist with the Buffalo Sabres. He played one game with the Ottawa Senators where he picked up an assist.

Signed

chad-nehring

Name: Chad Nehring
Position: Center
Age: 29 (06.14.87)
Shoots: Right
Term: One – year two – way contract.
Price tag: $600k (NHL) / $125k (AHL)
Comparables: Zach Sill ($612.5k), Cody Bass ($612.5k), Ben Street ($650k)

2015 – 2016: The undrafted center finished his second professional season with the Hartford Wolfpack.

Nehring led the Wolfpack in goals (22) and points (48) and was a team best +16.

blunden

Name: Michael Blunden
Position: Right Wing
Age: 29 (06.14.87)
Shoots: Right
Term: two – year two – way contract.
Price tag: $725k (NHL) / $275k (AHL)
Comparables: Daniel Carr ($725k), Bryan Rust ($640k),  Tyler Randell ($600k)

Drafted in the 2nd round (43rd overall) of the 2005 NHL entry draft, Blunden has played in 124 career NHL games with Chicago, the Columbus Blue Jackets, Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay.

2015 – 2016: In 49 games with the Syracuse Crunch (Tampa Bay Lightning AHL affiliate), Blunden scored a career high 21 goals and had 17 assists. Blunden also had the opportunity to play 20 games with the Tampa Bay Lightning, he scored 3 goals and 2 assists.

 

Thursday Hits – Perron and Hudler

Perron

Senators prospect Francis Perron recently spoke about his goals this offseason:

“I want to be 175 pounds for main training camp. Right now, I’m at 163 or 162. For sure, I lost five or six pounds in the last two months of the season. It was a lot of hockey, but it’s part of it. You have to pay a price when you go that far.”

“It’s a big summer of training for me, to put on some weight,”

Ottawasun

In my opinion this could be a guy that surprises a lot of people. He isn’t the biggest guy, but he’s got a good amount of speed and skill. Perron  put up 108 points in 62 games with the Rouyn-Noranda, Huskies (good enough for second best in the QMJHL) and he led all QMJHL players in postseason assists and points. He’s certainly a guy I’ve got my eye on.

Hudler

Mike Traikos over at the National Post did a piece looking at all of the  Canadian teams, here’s a bit of what he had to say about the Ottawa Senators:

Best-Case Scenario: Though he had a down year in Calgary, Jiri Hudler scored six goals and 11 points in 19 games after getting traded to Florida. He might not be the 31-goal scorer he was in 2014-15, but he could reach the 20-goal mark.

Hudler is a skilled player who can still collect points and on paper it would look nice to see him alongside a guy like Pageau. While I don’t think we’ll see him make $4 million a season, I also don’t think he’d be willing to take a $2 Million dollar a season contract (which is what I’d assume the Senators would be willing to offer for a 3rd line player.) My guess is Hudler goes for 2 – 3 years at 3 – 3.5 a season.

Watch and Listen

Tuesday Hits -Rumors & Prospects

Pats are Ahl in

The 2016 CHL Import draft took place today at 11am, at pick 31 the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League took Ottawa Senators prospect Filip Ahl.

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ReginaPats.com

On the market

The Ottawa Senators did not make a $2.7M qualifying offer to defenseman Patrick Wiercioch, making him a free agent on July 1st. I had assumed that Senators GM Pierre Dorion would try to flip Wiercioch for a pick/prospect but it seemed there was no market.

Development Camp

The Ottawa Senators development camp will run from June 28 – July 4. The Senators have 36 players attending – including all of this years draft picks.

Camp Roster

Ottawa Senators

QF Offers

Chris Kelly rumblings

Heard it on TSN1200 this morning, could Chris Kelly be someone that GM Pierre Dorion targets on July 1st.

Drafted in the third round (94 overall) of the 1999 NHL Entry draft  by the Ottawa Senators, Kelly spent his first three seasons in the AHL before making the jump to the NHL, playing with the Senators for six – years.

Kelly was dealt to the Boston Bruins on February 15, 2011, for a second-round draft pick in 2011 (Shane Prince.)

This isn’t the first time the Senators were rumored to be in the hunt for Kelly – before he signed a four year deal with the Bruins it was believed the Senators would like to reacquire his services.

Pierre Dorion has already expressed he’d like to find a “character” bottom – six player this offseason and Kelly certainly fills that bill – only time will tell if Kelly and the Senators can get back together.

 

 

Chiasson on the move? – Updated

Besides getting deals for Mike Hoffman and Cody Ceci done this summer, the Ottawa Senators also needed to decide what to do with defenseman Patrick Wiercioch (good as gone?) and forward Alex Chiasson.

Renaud Lavoie of TVA tweeted out this earlier today:

Drafted in the second round (38 overall) of the 2009 NHL entry draft by the Dallas Stars, Chiasson -with Alex Guptill, Nicholas Paul, and a 2015 second round pick (Gabriel Gagne) for star forward Jason Spezza, and Ludwig Karlsson.

At 6’3” and 202 pounds, the right handed shooting winger has played 153 NHL games with the Senators. He’s scored 19 goals and has had 21 helpers over that period of time – hardly becoming the player they had hoped he would turn out to be…well for any significant amount of time.

Harvey Fialkov of the Sun Sentinel has reported that the Florida Panthers are currently seeking a 3rd line winger.

Chiasson certainly has the build the Panthers have been adding to their team, he’s also a winger, could something be done here?

UPDATE

5:45pm

The Ottawa Senators have traded Alex Chiasson to the Calgary Flames for defenseman Pat Sieloff.