Ottawa Senators rookie Curtis Lazar brings a full toolbox

Ryan Kennedy
Ottawa's Curtis Lazar  (Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images)

When the Ottawa Senators traded Jason Spezza to Dallas over the summer, it was a definite signal that the franchise was moving in a new, younger direction. Their captain and second-leading scorer was gone, with top scorer and offensive defenseman extraordinaire Erik Karlsson eventually earning the ‘C’ for his own jersey.

But so far, the Senators aren’t wilting without Spezza. In fact, at 4-1-0, Ottawa is off to a grand start and the Sens are doing it as one big unit: No player has more than four points, but 14 skaters have already counted on the scoresheet. One such player is rookie Curtis Lazar.

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Getting To Know: Jim Thomson

Jim Thomson (http://www.jimthomsonsdreams.com/)

Status: NHL right wing from 1986-1993 with Hartford, Washington, New Jersey, Los Angeles, Anaheim and Ottawa.

DOB: December 30, 1965 In: Edmonton, Alberta

First Hockey Memory: “I borrowed a pair of skates. I grew up in a mobile house park, Westview Village in Winterburn, Alberta. I was six years old and one of my friends lent me his dad’s skates. They were too big but I skated around and couldn’t stop. I fell in love with it.” Read more

Senators’ Lehner absolutely robs Blue Jackets’ Wennberg with stunning stick save

Robin Lehner (Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images)

It’s been the weekend of the stick save.

Last night, it was Minnesota Wild goaltender Darcy Kuemper keeping the score knotted at one-apiece with a diving, swatting stick save on a puck that was redirected on goal by teammate Jonas Brodin’s skate.

Robin Lehner must have caught the clip because he tried his hand at one of his own.

In Saturday’s contest against Columbus, the Blue Jackets moved the puck around behind the net and right winger Jack Skille moved the puck to defenseman Fedor Tyutin. Savard let a shot go that deflected off of a Senator and landed right on the waiting stick of Alexander Wennberg.

Wennberg is going to want that one back.

The save was Lehner’s sixth of the game and kept the score at even at zeroes. For the remainder of the game, the Senators backup goaltender would remain stellar. He finished the game with 38 stops in the Senators 3-2 victory over the Blue Jackets.

If it’s over for him, Daniel Alfredsson the player and person should be celebrated

Adam Proteau
Daniel Alfredsson (Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

We should know that, when the end of their playing career arrives for most NHLers, it does not arrive in the fairy tale format. For every Raymond Bourque, there are hundreds of guys who experience a less-than ideal exit from a league most never want to leave.

If that’s how it has to be for Daniel Alfredsson – and this Detroit Free Press report suggests that could very well be the case – the 42-year-old has nothing to be ashamed of. If his ailing back can’t take any more punishment, it says nothing about his competitive desire or legacy. It only speaks to Father Time’s eventual dickishness to us all. And if Alfredsson has played his final NHL game, there’s little doubt he’ll be regarded as a terrific talent on the ice and one of the sport’s best ambassadors away from it.

Yeah, he didn’t get to celebrate a Cup win the way fellow good guy Teemu Selanne did. But that’s no reason to be sad about his retirement. There are too many teams and too few Stanley Cups awarded every season to adequately reward all the talents that ache to win at the game’s highest levels.

No, now’s the time for Alfredsson’s fans in Ottawa and Detroit to celebrate the contributions of one of hockey’s most fundamentally decent human beings.
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Rumor Roundup: Philadelphia Flyers shopping for blueline beast?

lukeschennwaynesimmonds

The Philadelphia Flyers suffered a scare last week when defenseman Braydon Coburn was sidelined by a lower-body injury. It raised speculation they might go shopping for blueline help if the injury was long term, but it appears he could return to action in a matter of days, rather than weeks.

For a defense corps still lacking a true top-two defenseman since Chris Pronger’s career was ended by injury three years ago, and with Kimmo Timonen sidelined with career-threatening blood clots, the possibility of losing Coburn long term was a genuine cause for concern. Read more

New Senators captain Erik Karlsson buys ‘C’s for his fans

Josh Elliott
Erik Karlsson. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images)

New Ottawa Senators captain Erik Karlsson is sharing his promotion with his fans.

The dynamic Swedish blueliner says he’s purchased 1,000 ‘C’s for fans who’ve already bought his jersey.

The ‘C’s will be available at the Sens store in Ottawa on Tuesday.

Karlsson is the ninth captain in Sens history and the second Swede to hold the position. The 24-year-old is in the third year of a seven-year, $45.5-million contract that pays him $6.5 million annually.

Bobby Ryan gets his contract – now comes the real pressure

Ken Campbell
Bobby-Ryan Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)

Now we’re going to see just how much intensity Bobby Ryan has. One thing is certain, though. If he can’t even spell the word the way Brian Burke suggested last season, he can afford to hire someone now to spell it for him…in every language that has ever been conceived.

Ryan acknowledged that adjusting from the laid-back Anaheim to the hockey fishbowl of Ottawa was challenging for him. Well, he ain’t seen nothin’ yet. If he thought his first year in Ottawa was intense, wait until he has to deal with the pressure of living up to the seven-year contract extension worth $50.75 million he signed Thursday morning. Now that the Senators have made a long-term, very lucrative commitment to them, their fans will be expecting an awful lot of him in the future – certainly much, much more than he delivered in his first season in Ottawa. Read more

Erik Karlsson named captain of the Ottawa Senators

Erik Karlsson. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images)

Thursday morning hadn’t even ended yet and it was already a good day for the Ottawa Senators.

There was, of course, the somewhat surprising signing of Bobby Ryan to a seven-year, $50.75 million contract that locks up the goal scorer well before he would have become eligible for UFA status next summer.

And then there was the much less surprising announcement that 2012 Norris winning defenseman Erik Karlsson would be the next captain of the franchise. He’ll be the ninth ‘C’-bearer in team history. Read more