March 28, 2023

Sportsnet: Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek on 32 Thoughts: The Podcast – Canada vs. USA. Do It, You Cowards! on the Ottawa Senators.

Marek: “A couple of newsy bits. We’ll start off with the Ottawa Senators and the injury to Thomas Chabot. Hit Saturday afternoon by Travis Konecny. He will be out a minimum of one week according to his head coach DJ Smith. Out with a concussion.

We strongly suspect that Ottawa is already looking for a defenseman and now their number one guy is down.”

Friedman: “The number one thing you think of is Chabot’s health. You never want to see a player go through that. It’s a concussion. Something you have to be very careful with, and the timelines are never easy. No two are the same. No person reacts the same.

You said it, Jeff. Ottawa’s been looking for a D. I spent a lot of time on Saturday calling around about this. Trying to figure out what they’ve kind of looked at. I’ve heard Dorion’s been very, very careful. What’s my old line, when you’re drowning in this league they don’t throw you life preservers, they throw you anvils. I’ve heard he’s been avoiding anvils.

I think there’s moves he absolutely could have made that wouldn’t have been great long-term moves, and he’s just refused to do that. He doesn’t want to do anything that hurts the team or something people look back in three years and say, ‘oh my god, I can’t believe you even considered that.’

So, I think he’s been careful. As I mentioned on Saturday night, I’ve had some teams that tell me that, don’t forget also that there’s a lot of players, if you don’t have a full no-trade list, but you have a partial one, a lot of them tend to have the Canadian teams on them. So this isn’t just an Ottawa problem, this is a Canada problem. So the amount players you are looking for, the pool is cut a little bit. Now, they could potentially be looking for more than one.

All of this has been a problem for them. I think they’ve been close a couple of times but obviously, nothing has happened. I’m sure he was working the phones again on Sunday, trying to see what he could shake loose.

Marek: “The one thing I do wonder about here is, normally this time of year a manager will take his time, don’t rush into anything. It’s still the middle of November but the Ottawa Senators are in last place in their division. I know Buffalo has hit their swoon and lost five games in a row, but there’s still a lot of teams ahead of them though to climb over before you even start to consider a playoff spot. You don’t get the playoffs in November but you can fall out. That’s the old saying.

Given that reality of and given what the expectations were for this Ottawa Senators team and what they were able to do in the offseason. How that should start translating into more wins and a climb up the ladder of the standings. How much more pressure does this put on Dorion to do something now to turn things around? I know they beat the Flyers on Saturday. The game they also lost Thomas Chabot as you mentioned, but how much is the heat on right now to do something for Dorion?

Friedman: “I think he wants to do something, but again, these are the most dangerous moments because these are the times when the pressures on you have to be your most careful.

The other thing to is Jeff, you know my November 1st stat. is if you’re four points out on November 1st, your chances of making the playoffs are not great. Ottawa was one of the teams this year that was four points out on November 1st. So the math is really not their friend.

I think the big challenge here is that their underlying numbers are not terrible. Sometimes you have a team that’s bad, your record is bad and your underlying numbers are bad. The last time I check in the middle of last week, Ottawa’s numbers weren’t bad. They weren’t, and I think you kind of have to sell yourself on that a little bit.

You know I heard the other thing too with DJ Smith, not only did he come out publically and say that he wasn’t going to make a change, he also apparently said that to the team that he wasn’t going to make a change. That it wasn’t what he wanted to do.

So I think a lot of the situation here is that in Ottawa, they’re players, and it’s tough to with Norris out, but they have to start playing a lot better. I think you also reach a point to where you sit there and say, ‘okay, is this the year to make a desperate play?’ I think you could make a real big argument that now Ottawa’s getting into a place where if they’re going to make a move, it’s something that just shouldn’t be about this year.

Now if you’re giving up a 5th rounder to get a player that can help you, that’s different. I don’t think that is something that is necessarily a bad idea. But if it’s something that costs you bigger pieces, I’m not sure you’re doing that for a rental now. I don’t think it makes any sense.”






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