On Changing Expectations
Last offseason, if you’ll recall, the Ottawa Senators made some veteran acquisitions. They added the likes of Erik Gudbranson, Derek Stepan and Austin Watson, while also bringing in Alex Galchenyuk and Cedric Paquette. Effectively, Pierre Dorion “ruined” any opportunity a prospect had to make the roster out of camp by filling it with players who DJ Smith would almost certainly opt to play over someone with little to no NHL experience.
Fans were, understandably, frustrated.
Why add replacement level (or worse) players instead of giving Erik Brännström, Logan Brown and/or Alex Formenton a chance to cement a role on the roster from the start?
This offseason, interestingly, the Senators haven’t done much of anything. Yes, they brought in Nick Holden and Michael Del Zotto but, for a team claiming to be stepping in to the next phase of the rebuild, that doesn’t amount to much of an impact. After talk of looking to add a first line centre and a top four defender – of which, it’s very possible Dorion believes he accomplished with the aforementioned additions – the offseason has been pretty quiet.
Fans are, understandably, frustrated.
Why not make additions to the team that ended last year with a 9-2-1 record in their final 12 games? Why not take this group to the extra level by spending the abundance of assets in the cupboard on someone who can do so.
Funny how things change, isn’t it? This time last year we were clamouring for the Brännström’s, Brown’s and Formenton’s of the lineup to get a shot at cracking the roster but this year, many fans have expressed some frustration that Ottawa hasn’t done much. If they had, players like Egor Sokolov, Ridly Greig and Jacob Bernard-Docker wouldn’t have a spot to fight for.
As we see the future of the Ottawa Senators hitting the ice this week for development and rookie camps, with reports of players like Sokolov, Grieg and Angus Crookshank standing out, you can sense a cool down from Sens fans across Twitter on their desire for incoming additions.
A long offseason is finally coming to an end, the anxiety around the roster is slowing down, let’s get to it.
On Negotiation Through the Media
Over the past four seasons, after plenty of public messes in the realm of player negotiations, Dorion’s most used phrase might now officially be “we don’t negotiate through the media.” While it can be frustrating as fans, particularly when we’re all waiting not-at-all-patiently for news of a long term extension for Brady Tkachuk, it’s in the best interest of the organization to ensure as much of this stuff happens behind closed doors as possible. After all, a team like the Senators can’t afford any more negative media attention than they tend to generate for themselves outside of contract negotiations.
On this topic, however, there has appeared to be plenty of negotiation through the media – just not by Dorion himself. Over the last few weeks, TSN’s Shawn Simpson and PostMedia’s Bruce Garrioch have essentially been reporting one-sided updates – Simpson from Tkachuk’s side, Garrioch from Ottawa’s. The question is, how much of this is each camp trying to leak some information to tip the scales on their favour and how much of it is just genuine reporting of what each journalist has heard?
It’s incredibly possible that Simpson doesn’t report too much from the Sens side simply because he doesn’t have a deep, trustworthy source to keep him in the know. Similarly, it’s possible (read: incredibly likely) Garrioch’s information comes directly from the team and he doesn’t have much in the way of a network within the NHL Agents community.
It’s hard to ignore, though, how regularly these two indirectly spar on Twitter. For every Garrioch article, there tends to be a Simpson subtweet. For example, Garrioch recently penned a piece updating on the Tkachuk contract negotiations, claiming Tkachuk not being at camp on day one would have an impact on his chances of making the Olympic team. The next morning, Simpson tweeted this:
Tkachuk wanting to play in the Olympics is less than zero leverage for the Sens. Not even on the radar at this point. If it’s November 1st maybe it turns up the heat.
As @TSNHammer looked up, Matthew signed in the middle of camp in 2019.
— Shawn Simpson (@TSNSimmer) September 14, 2021
At the end of the day, I like that Dorion tries to keep things under wraps as much as possible but it’s really hard to take those words too seriously with how frequent these types of pieces and interactions happen. I don’t blame Garrioch, Simpson or any other media member for releasing to the public information they find out. Not one bit. That’s their job!
But the Sens definitely negotiate through the media, Dorion just doesn’t reveal information himself with a microphone in his face.
On Player Personalities
Thomas Chabot and Tim Stützle attended the NHL media event in Toronto this past week and it was a refreshing reminder of how gosh darn likeable the new era of Ottawa Senators are.
It was great to see both players interacting with the media, answering questions, playing fun games and, of course, drawing the teams logo from memory. It’s a good thing they’re both good at hockey so they don’t have to try their hands at the starving artist career – they’d be quite hungry, I suspect.
This summer we also got the chance to see a number of players hop on The Wally and Methot Show and get a glimpse into their personalities, as well. From Josh Norris to Brady Tkachuk to Egor Sokolov, we had the pleasure of getting to know these people better, not just the players, and, for me, that felt incredibly relatable.
Many joke on Twitter about Ottawa trying to rebuild their team based on vibes and it seems to be true. Maybe it’s because we have more mediums to get to know them better or maybe it’s because the dust is settling and the black cloud above the organization appears to be dissipating, but overall I’m really looking forward to the upcoming season and a big part of that is feeling more connected to the people under the uniforms.
On Professional Tryouts
We’re getting to the part of the offseason, right before camp, where teams are starting to announce players who will be attending camp on professional tryouts (PTO). Over the past week, we’ve seen Tobias Rieder heading to Anaheim on a PTO, Artem Anisimov to Colorado, Mark Jankowski and Jimmy Vesey to New Jersey and more.
With the idea that Ottawa was expected to add more to its roster than they have, I’d think we’ll see at least a few players invited to the main camp next week on PTOs. As the blueline is relatively busy already, if the Sens are going to bring anyone in, you’d think it’ll be up front.
Looking through the list of free agents on CapFriendly, a few names popped for me. The first name was Alex Galchenyuk. I know, I know. Why revisit this? At the end of the day, Galchenyuk is a player you can toss onto your third line and second power play unit and get something done, in a pinch. He’s someone who’s played up the lineup and down the lineup and while his skillset is a much closer match to a top six role than a bottom six role, bringing him in on a PTO certainly wouldn’t hurt.
Another familiar face would be Tyler Ennis. I loved Ennis when he was on the Sens. He was the perfect energy player, rarely out of position and can certainly be trusted with extra responsibility from time to time.
If we’re going down the familiar face rabbit hole, neither Bobby Ryan nor Zack Smith have contracts for the upcoming season but… I think those years are behind us.
Joseph Blandisi recently didn’t receive a qualifying offer from the Montreal Canadiens. He spent last years shortened AHL season in Laval, where he wore an A and compiled 21 points in 28 games. He’s a 27 year old centre with 101 games of NHL experience that I’m sure could either push the kids to compete or, at worst, get a contract and head to Belleville to provide veteran leadership as a player who’s cleared the 200 game mark in the AHL as well.
None of these names are fancy or shiny, but PTOs rarely are. Nonetheless, I think we can expect a name or two to surface over the next week and I’d be happy to see any of Galchenyuk, Ennis or Blandisi join the Sens when main camp opens up.
On Logan Brown
I’d like to start this thought of by saying I’ve always been a fan of Logan Brown – likely more so than the average Sens fan.
There are a lot of knocks on Brown’s game and his development. There are claims that he doesn’t work hard enough or move his feet but the only thing lazy related to Brown is that narrative. That’s not the real problem.
The real problem has been his health. This isn’t news, even the most casual of Sens fans knows that Brown hasn’t had a full, healthy season since before he was drafted. If you don’t know this about Brown, you’d be shocked to learn he hasn’t been able to crack the NHL roster yet. After all, he’s a 6’6” centre with the softest hands and he’s put up 0.84 points per game at the AHL level.
As Development Camp has come and gone and Rookie Camp is kicking off, Brown is nowhere to be found. Without a contract, it’s been stated that if Brown can’t be moved, he’ll be off to Europe until another NHL team is ready to give him a shot.
It saddens me to say, but it’s time to cut ties and move Brown for whatever you can. He’s not going to play another game in the Senators organization and, even if it’s just a mid round pick two years in the future, Pierre Dorion should be looking to get something – anything – for the 2016 11th overall pick.
'Don't squish them': Photos on social media show slimy, sticky salamanders in Labrador – CBC.ca
It was late at night when Adam Reid took his dog out and found a little salamander on his front steps. The Happy Valley-Goose Bay man says he panicked, thinking it was an escaped pet, and took it inside.
“I was like, ‘I cannot leave this poor little salamander here,'” Reid said. “It’s started getting cold in Labrador. Things get pretty chilly.”
Reid made a Facebook post and was surprised to learn that the critters are native to Labrador and even thrive there.
After confirming the salamander — who Reid had affectionately named Sal’ — was in fact going to be OK, he took it out and let it go in his garden.
“We had our parting words and a few tears were shed by my puppy who didn’t want to let him go. But I put him back in the garden and he went on his way,” Reid said.
“Sal, if you’re out there, I hope you’re doing good, buddy.”
Shylah Ernst said after Reid’s post, she too saw salamanders on two occasions outside her work at a local daycare.
“We found four smaller salamanders inside of an old tire that had some water in the bottom of it,” Ernst said.
The little amphibians were paraded around the daycare to show the children, Ernst said. However, they were all released back to the wild a short time later.
“Of course, they kept trying to pick him up. But we put him in a little container with some grass and sand,” Ernst said.
“They looked at him and they played with him in his little basket … they loved him.”
Salamanders more common than you’d think
Sean Boyle, a postdoctoral researcher at Memorial University, says people may not realize just how common the creatures are. He said they are an important part of the ecosystem but they are out of sight for almost the entire year.
“If you think in terms of biomass — which is the total mass of all of the individuals of the species — the biomass of a salamander will greatly outweigh the biomass of moose. So say you have 100 moose, you’ll probably have tens of thousands of salamanders that weigh more than all of that combined,” Boyle said.
There are two types of salamanders in Labrador — the two lined salamander and the blue-spotted salamander. The two-lined salamander is aquatic while the blue-spotted salamander lives mostly on land.
“Amphibians in general are really good at surviving tough conditions,” Boyle said. “These two salamanders specifically, they kind of just bury themselves, either in the clear running water … or they’ll bury themselves in the leaf litter in the soil and avoid the frost line.”
If people see a salamander out and about, Boyle said, they don’t need to worry about spooking it ,but he said don’t pick it up and avoid it if possible.
“If you do have to pick them up, just make sure there’s absolutely nothing on your hands. So that’s no no bug spray, no sunscreen, no moisturizer, anything like that, because it can be very toxic to them.”
Salamanders, like all amphibians, breathe through their skin and their skin can take in chemicals can hinder their ability to breathe, Boyle said. However, he said if people see salamanders, it’s most likely wild and not a pet.
“For the most part, if people have pet salamanders, they’re not the species that we would have in Canada,” Boyle said. “And so the salamanders that you see in the wild would look different than ones that were escaped pets.”
Ernst said she was surprised to read on social media that people didn’t know salamanders were in Labrador, but she said she did grow up seeing them out and about. If people do find them, she said please leave them be.
“Don’t squish them. Put them back. Leave them alone. Let them grow. So some people are afraid of them and they’ll like ‘uh step on that,’ especially when they’re small, but that’s a sin. Leave them alone, let them grow. Let them make a home here.”
Hollywood film-crew union reaches tentative deal, averting strike
A union that represents about 60,000 behind-the-scenes workers in film and television reached a tentative deal with producers on Saturday, averting a strike that threatened to cause widespread disruption in Hollywood, negotiators said.
The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees ( IATSE), which includes camera operators, make-up artists, sound technicians and others, said negotiators agreed to a new three-year contract.
“This is a Hollywood ending,” Matthew Loeb, president of the union, said in an emailed statement. “Our members stood firm. They’re tough and united.”
Shutdowns from the COVID-19 pandemic had caused a production backlog that led to crews working up to 14 hours a day to feed programming to streaming services.
The union had threatened to strike starting Monday if it was unable to reach an agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).
A strike would have shut down film and television production around the United States in the biggest stoppage since the 2007-2008 strike by Hollywood screenwriters. It would have hit a wide range of media companies including Netflix Inc, Walt Disney Co and Comcast Corp.
IATSE was seeking to reduce working hours and raise the pay of members who work on shows for streaming platforms, where lower rates were set 10 years ago when online video was in its infancy.
IATSE, in its statement, said the proposed contract addresses those issues, including rest periods, meal breaks, a living wage for those on the bottom of the pay scale, and significant increases in compensation to be paid by new-media companies.
The new labor agreement is subject to approval by IATSE’s membership.
(Reporting by Lisa Richwine and Bhargav Acharya; Editing by Leslie Adler)
City of Brandon – October 16th 2021 Media Release – City of Brandon –
October 16th, 2021
Brandon Police Service Media Release for the Past 24 Hours.
At 5:00 pm on Friday afternoon, officers responded to a two vehicle collision in the traffic circle at 34th St and Willowdale Ave. A vehicle driving around the circle went over the curve and back into the circle, striking the back of truck in the process. Officers at the scene observed signs of impairment from the female driver of the vehicle and arrested her for impaired driving. She provided breath samples almost triple the legal limit. The accused, a 42 year Brandon resident, will appear in court in October on charges of Impaired Driving, Driver over 80 mg% and Dangerous Operation of a motor Vehicle.
A female youth was charged with assault on Friday. The accused was involved in a fight a high school in Brandon on October 12th during which she punched another youth several times. She attended the police service on Friday and was arrested. She will appear in court in December.
Theft Under $5000
A 34 year old man with no fixed address was arrested on Friday evening for Theft Under $5000. The charges stem from a shop lifting incident at a store in the 900 block of Victoria Ave on September 11th when a man stole $70 in groceries. The suspect was located at a mall where he was intoxicated by drugs and alcohol and refusing to leave. He was lodged to sober up and released for court in December.
In September, a female youth disclosed to police that she was sexually assaulted by a male at a residence in the 300 block 6th St. The victim reported she had stayed at the man’s residence and he provided her drugs. She was assaulted by the man while she was intoxicated by the drugs. The suspect, a 30 year old from Brandon, was located on Friday evening and arrested for Sexual Assault and Sexual Interference. He was released on an undertaking with conditions and will attend court in December.
A 44 year old man was arrested on a warrant on Friday afternoon. He was held to sober up and released to appear in court in November.
One person was lodged for Breach of Peace.
V.W. (Bill) Brown #114, Staff Sergeant
NCO i/c D Platoon
204 729 2319
Anyone with information on any unsolved crime is asked to call Brandon Crime Stoppers at 204-727-(TIPS) 8477, or by texting BCSTIP and your message to CRIMES (274637). Crime Stoppers pays up to $2000.00 cash for information that leads to the solution of a crime.
CRIME STOPPERS 204-727-TIPS
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