Well here is a long waited but ultimately slim update on Sens Defensemen Andrei Meszaros. Based on conversations with another Sens D-man and the little tibits I've read around the web, Things at the moment are bleak, Mesz and his agent aren't willing to budge on thier demands for the most part, and Murray isn't buying into thier demands, so unless things start to change Meszy looks like he'll will be
- A RFA Holdout and miss the season unless he magically signs by Dec.31
- Play in the KHL for atleast a year (Probably combined with the above)
- be traded if Murray finds a team willing to trade for Andrei's rights/ or new contract
The 3rd scenario is in my opinion the best of all possible scenario's except if Meszy signs for a fair price and decent length.
While this isn't a huge update on the situation, its an update for all of the Sens Army sitting and wondering.
:Sidenote: My guy mentioned something about a slim chance of Meszy going to Chicago (Not for Bulin) or Washington (Shaone Morrison anybody?) Maybe if Ek reads this he can ask his people.
Just for fun, looking at Ottawa's roster I assembled what our line-up will most likely look like and broke down some of our Prospects---
(Now for those wondering why I don't have Neil on the chart, its because I honestly don't see him Playing for the sens this season.
As For the rest the first line is a given, Second Line, Folingo and Vermette looked good together down the stretch and where one of few highlights from the playoff disaster.
Third Line may turnout to be the best shutdown line in the league, Ruutu and Bass together is a scary thought, Kelly may get shifted around depending on Zubov's performance in the training camp.
The Fourth line is the Sens weak point, McAmmond and Donovan are thier because of thier one-way contracts but may end up as healthy scratches throughout the season. Nikulin is my likely thought on the final active spot, he made it clear if his isn't on the main roster he's going to Russia, and he has been a steady improvement as he continues to develop, despite what a certain Sens blogger has been saying. Both Hennesy and Zubov are getting good, ZUbov has more value to the Sens as he is an excellent shutdown forward as he proved against Ovechkin in his one NHL game playing one Ottawa's topline against AO. Problem is Sens need more secondary scoring than another shutdown player so Hennessy or Nikulin might get the call.)
As for Winchester, murray wants him to spend time in the AHL first before joining the Sens late in the season or next season. Peter Regin isn't developing as well as Scouts have hoped so far, despite this setback he already seems to be popular among Sens fans. Jim O'brein has one more year on his NCAA contract then he'll be in the big club for 09/10 and Louie Caparusso is two-years away. Erik Condra, I believe has one more year of NCAA before he joins AHL/NHL, for Sens fans unaware of him, Condra is sleeper Blue-chip Prospect. He was on pace to win the Hobbey Baker award before going down with a season ending injury. Learn to love Condra.
I've lost faith in other prospects like Kaspars Daugavins and Colin Greening. Ruslan Bashkirov and Shawn Weller need more time but may turn-out in a couple years. I know nothing of the forwards drafted this year.
Anton and Phillips is the Clear top-line pair but will likely used for more shut-down purposes.
Lee is likely to play with Smith to help him develop and enable Lee to be more creative while Smith lerks around behind to cover him.
The final pairing is a crap shoot, anyone could be paired with Shubert and barring a Meszy signing or a trade it'll have to be one of the above as 2008 Draft pick Erik Karlsson has a year remaining with Farjestad before he joins the Sens.
Brendan Bell is the most likely because he has the expeirence on his side. Ben Blood may have a year left on his NCAA contract (I couldn't find his terms) if not he'll make a strong push for the spot. Carkner has shown he can handle himself in the NHL but he just doesn't the upside the young guys have so his NHL ship may have sailed after this season. Waugh is a virtual unknown to me, but his numbers are similair to other Sens D-prospects, he seems to fit more like an AHL filler than anything else. Nycholat is getting older while his talent remains the same, he has this season and one more to make the big-time or he'll be joining Denis Hamel as a career AHLer. Tomas Kudelka is another guy to be excitied for, he doesn't get the respect he deserves mainly because, he has been unable to secure a spot on Bingo, but thats has everything to do with the amount of spots wasted on Aging AHL Lifers (See above) than his ability. Kudelka has shown he wants to play in North America and has excelled when given the chance, this season he'll be at Camp with a vengance, HE will at the very least be with the Bingo club finally and should make an NHL debut within two years.
The only bright spot is GErber is in contract year and he knows he's hiting UFA at the end so he SHOULD bring his A game finally. Auld may steal the show and save the Sens goaltending situation, but sadly I doubt it.
Our only prospects are Elliot and Glass, Elliot has caught Murray's eye and may pan out one day but Glass is a lost cause and sadly I think Elliot is too. But I love being wrong about stuff like this. Who knows maybe trading Meszy or Neil will bring us a Pogge/Rask/Mason/Bernier/Pavelec or Halak?
Around the NHL-
Sundin-- Am I alone in thinking Sundin is good star player but not one worth this much attention and money? The guy is getting old, and isn't going to get better each year, seriously. He has the NHL trade market by the balls while GM and players await his over-waited decision. I've said it before and I'll say it again, if your not in it to win a cup, get out. I read a great article breaking down why he won't be in the Hockey Hall of Fame, I believe its on theHockeynews.com. I encourage everyone to read it.
Sakic- Unlike Sundin, Sakic deciding has no implications on any team, not even Colorado, Thier ready to go should he retire or not. So thier really isn't a story to be told until he declares hes actual decision. (When he plans to isn't a story Media Industry)
Selanne- He and Burke are just waiting for Sundin to decide so Burke can clear the room.
Shannahan- He's the most unfortunate of these four. He wants to keep playing and his talented enough to but because Sundin is being a pain, teams are waiting before offering him anything, Sather says he wants to bring Shanny back, but he's trying to get Sundin. I hope Ottawa walks in and snipes Shanny up while the world waits on Sundin.
Feel free to sign me a message if you have any questions or angry comments