Vanner a star
Shaun Van Allen, a popular late line center with the team took a multi-year deal with the Dallas Stars last week. Although much criticized for his lack of speed Van Allen is a smart defensive player with an ability to win a good percentage of face-offs. Sens will miss most the veteran leadership the Saskatchewan native brought to the dressing room. He was an important force in uniting European and North American players. Vanner won’t pot you 20, but he’s the perfect replacement for Guy Carbonneau. The Senators insulted Van Allen by only offering a one-year deal.
July 2001 – Assistant Coach Wanted
For the third year in a row the Senators assistant coach in charge of defense and penalty kills has skipped town. First it was Mike Ramsay who went to Philadelphia, a year after that Mike Murphy left of the league head office and now Andre Savard departs for the Habs. Savard was a scout for many years in the Sens system and leaves Bytowne for a similar front office position with Montreal. Leading the list of replacements is Claude Julien who was recently interviewed for the head coaching position in Grand Rapids when Guy Charron left for Anaheim. Julien is head coach of the Hull Olympiques and was rumoured for the assistant’s position the last two years when Ramsay and Murphy left. Charron would have been the natural choice to fill the vacancy.
Barrass-who? According to Tom Barrasso’s agent Steve Reich, the Senators have not tendered an offer for the free agent netminder. This flies in the face of comments made by Sens GM Marshall Johnston, who has said throughout the summer the team would be interested in bringing back the Barrasso. It still may happen but Johnstone will wait until late August when the 35 year-old’s value decreases.
Sens Sign Two
The Sens used their increasing purse to sign free agents Todd White and Ricard Persson. White is an Ottawa native who was drafted by Chicago Blackhawks, but spent last year playing with the Phantoms in the Philly system. White’s best attribute is his ability to play two ways. Persson will most likely find a spot on the team’s blueline next season, probably in the sixth or seventh spot. Playing with the Blues, Persson saw below average ice time, and is only a temporary solution.
Sens Out of the Red
Although not from the mouth of Rod Bryden, various team officials have hinted the Ottawa hockey club may turn a profit this season. As the club looks to it’s 9th year since re-entering the league it appears the team may finally have solid ground to stand on. Numerous appeals for tax relief and fan support have culminated in an equilibrium, which may ensure the team remains in the capital for generations.