Monday, December 1, 2008
As usual, Roy MacGregor is right on the money in his Saturday column for the Globe and Mail.
It's nice to see someone with a real writing job inject some sanity and intelligence into the Senators universe where skill has been on a rapid decline, partly driven by irrational fan antagonism towards star players in the red and black.
Now Roy is not saying that players like Alexei Yashin and Alex Daigle should have been retained. Far from it. But that's where the root of the deep distrust of skilled players began in Ottawa. In particular, the deep scars in the fans psyche from Yashin's no shows in the playoffs (remember 2001 and the Shayne Corson shadow) are still being felt today. Only Daniel Alfredsson has escaped the wrath of the fans, and even he just barely survived.
I feel comfortable in saying a majority of fans wanted Alfredsson out of town as late as December 2006. When the Over The Edger's (my new euphemism for the legions of reactionary Sens fans, aptly named after the equally obnoxious local radio show) finally run Jason Spezza out of town, Dany Heatley will be the next to get the knife in the back.
Count on it.
Most people have already forgotten that Alfredsson, Spezza and Heatley all tied for the playoff point lead during this team's ONLY Stanley Cup run but at least two of them are still having their manhood questioned by mobs of short-attention spanners.
As Roy pointed out in his article, maybe fans really do get the team they deserve.
I've said it before, but one of the best hockey books ever written is MacGregor's "Road Games", chronicling the Senators disastrous first season in the NHL. It's a must read for Senators fans. If you think the team is in the dumper right now ....