Marek Svatos has been claimed off waivers from the Nashville Predators for the Ottawa Senators and this news couldn’t come early enough. With Ottawa’s roster severely depleted by trades for draft picks and riddled with injuries, Svatos will be a welcome addition to the team (i.e, not someone from Binghampton). Ottawa sorely needs a forward who likes to score on their roster, and while Bobby Butler has done a good job of filling in that gap for awhile, the team needs just a little more to push them into the last stretch.
The body count for trades keeps piling up, with Kovalev joining the ranks of Kelly, Ruutu and Fisher. Craig Anderson has managed to breathe some life back into the team with back to back wins and his addition to the team has put some stability between the pipes. Hopefully, Svatos will be raring to go and ready to face the pressure of playing in a hockey town. And maybe a turn in the spotlight will help him turn it on in the capital- something we would all like to see. With Chris Neil out of the lineup and possibly Karlsson out for another game as Ottawa’s highest goal scorer, there will be space to fill for Svatos and right away.
Rumours continue to swirl around the future of Phillips- some sources say that he will sign a major extension, while others say that he’s still on the trading block. There’s no doubt that there would be something to be said for keeping a face of the franchise at this point; the team is getting to be completely unrecognizable. At the same time, I never understood how Phillips got so much credibility in Ottawa, but I attribute that to the fact that I have no idea what happens behind locker room doors (oh, to be a fly on the wall…) So I’ll give Phillips the benefit of the doubt on this one. Phillips is only worth trading if there’s a good return on him; otherwise, he can keep doing his locker room magic for many seasons to come.
Filip Kuba has played just awful since his return from injury in the second half of the season. I don’t know what’s taken the edge off his game, because it’s not his injury that’s slowing him down, it’s his mind. He keeps making bad decisions on the ice and it seems like he’s lost his hockey sense. The way to fix him? Send him down to Binghampton and let him get his wits about him. I hate seeing him in the lineup, knowing that he’s probably going to commit some big error down the line. He may not help the AHL team as they try to make their playoffs, but maybe they’ll help him.
As for trades, it may be time for Ottawa to close up shop. Once the Phillips issue gets settled, that is.
Alex Kovalev is getting an early birthday wish and is packing his bags for Pittsburgh. It’s hoped that Pittsburgh will make Kovalev feel important, since it seems that the explanation given on his poor performance in Ottawa was an indication of Cory Clouston undervaluing the asset that is Kovalev. This same sob story was given at the time of Heatley’s departure and my reaction to this one is going to be the same as it was when Heatley left town: good riddance.
Maybe I had painted an unfair portrait of Kovalev acting like a diva dressed up in his furs and talking to the media with a pouty look on his face. I even forgave him a little after he took that shiner off a freak puck during the game and manned up, staying in the game and playing with more energy than he had in months. But this self-important statement just proves that my first impression was right. Cuddle up in your furs, then, Kovy, and bring them to Pittsburgh and we’ll see how important you’ll be in a locker room that already has Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. True, the main men may be down and out right now in Pittsburgh, but they won’t be forever- and I’m guessing that they’re somewhat important themselves.
Hearing that someone’s poor numbers on the season are a result of not feeling important enough is just ridiculous. Unlike the cubicle mules in the rest of the working world in Ottawa, hockey players have a chance to prove their importance on the ice by making good plays and showing good hustle. Clouston’s philosophy is tough but fair and he’s always given more ice time to the players who show him that they want it. But of course Kovalev will do exactly what Heatley did and he’ll blame it all on the coach and talk about how great change is.
Change is great. And trading Kovalev to a place that will treat him as a VIP even when his numbers don’t make him an MVP, is a great choice.
About the Author
Written by Mika Oehling
Office worker and sports nerd. Cannot play a professional sport to save my life, but love to write. Prone to rants, raves, snarky humour and caustic commentary. My team's the Ottawa Senators. Author of Armchair Hockey, a work of humourous fiction released this year and available for sale online at Chapters and Amazon.