The Colorado Avalanche rookies finally brought home a win!
We’ll have more on them later today.
More importantly, though, let’s talk about Eugene Melnyk:
Last year, the Ottawa Senators took a gamble when they picked up forward Matt Duchene from the Colorado Avalanche for a hefty ransom.
Heading to the Senators was Duchene. For all intents and purposes, the forward was a positive addition; excluding his 2016-17 campaign, Duchene had never fallen below 20 goals when playing in 60 or more NHL games.
Heading to the Avalanche, though, was a massive haul. Not only did Duchene fetch both a first and third round pick, he managed to snag the Avalanche prospect Shane Bowers, goaltender Andrew Hammond, and center Kyle Turris - who was then flipped to the Nashville Predators for a second-round pick, forward Vladislav Kamenev, and defenseman Samuel Girard. So while the Senators got a quality top-six player, the Avalanche walked away with picks in the first three rounds of the draft, a minor league goaltender, a top prospect, a budding young defender, and a forward prospect with promising upside.
This would have possibly been worth it for the Senators, of course, had they managed to return to where they were in the spring of 2017, sitting just a handful of games away from the Stanley Cup Final. Even if they were just in the playoff hunt, it would have been a promising sight to see.
Instead, they found themselves plummeting down the league standings, floundering to finish 30th. They even managed to slip past the Arizona Coyotes, who took a month to win their first game and nearly another month to win one in regulation.
As if that wasn’t quite enough, the Senators continued to operate as a parody of an NHL franchise off the ice. The owner threatened to move the team over attendance issues ahead of the team’s outdoor game, then the general manager held on to the team’s first round pick in a mediocre draft class (guaranteeing Colorado will have their first rounder next year) and all but decided to scrap things and start over. Allegations surfaced that one player’s wife was verbally harassing another’s, resulting in the first player getting shipped out to San Jose for meager dividends - only to get flipped back into the division anyway. The second player (and the team’s captain and best player) won’t be signing a new extension with the club, so he’s on his way out. Oh, and Duchene probably is too, along with fellow top forward Mark Stone.
So the team’s response? The utterly bizarre video they released at 10pm on Monday night, which we talked about in yesterday’s Flurries.
Since the worse the Senators do, the better chance Colorado has of drafting Jack Hughes, this is reasonably topical. So here’s a list of the best breakdowns of The Video to come out on Tuesday:
First, Kyle Cantlon put it nicely when he shared his piece for Vice Sports, captioning his tweet “I would give my life for Eugene Melnyk”. Honestly, right now? Same. This piece reads like a satire celebrity roast written for Deadspin After Dark, except it’s absolutely based on the actual Senators and the actual Video. [Vice Sports]
Pete Blackburn also did what he does best, and compiled the best and brightest of Twitter’s reaction to the video for our delighted eyes and reads. [CBS Sports]
Last but not least, Athletic subscribers can read this delightful piece by Down Goes Brown on how the video came to be. [The Athletic NHL]
In other news, check out this grin on Alex Ovechkin’s face:
I think Ovechkin (big FC Barcelona fan) was excited to meet Neymar tonight. (Yes, I know he doesn’t play for Barca anymore) pic.twitter.com/0JEnO4Bens— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) September 12, 2018
Same, Alex, same.
The Boston Bruins also pulled the trigger on a trade that has fans feeling a million different types of ways all at once, moving defender Adam McQuaid to the New York Rangers for fellow blue liner Steven Kampfer and a draft pick.
The move doesn’t make a ton of sense for the Rangers beyond bringing in a new Dan Girardi to console the locker room through their rebuild, as McQuaid is about as nice off the ice as he is aging rapidly on it. For Boston, though, there’s been cries to get this kind of a deal done for years - but now that general manager Don Sweeney actually pulled the trigger, a genuinely fun guy is on his way out. [WEEI, via Sara Civian]
Speaking of general managers, the Tampa Bay Lightning kind of lost theirs yesterday.
It was abruptly announced that Steve Yzerman, the genius behind the building of the team’s current powerhouse roster, was stepping down from his role as GM and making way for former lawyer and long-time AHL general manager Julien BriseBois - who has served as assistant GM to Yzerman since 2010 - will take his place at the helm.
BriseBois has made a name for himself building up phenomenal AHL rosters, and he’ll remain general manager of the Syracuse Crunch in addition to his new duties. Here’s a look at how he’ll juggle that tremendous workload. [Syracuse.com]
The ECHL’s Kalamazoo Wings are also very much on board with introducing football to hockey:
The NHL got involved too, because the Jalen Ramsey comment will apparently never die.
Props to Clayton Keller for his honesty, though, and double props to Ryan Johansen for looking so excited about the idea:
Speaking of the NHL, this tribute to former staffers Ace Bailey and Mark Bavis, who were on the flight that hit the second tower 17 years ago, will make you cry some ugly giant tears, and that’s okay. [NHL.com]
Finally, we wish the Humboldt Broncos the best of luck with their upcoming season, particularly the two returning players who will get a chance to play for the teammates they lost. Their season will open tonight:
2 members of the Broncos who survived the bus crash on April 6th will suit up for the team tomorrow night. We’re grateful they allowed us to document their journey back. https://t.co/3s8mLaexhk— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) September 11, 2018