Ottawa Senators Off-Ice Power Rankings - June 2014

by Chet Sellers

Good news, folks – it’s the one-year anniversary of our power rankings! It’s been a great year, hasn’t it? No, nobody? Okay.

Rather than celebrate this milestone by just rehashing our greatest hits, we’re going to try something different – an all-new set of power rankings! Crazy? You decide! Let’s go!

1) Erik Karlsson (last month: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10)

We almost can’t do these power rankings anymore, because Erik Karlsson has broken them. He's recalibrated the upper bound so high that it’s nearly impossible to compare him to his teammates at this point. It’s like watching Stephen Hawking play chess against basset hounds.

Rather than run down all of Karlsson's highlights this month – how he's a fashion icon; how he's a fashion icon who apparently doesn't own a phone; how he sip champagne when he thirstay – let's talk about Erik Karlsson's birthday. The day I turned 24, I spent my last $15 getting my brand-new '68 Corvair towed out of a drainage ditch along Highway 16, showing up late for my birthday bash just as A&W turned the parking lot lights out. Erik Karlsson . . . yeah, Erik Karlsson had a better birthday, based solely on what his lawyers let stay up on social media. Where does the concept of “Erik Karlsson's Birthday” rank in terms of general hedonism? Above the movie Caligula, but below “all crime is legal for 12 hours"?

2) Marc Methot (last month: NR)

You look at Marc Methot these days, at his broken pool pump, at his cheapskate wedding gifts, at the lack of respect he gets from Panera Bread, and you might conclude this is a man with less juice than he used to have, a man just steps away from the next round of Bachelorette. But that’s where you’d be so wrong. Because while a so-called player like Erik Karlsson can talk and talk and talk . . .

. . . Marc Methot goes out there and, by God, gets things done . . .

. . . because the dude is a municipal warrior. He doesn’t even need to tag the mayor to get a response! That's juice. That's the captain of YOUR 2022-2023 Ottawa Senators.

3) Jason Spezza (last month: NR)

Is this the last appearance by Spezza in our power rankings? (Click for spoilers.) At least he had a good year, right? He made Vanity Fair's best-dressed list, he put it all out there in the team Christmas video, he posed for dozens of awkward Heritage Classic pictures that will live forever, and you know why? Because he's the captain. Eventually, everything will come out about why Spezza and the team trended toward a mutual breakup as quickly (or not-so-quickly) as they did, but no one can pin the failure of the 2013-14 Senators, or indeed the end of Spezza's eleven seasons in Ottawa, on his leadership as captain. Publicly, he did everything expected of him. And in the room, they keep telling us leadership is a team responsibility, right? Did Chris Phillips spend last season pacing the dressing room during intermissions, forced to mumble the inspirational speeches that would surely turn this team around if only that lousy Spezza wasn't hogging the floor? Or is he just as much to blame as everybody else? And if so, does anybody believe that having Phillips sing more in web videos and glower through more promotional photos is what's going to put this team back on track?

4) Eric Gryba (last month: NR)

Is this also the last appearance by Eric Gryba? If Gryba does end up being the odd man out on defense this off-season it'll be a shame, given that after losing Spezza, the team can hardly afford to lose its next-best natural actor:

This kind of video is win-win, because it's for a good cause, and it's hilarious. There's a lot going on, though, so I sent in $5 for a transcript to make sure I wasn't missing anything, and here's what came back:

*interminable B-roll footage*

CECI: Hey Eric, do you ever get checked?

GRYBA: Yeah man, of course, I get checked all the time. It's hockey. *suave eyebrow raise*

CECI: No, I mean... *finger quotes* ...get checked. *stares at Gryba's nether-regions*

GRYBA: Ohhhhhhhhhh. *long pause* You mean my balls.

Eric! Get checked! Especially if these things run in the family. You know, like fashion.

5) Bobby Ryan (last month: NR)

Bobby Ryan is keeping a low profile now that the season's over, which you'd probably do too if you'd spent the last seven months battling through a sports hernia trying to keep an underachieving hockey team above water. If you're wondering, though, nobody's registered in anticipation of Ryan's upcoming eligibility for an extension. If I was Bobby Ryan? I'd register it. I'd register it and post an Instagram every day this summer, just the usual stuff – how I couldn't find a pen, how I had a hand cramp for a week and couldn’t hold a pen, how I was in an area with bad cell service and kept missing Bryan Murray’s calls – just post something like that every day until the team's payroll was within 10% of the salary cap. Then I'd just change the website to this.

6) Chris Phillips (last month: NR)

What happens when the ultimate dad gears up his dad ride on behalf of dads everywhere? This is, like, dadception.

7) Cody Ceci (last month: NR)

Every time Cody Ceci shows up on Twitter these days he seems to be eating something rich. What do you think the odds are that Guillaume Latendresse questions his conditioning during a pre-season broadcast? I guess what I’m saying is, can I have Twitter Christmas early this year?

8) Mika Zibanejad (last month: NR)
Bro, never get involved with a small-market team that drafts generational talent but just can’t get over the hump in the playoffs. It always ends badly. Nice neck pillow.

9) J-G Pageau (last month: NR)

Pagertrain has 23 points in six games so far in his summer beer league. If these trends continue . . .

10) Erik Condra (last month: NR)

Home can be a lot of places. Can it be a cherry mojito at Buffalo Wild Wings? Sure, what the hell. See you next month!

NOT RANKED: Eugene Melnyk; buying power toysbuying power toolsgetting your dog drunk; reaching out to at-risk youth; inscribing your love forever.
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