Ottawa Senators Off-Ice Power Rankings - July 2014

by Chet Sellers

Folks, I could waste your time with an an introduction to this month's power rankings. I could tell you that, as we enter July, the Senators are teetering on the edge of fundamental roster change, with old faces on their way out (maaaaybe) and new free agents on their way in (ha!). Or I could tell you that, as we enter July, we've finally reached peak season for the kind of tank top selfies that really allow these power rankings to shine. But you know both of those things already. So let's go!

1) Jason Spezza (last month: 3)

Jason Spezza's range of looks, from "Nashville" to "St. Louis".
Jason! You're still here! So . . . this is awkward.

Spezza has to be number one in this month's rankings because, until he can be traded to a city he wants to go to, he's going to be Ottawa's most-watched man. I have two, relatively obvious points to make about Jason Spezza's recent appearance on Dateline's To Scratch A Predator Trade:

a) Nashville is an awesome city.
b) Jason Spezza doesn't have to go anywhere he doesn't want to go.

As others have skillfully pointed out, a no-trade clause is one of the terms a GM and player agree on as part of the give and take of contract negotiations. The player is given some degree of employment certainty, and the GM gets to sign the player for less money or a more favourable term. As a result, a GM should never turn around and get angry at that player for exercising his contractually-negotiated right, nor is it a good look to leak the details of allegedly-scuttled trades in an effort to denigrate that player or pressure him into going somewhere he doesn't want to go. No means no, GMs. It doesn't mean maybe, it doesn't mean later, it doesn't mean buy him another drink; it means no, and you always need to remember that.

I did want to get to the bottom of why Spezza vetoed the Nashville trade, though, so I gave him a call. I'm a serious blogger, you know. Here's the transcript:

CHET: Spezz.
SPEZZA: Hey man.
CHET: A lot of people are saying you're fancy, huh?
SPEZZA: I'm kinda used to it at this point.
CHET: Real talk, though, what's wrong with Smashville? Good bars, good barbecue, Fish can get you backstage at any show you want . . . what's the problem?
SPEZZA: Yeah, but St. Louis has good barbecue too, and a better hockey team. Plus I've never really been a country music guy, I'm more into Nelly. His last one is actually not that bad.
CHET: I just don't really think he's a ballads guy.
SPEZZA: That's fair.
CHET: What about Dallas? Good brisket, good mixtape scene-
SPEZZA: I really only like Nelly.
CHET: Well, you could mentor Tyler Seguin.
SPEZZA: Eh. I already have three kids.
CHET: Cold.
SPEZZA: And I look stupid in a cowboy hat.
CHET: That's fair. Miami?
SPEZZA: I just don't think Lebron is sticking around.
CHET: What about western Canada?
SPEZZA: No. Other than Vancouver, it's all cities that are even smaller, colder, and darker than Ottawa.
CHET: Okay, then the Canucks?
SPEZZA: Come on.
CHET: Thought I'd ask. But at some point people are going to say you're being picky.
SPEZZA: I'm not being picky. I'm willing to go to St. Louis and 19 other teams that aren't that interested in trading for me. Bryan can get it done whenever he's ready.
CHET: This sounds like it's going to be a long summer.
SPEZZA: It's going to be a great summer.

2) Bryan Murray (last month: NR)

"I can take a glamour shot too. Don't get it twisted."
The second most-watched man in Ottawa this summer. Is it true that Ottawa has a habit of throwing players under the bus on their way out of town? After talking to Spezza, I had to follow up with GMBM in the interests of equal time.

MURRAY: Bryan Murray's office.
CHET: Bryan Murray, please.
MURRAY: This is he.
CHET: Then why did you answer the phone like that?
MURRAY: Well, we had to lay off the girl who used to answer the phone.
CHET: Right. What's up with Spezza?
MURRAY: Jason is a very talented player, and it breaks my heart to trade him. It really does. But I respect Jason, and I'm going to honour his request for a trade, even though I know I won't get as good a player in return.
CHET: Some people are saying you brought up the Nashville stuff to turn the fan base against Spezza for exercising the no-trade clause that you gave him.
MURRAY: Who's saying that?
CHET: People.
MURRAY: Twitter?
CHET: Certain people.
MURRAY: Look, you only win on the ice, not in the papers. I'm just trying to make the best deal I can in a tough situation.
CHET: So you're not trying to make him look bad.
MURRAY: By doing what? Telling you what he gave out to kids last Hallowe'en? I would never do that.
CHET: He . . . wait, what did he give out to-
MURRAY: Circus peanuts.
CHET: I . . . damn. But still, you can't expect the fans are going to buy into a negative PR campaign again. Not after Alfredsson.
MURRAY: Even if I knew what you were referring to, that kind of aggressive approach just isn't our style in Ottawa. Not like a certain franchise centre who regularly slaps waiters in the face.
CHET: Okay, you're obviously talking about Spezza.
MURRAY: You said it, not me.
CHET: Right. I should go.
MURRAY: Let me ask you this, first: how much do you really know about Jason Spezza's affiliation with Joseph Kony?
CHET: I have to go.
MURRAY: Have a great summer. I know I will.

3) Erik Karlsson (last month: 1)

Okay, enough business. This is the section of the power rankings where we make you feel better by showing you that stars are just like us! For example, just like you, Erik Karlsson – yes, that Erik Karlsson - sometimes wears the same shirt twice! He's doing more interesting things with better-looking people than you, but still. We're all human sometimes.

4) Bobby Ryan (last month: 5)

Another way stars are like us? They hate exercise! Who really needs to know how to do a pull-up, anyway? That's just one of those things they teach you that you have no use for once you're out of school, like algebra, or time management.

5) Cake (last month: NR)
"Cake, cake, cake, cake, cake, cake." - Jay-Z
And the last thing stars like? Birthday cake! Make yourself feel like a hockey player tonight and finish off that half of an ice cream cake you've had in the freezer since March. You had to walk into Starbucks this morning because the drive-thru line was too long, right? You've earned it.

6) Erik Gryba (last month: 4)

Now we're into the “pictures with guys from other sports” section of the power rankings. Guess which one of these two guys has more money in the bank right now. You'll never guess.

7) Cody Ceci (last month: 7)

Cody Ceci is still a young, impressionable guy, so when he participates in charity events like this, I hope he uses it as an opportunity to learn from a washed-up former pro who's made a lot of mistakes, chief among them being unable to accept that his career is over. I also hope he learns some stuff from Jose Canseco.

8) Marc Methot (last month: 2)

Last month, Marc Methot improved life in his city by seeing something and saying something. This month, he took a lot of shirtless bike selfies and threatened a duck with a machete. Sometimes you have to be the change you want to see in the world, y'know?

9) Clarke MacArthur (last month: NR)

This picture isn't that exciting, but any time Clarke MacArthur shows up on social media, it's making the power rankings. It's like spotting Bigfoot.

10) Erik Condra (last month: 10)

Sure, what the hell. See you next month!

NOT RANKED: Eugene Melnyk; low-stakes wagering; fake alligator; updating your CV before an interview; snowman PJs; compressing your slights into a white-hot ball of hate and using them, forever.
Powered by Blogger.