Ottawa Senators Off-Ice Power Rankings - September 2014

Monday, September 1, 2014

by Chet Sellers


Last month, if you followed hockey, social media, hockey social media, the media, the hockey media, or society, you probably saw more than a few folks take the ice bucket challenge. Heck, August is a hot month, right? And what's cooler than dumping ice on yourself? Raising awareness about ALS!

Here's what I know - most of the Ottawa Senators, with a few notable exceptions, filmed themselves dumping a bucket of ice water over their head last month. Some did it for the cause, some did it to be trendy, some did it because hell, that Lazar punk did it - we're not here to divine anyone's intentions or pass judgement on their motivation. We are here to rank things, though, and we do have all these videos lying around, so let's go!

1) Erik Condra (last month: NR)
Coming into August, the leaderboard of power rankings winners looked like this:

1) Bobby Ryan (5)
2) Erik Karlsson (4)
3) Erik Condra (3)

So don’t act surprised that Condra pulled off his fourth win this month to tie Karlsson; the man is a constant social media threat. This time? He took the ice bucket challenge and missed his damn head. That makes Condra #1 for two reasons. One, always assume Erik Condra knows exactly what he’s doing, in this case masterfully trolling the literally dozens of fans who are constantly mocking his inability to hit an open net. And two, Erik Condra is basically patient zero for the spread of Ottawa's ice bucket challenges this month. Let me show you what I mean:
Click to enlargify!
This professional-looking flowchart documents every public example we can find of bros icing bros last month. I'm not saying Zack Smith, Marc Methot, and Mike Hoffman didn't accept their challenges - maybe they did, in a private ceremony at home surrounded by friends and family - but they didn't put it on the internet (which, at least in Methot's case, means it definitely didn't happen). As we can see, Erik Condra is, as usual, on the bleeding edge of yet another viral phenomenon. This is where I remind you that this man, this treasure, is a UFA next year. For the love of God, why aren't we getting daily negotiation updates from Pierre Dorion?

2) Curtis Lazar (last month: NR)
This kid. Look at the casual, relaxed way he just strips down and puts his entire body into an ice bucket, as if to say, “shucks, I’m just working hard like always, sure hope I make the team!” Yet when you look closer, you see that steel-eyed, hyper-competitive, “you think you're colder than me?” confidence you only find in fighter pilots, CIA assassins, and Ice Cube yelling at a Coors Light. Lazar is either the next captain of the Senators or a remorseless killing machine. There’s no in-between.

3) Robin Lehner (last month: 6)
Lehner doesn’t mess around. Within an hour of dumping more cold water on Eugene Melnyk than the Ontario Securities Commission, Lehner was back at his house accepting Melnyk's challenge with a minimum of fuss in front of the hot tub that he'd probably already filled with ice. At the end of the video, you can see he's out of his chair before the bucket's even empty, probably to move on to his next challenge, like eating 30 raw eggs, or giving himself a new tattoo using only live bumblebees.

Also note that Jared Cowen is just kind of along for the ride on this one, although being the passenger in any particular pairing is nothing new for him. *APPLAUSE sign lights up*

4) Chris Phillips (last month: 5)


For a while it looked like Chris Phillips was going to be the turd in the ice bucket. He was challenged by TSN 1200’s Steve Warne on the 14th, and by the 17th, you had Paul MacLean taking the Laker Ice out of his kayak cooler, claiming Phillips had put him up to it. Yet there was no evidence Phillips had taken the challenge himself, only that he’d been gleefully dousing others. Had Phillips actually done it, or was he treating the whole process casually, like a contract negotiation?

To add insult to injury, Phillips’ hobby-pub then posted a staff challenge video referred to by a (now-deleted) tweet as a "wet t-shirt contest". Because what’s a charitable campaign without a little sexual objectification? Not only had Phillips still not taken the challenge, his pub had tried to put the “areola” into ALS. Try their new Reinforce the Patriarchy Imperial Stout!

But to his credit, Phillips eventually did get wet, and did so with the longest video that featured the most amount of water. It's the Das Boot of ice bucket videos. There's Phillips, cheerfully camped under the best mash tun a two-year contract extension can buy with a toes-forward squat that suggests he needs to work on his hip and hamstring flexibility, taking 1500 litres of cold water with his brewing buddies. It's a happy ending to a sordid odyssey, and shows Phillips taking the kind of responsibility you'd expect from the next captain of your Ottawa Senators. I'm sold - get this man a towel and a C!

5) Erik Karlsson (last month: 1)
Interesting use of the GoPro camera here, answering the question, “what would it be like to be looking up from Erik Karlsson's waist as you’re both showered with water?” Yowza, who else needs an ice bucket?

6) Bobby Ryan (last month: NR)

Bobby Ryan took the ice bucket challenge not once, but twice! And while neither instance was particularly exciting, it shows the kind of team-first spirit Ryan is known for, the kind of dedication that any team would reward with a huge, long-term, benchmark-setting contract . . . any day now. Right?

7) Alex Chiasson (last month: NR)


Welcome to the power rankings, Alex! Chiasson gets points for stirring his ice bucket (although remember Alex, shaking chills more quickly than stirring), but loses points for dumping water all over the rink floor. Alex! Everybody else did this outside!

8) Chris Neil (last month: NR)


This video sums up why a large portion of the Senators’ fan base thinks Chris Neil should be captain. He’s an affable, community-minded guy, he’s tough, and he doesn’t have a visor on his helmet. I’m pretty sure this video cuts out right before he takes a two-minute slashing penalty.

9) Craig Anderson (last month: NR)

Craig Anderson wins for lowest-resolution video and most wooden delivery, so his whole thing comes off like a hostage video. To Anderson’s credit, though, he’s the only player on this list to hit a trifecta this month, in that he iced himself, his three-year-old son, and Robin Lehner’s dreams of being a starter.

10) The Ghost of Jason Spezza (last month: NR)


Did I swear that Spezza would never make the power rankings again? Yes, yes I did. But might the final second of this video be the last time we get to watch Spezza blindly drop something with no regard for who’s around him? Sure, what the hell. See you next month!

NOT RANKED: Eugene Melnyk; Kyle Turris; Patrick Wiercioch; Mika Zibanejad; Mark Stone.

ALSO NOT RANKED: Falling property values; singles mixers; take it from me you do not have to eat the whole bowl of fries or chips; forty pounds of bacon; really good ice cream; having the best birthday ever; having the worst birthday ever; unlicensed merch that looks nothing like you; licensed merch that looks nothing like you; those skeezy pics you took for that guy who said he "freelanced for Vogue".