Ottawa Senators Off-Season Power Rankings - July 2013

by Chet Sellers

It's officially summer here at RBM, where we're trading in our hot toddies for Pernod and soda and our sweater vests for linen button-downs. Fluorescent tank tops? Not on my watch! But summer also means it's time for another installment of our off-season power rankings, where we catalog the goings-on of a bunch of fancy lads who don't have to go to work for a few months. Will we have a new #1 this month? Let's find out!

1) Bobby Ryan (last month: NR)

There are really two ways to go after a breakup. The first is to find someone as much as possible like your old partner and squint a lot and pretend they’re the same person, and the second is to go completely in the other direction (there’s a third, which mostly involves snuggling with one of their old t-shirts on a pillow and gaining a lot of weight, but this isn’t about me). So sometimes, the only thing you can do after getting dumped by yet another steel-eyed Nordic particle physicist is to go up to that loud American at the end of the bar, shotgun a Natty Light, and dust off the best pickup line you have (“wanna bury some passes from Spezza and Karlsson?”). And who knows? You could have a hell of a lot of fun.

2) Paul MacLean (last month: 6)

“What did I do this summer? Well, I played a lot of golf, and I got a three-year extension, and they gave me this thing . . . [waves hand at Jack Adams trophy in massive, spotlighted, rotating trophy case] . . . but you know, it was pretty quiet. Summer workouts? Just enough to stay husky, thanks. Come on, let’s go get ribs.”

3) Marc Methot (last month: 1)

Could God create a beauty so great even He’d want to celly with him? Heisenberg is in the running. Methot is basically sticking to the kind of meat-and-brotatoes things that put him #1 last month: workouts, golf, droppin’ mad paper, and partying with Milan Michalek. Methot’s decline this month is not his fault; he’s not coach of the year, and he’s not this guy, but he’s one monster truck purchase away from retaking top spot in August. Keep grindin’, Marc!

4) Jason Spezza, Chris Phillips, and Erik Karlsson (last month: NR, NR, T3)

Ride, captain ride! One of these guys is going to be the next leader of YOUR Ottawa Senators (I see you, Neiler, spittin’ out the sunroof through your missin’ tooth!). Karlsson is the best player on the team, Phillips has been around the longest, and Spezza is the best player who’s been around the longest. The smart money is on Spezza being named captain as a precursor to an extension in two years, although that will probably push Karlsson’s captaincy into his 30s, if it ever happens; my dumb money is on Phillips, because I think he’s got tenure and I don’t think he’s done after this year. You wanna get in there, EK?  Open up a restaurant in Dunrobin where I can get a smörgås och en öl, bro!

5) Bryan Murray (last month: 4) 

Bryan Murray explains recent events to a local underachiever 

Not many people know this, but from 1968-71 I was an advice columnist for McCall's magazine ("Ask a Man . . . With a Boat!"). Most of the questions I got dealt with pretty typical problems of the day - neighborly disputes, kids trying drugs, Kent State - but I'm thankful I never had to counsel someone in a situation as difficult as the one Bryan Murray found himself in last week. And the ethical conundrums are just beginning - what is the appropriate response when Ottawa plays Detroit for the first time next year? If this is Alfredsson's final season and it ends badly (e.g., through injury), will it be as tragic as if it had occurred in Ottawa? Will it be more tragic? If he ever thinks about returning via trade if the Wings are tanking, or even as a free agent next year, will either side be able to swallow their pride and make it happen? Could he ever get the "C" back? And if the Senators win the Cup this year without him, will the schadenfreude enhance the celebration, or diminish it immeasurably?

I don't have the answer to any of these questions, other than I expect to be watching Senators-Red Wings games next year while shaking my head and muttering about how stupid this all is. But Bryan Murray? You're still doing a hell of a job. Not on you, buddy.

6) Matt Kassian (last month: 2)

Kassian gains points this month for being the kind of dude who tries to sell his car on twitter, but then loses those points when that car turns out to be a six-year-old 3-Series instead of the awesome van I pictured him driving around in and solving mysteries. You’re all like, that’s no reason to demote him, and I’m all like, ask this month’s #1. 

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

Last month's concerns about J-G not taking his training seriously may have been overstated, as he is back to ripping up his beer league. He's only trailing one guy in points per game, which isn't so bad when you remember that guy just signed with the Habs. 

8) Mika Zibanejad (last month: T3)

One of these guys is in the top six this year. Can you guess which one?

9) Robin Lehner (last month: T3)

You're like yeah, summer training, dude is drinking a lot of smoothies, so what? And then you see ALL THAT FENNEL.

10) Erik Condra (last month: NR)

Sure, what the hell. See you next month!

NOT RANKED: Eugene Melnyk; Canadian Tire; Kyle Turris' new lawnmower from Canadian Tire; three more months without hockey; wags saying "Well, I guess this is Jim O'Brien's team now"; these salty, salty tears.
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