Ottawa Senators Off-Season Power Rankings - August 2013

by Chet Sellers

Dog days, man; dog days. It's August and Senators-related news has slowed to a weak trickle, which just means we here at RBM are working harder than ever to break the stories that matter. What's really going on off the ice? Who always looks like he just got out of the pool, even when he's completely dry? Who thought THAT shirt was a good idea? Let's find out!

1) Bobby Ryan (last month: 1) 
As the kids say, trill.

You can argue Ryan hasn’t done much this month to warrant keeping the top spot he shot into during the euphoria surrounding last month’s trade, other than generally be delightful, but you can also argue no one else has stepped up to take it from him by like, I don’t know, running up the side of a mountain in Wyoming with Bobby Holik. To be fair, there’s probably only two scenarios under which Ryan loses the #1 – by coming out flat once the season starts (which is hopefully not likely), or by Matt Kassian buying a llama (which is probably much more likely).

2) Marc Methot (last month: 3)
As you can see, it’s not easy being Ottawa’s most eligible beauty (wait a minute, yes it is). Methot’s invite to Canada’s Olympic camp, even if it’s just one of those “honor to be nominated” things, is exactly the kind of recognition he deserves after a massively-underrated season anchoring the Senators blue line. I especially love the idea that he somehow earned the invite by being carried by Erik Karlsson, despite spending most of last season dragging Eric Gryba around like Gryba dragging the carcass of a 20-point buck. Enjoy the rest of your summer, Marc!

3) Jason Spezza (last month: T4)

Before the tragic events of 7-5, the current incarnation of the Senators had arguably more claim to history than hoary old rivals Toronto and Montreal; history is the wrong word, maybe, but more continuity, certainly. Ottawa had four (now three) players that had been Senators since before the 2004-05 lockout, while the Habs have Plekanec and Markov and the Leafs have nobody.

But the Senators still have an argument for continuity, and with apologies to the Chrises, that argument starts and ends with Jason Spezza. On balance, Spezza has been the team’s best player for the last ten years, but one who has consistently been in the shadow of something or someone else – as the centre setting up Dany Heatley for 50 goals on his wing; as the assistant behind a 13-year captain and franchise legend; as the player struggling with injuries and expectations under a $49M contract.

All of that ends this season – even the one guy picked ahead of Spezza in the 2001 draft has left for the KHL. If the Olympic snub gets him even more fired up? Great. You know what else will? The C on his chest.  This is Jason Spezza’s team now, so let’s go ahead and make it official.

4) Erik Karlsson (last month: T4)
Hey man, awesome that you’re getting out and taking it easy this summer, but was just wondering how the training and rehab was going?
Yeah man, I remember doing the backpack and hostel thing too, but do you think maybe you should...
PHEW. Okay man, sorry for freaking out, I’ll quit bugging you. Just don’t let anything hold up your training, okay?

5) Mika Zibanejad (last month: 8)

Look, there’s no reason to bag on a guy just because he’s got a hobby. I’ve tried to ignore Z-Bad’s tweets about his DJ gear over the last few months, but by pre-announcing his “official logo”, he’s forced the issue for me. And you know what? I wanted to go all old-school on the guy and rag on him for how easy he’s got it these days as an MP3 DJ with an all-in-one kit and a bunch of torrented house music, when I used to have to dig for white-label Detroit techno 12”s and haul a pair of 1200s around just to make $40 a night. It doesn’t matter if he has software that beat-matches for him while I have the calluses that prove I used to do it live, on vinyl. You know why? Because this isn’t about me, and there’s no reason to bag on a guy just because he’s got a hobby.  One legitimate gripe, though:
I only ask one thing of a guy whose real job pays him over a mill a year to play hockey, and that is ELECTRICAL SAFETY. You wanna turn out the pool party, move it back a few feet and get those cords away from the water, then go ahead and play all the LMFAO you want. Nice hat.

6) Patrick Wiercioch/Erik Condra (last month: NR; 10)
Two good dudes, two good deals. I don’t have any jokes other than to run that Tim Murray picture and give you the heads up that eventually this whole blog is just going to be pictures of Tim Murray. We’re gonna call it “Murray, Murray, quite Contrurry”.

7) Kyle Turris (last month: NR)
The oxford and the Merlot say "been in the game for a minute now"; the chain says "NEW WEST 4 LIFE". Kyle! File this look under "DOs"!

8) Zack Smith (last month: NR)

9) Matt Kassian (last month: 6)
Matt Kassian’s usually-entertaining Twitter account was mostly hijacked with wedding stuff this month, although that’s understandable (if Twitter existed when I got married, I would have put that caterer ON BLAST. “Bacon-wrapped”, my ass). Although, Kass, bro, for a dude claiming to hold the flag in the war against hipsters, your wedding video looks like an iPad commercial. Congratulations, btw.

10) Cory Conacher (last month: NR)
Sure, what the hell. See you next month!

NOT RANKED: Eugene Melnyk; Joe Corvo; scooters; Swedish food bloggers; two more months without hockey; neon-ass workout gear.
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