Sens Town: What do you think happened to a team that made the finals 2 seasons ago, that are no longer serious contenders?
Puck Daddy: You hear rumors of an illicit nature about every team, but I tend to believe them when it comes to Ottawa because of the volume of them and because of some of the things Ray Emery said in his exit interviews. I think there was a poisonous culture in that locker room, and it took its toll on the players. Hopefully the ones who were affected cleaned up their acts and realized what they pissed away.
Sens Town: What did you think of the Balsillie/Melnyk beef? We heading towards another East Coast/West Coast beef or just 2 rich guys with too much time on their hands?
Puck Daddy: I think it raised a rather uncomfortable question for my Canadian brothers and sisters: Would they have supported Balsillie if he conspired to bankrupt a Canadian team like Ottawa and then circumvented League rules to relocate it to Hamilton? Or does his dangerous attempt to rewrite the regulations of professional sports ownership only fly if it’s a U.S. fan base getting dicked over?
Sens Town: What were your thoughts when you first heard Heatley had asked to be traded?
Puck Daddy: Honestly? What number he’d wear on the Rangers.
Sens Town: Do you buy his reasons for wanting to leave? Most of us here in Ottawa have heard rumors of something else. His diminished role story just doesn't add up to us.
Puck Daddy: I believe Heatley when he says he has a problem with his role on the team, because his ice team diminished under Clouston even if his production didn’t all that much. But is that the sole motivation? Not buying it for a second. Especially when you hear a Perez Hilton-sized amount of gossip in any NHL circle about his true motivations.
Sens Town: Do you see any way he can come back? I think after the way he handled his press conference, it's clear it wouldn't work out and he has to go.
Puck Daddy: I think Heatley’s too talented to not take back, and I think the real issue is that the Senators aren’t going to deal him for nothing and that’s all they’re getting offered from teams that he’s willing to play for.
Sens Town: In your opinion, who's more hated in Ottawa: Alexei Yashin, Dany Heatley, Leaf Nation or Habs fans?
Puck Daddy: I don’t know, but the thought of Alexei Yashin in a Leafs jersey just struck me as a Jeffery Dahmer-level of evil.
Sens Town: Do you think he will end up being traded or will stay with the Sens?
Puck Daddy: I think he’ll stay for now.
Sens Town: If Heatley was to be traded, where do you think he'll end up?
Puck Daddy: Hint: It won’t rhyme with Schmedmonton
Sens Town: Ok let's get back to a more positive note. What did you think about the Alexei Kovalev signing?
Puck Daddy: I think he’s a great second-line, supplemental scorer at this stage of his career. Which is why getting Heatley back in the fold would actually help him, because the spotlight would be shared.
Sens Town: Do you think Pascal Leclaire will be the franchise goalie we're all hoping he is?
Puck Daddy: I don’t like the fact that he was a great goalie in the right system, and the fact that Ottawa is a goalie graveyard as a franchise. I think the jury’s out
Sens Town: Where do you see the Sens finishing this year in their division? Do you see them making the playoffs? I personally think they will be severely underrated and might surprise some people. I could see them getting the 4th of 5th seed.
Puck Daddy: Fourth or fifth seed? Can’t see that. Playoffs? That’s assuming they play as well for a season as they did for the games Clouston coached, and that some of the underachievers get their act together.
I haven’t written the preview for Ottawa yet, so I can’t make a prediction except to say that the East is going to be a war and Ottawa’s in a very, very tough division.
Sens Town: Thanks PD for joining us for this two parter. It was a pleasure and I look forward to checking in with you throughout the season. Any final words?
Puck Daddy: Yes I do, thanks for having me.