• Thu. Dec 8th, 2022

The Senators open camp with optimism, but without forward Formenton

ByDebra J. Aguilar

Sep 21, 2022

Dorion compared Formenton’s absence to that of Tkachuk, who sat out training camp last year due to a contract dispute before signing just before the start of the regular season.

“With Alex Formenton, it’s kind of the same situation as Brady last year,” Dorion said. “We are negotiating and once he signs he will be in camp, but until he signs he will not be here.”

Dorion said he was unable to comment on investigations, including one by the NHL, into allegations of sexual assault involving anonymous players from Hockey Canada’s junior team in 2018, including Formenton and his son. Senators teammate Drake Batherson were both members. But he said the situation had no bearing on contract negotiations or roster decisions.

“I think we all want answers,” Dorion said. “I’m the father of a child that I pay for at Hockey Canada and I think we all want answers, but at the same time I’m also the general manager of an NHL team. We have been instructed not to comment until the NHL’s investigation is complete.

With the changes over the summer and the growth of its hard core, expectations are high for the Senators. But after misspoken in the past – Dorion confidently declared “the rebuilding is over” before last season, only to see the Senators finish the playoffs with a 33-42-7 record – Dorion was something uncautious in his hopes for this team.

“We want to play meaningful games until the end of the year,” Dorion said. “We want to be there by the trade deadline.”

DJ Smith, who is in his fourth year as Senators coach, said the players are “fed up with losing night after night and tired of being down.”

“In saying that, they came in early, they came together to do all these things, but a lot of teams and winning teams all do that, so I think we’re at that level,” Smith said. .

“There are a lot of teams like us now, who have just as much talent, some more, some less, all doing that. And I just think we’re at that age now where those guys want to play games. significant and that tells me for sure that they are at that level. Now it’s up to us to prove it.

Dorion made some big additions this offseason, but the Senators would likely benefit from adding another veteran defenseman to their roster. The GM said that if the right opportunity arises, the team will make a move to improve right away as they have plenty of cap space left.

Hearing the Senators talk about willingly spending money is a stark departure from previous seasons, when star players were traded due to salary expectations.

“I can’t tell you I have an unlimited budget, but we have a pretty good budget,” Dorion said. “In previous years, and I think we’re still looking forward to it, the ceiling was more floor than ceiling. This year it’s a bit different and I think we’re all happy with that and the additions we have could do.

The Senators hit the ice Thursday for the first time and have their first preseason games in Toronto against the Maple Leafs on Saturday.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on September 21, 2022.

Lisa Wallace, The Canadian Press