SPORTS TALK: The Ottawa Senators got fleeced but Pierre Dorion still looks smart

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One of these days, a news correspondent is going to lose their life covering a hurricane. This was never going to happen this time around.

Hurricane Florence was a nasty storm, of that there is no doubt, but Mike Seidel of the Weather Channel beclowned himself in a big way on Sept. 14. Seidel was in North Carolina as the correspondent and had a live hit for the channel from the city of Wilmington. There he was fighting the wind and trying to keep his balance … only to have two guys walk behind him nonchalantly as if nothing was happening. I laughed uproariously, as did my wife, when we saw that. Later, his employer released a statement saying that since he was standing on grass and not on pavement, it made his job that much tougher. If you watch the video, you’ll notice that if he took two steps to his left, he would be on pavement.

#fakenews

Anyway …

Quantity over quality

Fire sales happen all the time and it’s obvious the Erik Karlsson trade signaled the start of a complete rebuild for the Ottawa

Daniel Nestor retired from tennis on Sept. 15 following his Davis Cup doubles match against the Netherlands in Toronto. So ends the career of Canada's greatest-ever men's player. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Daniel Nestor retired from tennis on Sept. 15 following his Davis Cup doubles match against the Netherlands in Toronto. So ends the career of Canada’s greatest-ever men’s player. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Senators. Pierre Dorion, though, made sure Karlsson won’t come back to haunt them anytime soon.

Karlsson is now a member of the San Jose Sharks after being dealt earlier this month for a package of draft picks and some young players. The fan base wasn’t exactly thrilled and let Eugene Melnyk, the team’s owner, know all about it. I sympathize with them because when you’re trading a two-time Norris Trophy winner and four-time all-star, you want good value in return.

Dorion, Ottawa’s general manager, obviously went for quantity over quality because when you’re re-tooling, you want resources at hand. It also gives Dorion some trade bait if things are going better than planned and you need to rent a player come crunch time.

Here’s one thing you may not have noticed: Dorion put a clause in the deal that makes sure Karlsson won’t come back to the Eastern Conference anytime soon. If the Sharks decide to trade him anytime during the 2018-2019 season, the Senators get the Sharks’ first-round draft pick in 2021 or 2022, team’s choice. Two reasons why Dorion did this and here’s what a lot of people have been saying:

First, the Senators traded Mike Hoffman to the Sharks earlier this year. The Sharks promptly turned around and dealt him to Florida, an Eastern Conference rival. Dorion probably didn’t want this to happen again so I agree with those who think putting that proviso in the deal was a good and shrewd move.

Second, Karlsson is a free agent at the end of this season. The Sharks gave up a chunk for what could be an expensive rent-a-player and if the team either can’t get a new deal done or if things don’t go their way, they could dangle Karlsson as bait at the trade deadline. It’s going to be interesting to see whether the Sharks can re-sign Karlsson because they already have plenty of money tied up in Evander Kane, Logan Couture, Joe Pavelski and Martin Jones.

As for you Sens fans, it’s going to be a long season. Wish I could feel sorry for you on that.

End of an era

I can remember watching Daniel Nestor play his first big tennis match on the international stage on TV. It was the 1992 Davis Cup when Canada played Sweden in Vancouver. Nestor took on Stefan Edberg, who was then no. 1 in the world. Nestor won in five sets, the place went crazy and a star was born.

I’m ashamed to admit I changed the channel after Edberg won the third set because I thought Nestor was finished.

Fast-forward to now and it was just one of the many things Nestor did in his amazing career, one that came to an end on Sept. 15 in Canada’s Davis Cup tie against the Netherlands. Nestor teamed up with Vasek Pospisil in the doubles tie and they lost. Leave it to the Dutch to repay us for World War II by doing that to Nestor.

You could tell after the match he was disappointed with the loss and that’s how Nestor played. He wanted to win every time and was obviously still at the top of his game. You don’t play at the top level of professional tennis at the age of 46 without being in decent shape.

Nestor retired, without question, as one of the greatest doubles players there’s ever been. He became the first men’s player to ever win 1,000 matches in men’s doubles in September 2016, he’s won the career Grand Slam in men’s doubles and won Olympic gold with Sebastien Lareau for Canada at the 2000 Summer Olympics in men’s doubles.

Throw in 91 career titles on the men’s tour – which includes eight Grand Slams – and 48 wins representing Canada in the Davis Cup and it’s plain to see why Nestor will go down as Canada’s greatest men’s tennis player ever. He’s officially passed the torch to the younger generation of players such as Milos Raonic, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov but I have a sneaking suspicion we haven’t heard the last of Nestor in Canadian tennis.

No Good Idea, Bad Idea this week. Bad enough that we had to sit through another hurricane reporter pretending he was in harm’s way. That’s bad enough.

Until next time, folks…