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COVID-19, Zub and The Next Captain

By Sylvain Godin | OSJ Staff


Talk about a hiatus on the writing front. But now that there’s a bit of news to talk about, I wanted to delve in on three Ottawa Senator topics: The imminent signing of Artyom Zub, the update on two Senators players that had tested positive given to us by Brady Tkachuk, and how the interview/video conference strongly indicates to me that the Senators are leaning heavily toward signing him to a long term and making him the next Captain..


But first:


Dear NHL GM/Owner/Scrooge who wants to muck around with the NHL draft by proposing a playoff for the number one pick,


Sit down, hush up, and get off my lawn!


Whoever had this ridiculous notion of getting an NHL pick given to you via a tournament needs to be slapped back down to earth, and I hope to high heavens he was by all the other GMs. And bloody hell, why do I have the feeling it’s the damn Islanders, too. Look, you gave up that 1st rounder fair and square, Lou! Don’t be trying to change this so you can get a shot at getting the top pick and you don’t have to lose it! (This writer is also ‘fully’ aware that if they even kept the same format and the Isles won the draft, the Sens wouldn’t get said pick.)With that out of the way, let’s get onto the news.


Artyom Zub; the Russian Defenseman Mystery

So, who is Artyom Zub? Well, for one thing, Zub had plenty of suitors after his season ended in the KHL with the St Petersburg SKA. Reports indicate there were as many as 20 teams vying for the D-Man but it sounds like he's going to sign with the Senators as soon as clearance is granted with the NHL Central Registry. One of the biggest reasons Zub may have decided to sign with the team is that he feels he will have a much better opportunity to make an impact and play a major role in the Sens lineup.But who is this D-Man? Not a lot of people would know much about Zub unless you’re a die hard KHL fan. So here’s the breakdown of the player’s season:


Age: 24

Shoots: Right

Height: 6’2”

Weight: 198 lbs

Goals: 13

Assists: 9

Points: 22

PIMs: 22

+/- : +35 (!)


The first thing that jumps right away is his plus-minus. While the stat is archaic and can be deceiving, it hints at a player who may be a pretty solid defensive prospect that can also chip in on offense. He doesn’t often take penalties either (22 PIM in 57 games).It sounds like Zub has a chance to fill the void left by Dylan DeMelo who was traded to Winnipeg in Feburary. The former Russian national team member may need some time to get used to the smaller NHL ice but, otherwise, I don’t hate the idea of this signing. He does come in as an NHL ready player and should be able to challenge for a spot on the roster right away. Time will tell how this pans out.


Update on Senators Players who are positive for COVID-19


The NHL has started doing a number of video chats between 4 players, mostly team captains, all social distancing, all from the same conference. Brady Tkachuk recently jumped on (with John Tavares, Zdeno Chara and Dylan Larkin) and gave an encouraging update on two teammates who are COVID-19 positive.


“I think those guys are doing well,” Tkachuk told NHL.com. “We’re a tight group so we’re always in contact with one another, but I think all of us are just concerned about them and everybody impacted by it.”


I fully understand why they're not naming the players in question. This is no different than how Ottawa Public Health is doing it with the rest of the city's residents and the Senators have exactly the same right to privacy. The medical team in Ottawa is doing a good job, just like every front liner right now doing the jobs to keep us safe and healthy.


The fun angle is that out of all the Senators, Brady was chosen to do this little video, which leads me to believe the following:


Brady Tkachuk will be re-signed this summer to an eight-year deal and be the next Ottawa Senators captain.


There. I said it. No more hedging around. For a while, I was torn between Tkachuk and Chabot being the next captain, but the more I see how Tkachuk is emerging as the face and soul of the franchise, the more I believe he'll get the captaincy. While Chabot is an exceptional player and will be for years to come for the Senators, Brady’s charisma, style of play, and demeanor simply scream captain material, very much like his brother.


Tkachuk would be a fantastic ambassador for the Senators and a core piece for years to come. He also seems to be getting a lot of these high brand interviews for the Senators, which means the Senators have complete confidence that he will represent the team well at any type of situation he is thrown into. While Chabot might be the more skilled player, Tkachuk simply has every single characteristic a player will need to carry the captaincy of this new Senators team.


Finally, I want to take a moment and thank all the first line responders that are still out there working hard to keeping the country going. Special shout outs go to a few of my nursing friends; you know who you are. You guys are amazing and don’t ever stop doing what you do because you are all amazing at your jobs. We appreciate you greatly and appreciate the sacrifices that you are putting yourselves through for the betterment of our health.


That's enough information to chew on for now. Until next time!

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