Thomas
DeChastelain
Memorial Archives

Vermette Can Wing It
posted Jan 30, 2006 at 05:38PM

A letter sent to the Ottawa Sun regarding an article titled Vermette can wing it

Mr Brennan,

Coach Murray has never handled a team with this much offensive talent and it is a potential Achille's Heel in our quest for the Cup. I am afraid he is being influenced by this myth that you "have" to have a checking line or "energy" line or whatever euphanism is in vogue. And that is total poppy cock. If Team Canada does not win the gold medal it will most likely be because of this nonsense. Who would you want on your national team? A Bobby Hull or a Bob Gainey?

The only reason every team has a checking line is that there is not enough talent, and it is usally too expensive to have four scoring lines. You don't have to worry about energy if you are putting pucks in the other guys net.

Ottawa does have the talent to put at least three top notch offensive lines together, and if the line matching was organized right we could have four. Even if Vermette hasn't got the points, when he is on the third line, we have three combinations that keep SUSTAINED offensive pressure from shift to shift giving the opposing team no respite. We have too much undiluted team speed for opponents to handle.

Surely I am not alone in noticing that the Senators have finally started to regain their early season form as soon as Vermette was put on third line rotation. Although exacerbated by injuries, a study of the games after Nov 30 shows our worst hockey as a team came when Vermette was relegated to the fourth line. Call it the "butterfly effect", or being that "critical" mass or the hair that breaks the other team's back - a productive Vermette is one of the keys to our success.

Maybe when Vermette is placed on the fourth line, Murray is adopting a defensive philisophy, which given our roster is like putting the perverbial square peg into the round hole. And of course it doesn't work. We are allowing fewer chances for the oppsing team when we go for continual offensive pressure.

As far as trading Vermette, for the short term rental usage of Weight? Well history shows that teams that trade youthful but undeveloped talent for short term older guys that the franchise soon start sliding down into the abyss....It should be no surprise. Is the new guy a good fit? What are the chemistry issues. These kind of "rentals"only work if you have the guy for the whole year. Bourque and Hasek are the examples that come to mind.

I can't help but wonder if the trade rumours about Vermette come from the same sources that werre talking about trading Havlatt when he was serving his five game suspesnion? This desire to talk up trading away our youngest and most talented forwards could only come from closeted Leafs fans. People who do NOT have Ottawa's best interests at heart.

Personally I have been of the mind that Vermette has been the most mismanaged player on the team. It gives me bad flash-backsto Martin's treatment of Spezza.

If you meet with Murray you may want to talk about these things. The classic case stuidy was Martin putting White in on the top line in last season's playoffs. (Because White, who could not score that year, was put in, it caused a ripple effect that saw Spezza and Vermette rotating on the bench, and put Bondra on his off wing. The rest, as they say, is bitter fucking history.

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