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Upon the completion of the Evgenii Dadonov voided trade investigations, Pierre Dorion has resigned as GM of the Ottawa Senators. After Dorion had been relieved of his duties, both Michael Andlauer and Steve Staios held a press conference. In this press conference, Michael Andlauer did not hold back as he was incredibly critical of the NHL’s handling of the Evgenii Dadonov situation. There have also been some new rumoured Ottawa Senators GM candidates circulating around the league, which will all be discussed below.
Rumoured Ottawa Senators GM’s
Until the Ottawa Senators can find a permanent GM, Steve Staios will be the interim GM. Staios, the current POHO for the Ottawa Senators, was one of many names linked to this GM position when Michael Andlauer officially bought the Ottawa Senators. However, since Staios is already holding the role of POHO, it is unlikely that he will remain as the GM of the team long-term.
Darren Dreger mentioned that the Ottawa Senators may look internally to fill their GM position with Ryan Bowness. The Senators brought in Bowness in June of 2022 as the Assistant GM under Pierre Dorion. He has quickly built up a positive reputation around the team and league, which is likely why he has remained with the team. Prior to working with the Sens, Bowness worked with the Pittsburgh Penguins as their Director of Pro Scouting.
Bruce Garrioch discussed that one of the names at the top of the list in the GM search will likely be Mathieu Darche. Darche is currently an assistant GM with the Tampa Bay Lightning, where he played a role in the assembling of their Stanley Cup-winning teams. He also has a history with Michael Andlauer, as he was the captain of the Hamilton Bulldogs (AHL) back in the 2009-2010 season. Darche is also one of the most highly-regarded future managers in the league, similar to Steve Staios before he was brought in as POHO.
This has been the most contested name in the running for the Ottawa Senators GM. Chiarelli is the most experienced name linked to the role, although some of his past moves as GM of the Edmonton Oilers have certainly been questionable. If Chiarelli does win the job of GM in Ottawa, expect the fan backlash to be huge.
Yes, you read that right: Jason Spezza has been linked to the GM position in Ottawa by Elliot Friedman on the 32 Thoughts Podcast. Spezza has spent the last few years following Kyle Dubas around the NHL. He began as a scout for the Toronto Maple Leafs before being brought in as the Assistant GM for the Pittsburgh Penguins. While Jason Spezza is inexperienced in management, he is a brilliant hockey mind who is obsessed with the game.
As the process continues, we will hear more about potential candidates entering the running. Currently, the most likely option is Peter Chiarelli, although that could change throughout the hiring process.
Michael Andlauer Harsh Comments To The NHL
During the press conference held by Michael Andlauer earlier this week, he did not hold back in speaking his mind regarding the Evgenii Dadonov situation. From how the story sounds, Andlauer was unaware of the magnitude of the punishment that the Sens would be receiving for the situation. During the sale process, the NHL made it sound as though the Dadonov situation was not an overly serious matter. As Andlauer mentioned, a first-round draft pick is incredibly serious to an NHL team.
Some of Andlauer’s most notable quotes from the press conference include the following:
“Why I inherited the punishment is beyond me.” – Michael Andlauer on forfeiture of a first-round pick.
“You look at a young man who is making millions of dollars and representing the community… but he’s 21 years old. Wayne Gretzky goes on MGM and talks about betting. Think about being injured, having time on your hands and a cell phone” – Michael Andlauer on Shane Pinto’s suspension.
“We were not made aware of the Pinto investigation. That’s another troubling matter to me.” – Michael Andlauer on Pinto Investigation.
Michael Andlauer was sure not to mince words when discussing how he felt about the league’s decisions around Shane Pinto and Evgenii Dadonov. Many speculated that he would be receiving a fine for his comments, although as of Thursday, there have been no fines issued.
As a fan, this level of emotion from the owner of the Ottawa Senators is incredibly refreshing. Andlauer made sure to hold Dorion accountable for what was an inexcusable mistake, just as he promised he would. He also stuck up for his player Shane Pinto, whose suspension he feels was incredibly hypocritical given the prominence of online gambling ads across the NHL.
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