SNAPSHOTS: Former Senators defender Dennis Vial is pretty tough to beat on the net

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There was a face familiar to fans of the Ottawa Senators on the net during Drake Batherson Family pickup game on Christmas Day on the frozen lake behind their Nova Scotia home.


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Batherson, 23, not only took a ride with his father, Rule , who played for the club’s farm team when it was located in PEI, and one of his sisters, along with some cousins, were joined by “Uncle Dennis” who donned the goalie kit to save the day.

That’s the former senators defender Dennis Vial , who was one of the toughest players to put on the club uniform. He dressed for 176 games with Otttawa over five seasons from 1993 to 1998 and finished with 625 minutes on penalties with the Senators.

“We were hanging out the night before and he said, ‘Drake, we’re going to go to your pond tomorrow, the game starts, I’m going to be the goalie,'” Batherson said with a smile Monday. “He came home around 3pm, with his pads on, ready to go, and he had a baseball glove.


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“It was pretty solid, I was stacking the pads there. I liked his performance. “

No, Batherson wasn’t afraid to challenge the goalie atop the glove side.

“I got to pass a couple of him, lucky enough, but he’ll do anything to make you laugh and he’s a funny guy. Everyone loved it when it appeared on the platforms, ”said Batherson. “It was great to get a pond hockey goalie, so we’ll take what we can.”

Thomas Chabot, defender of the Ottawa Senators.
Thomas Chabot, defender of the Ottawa Senators. Photo by Bob Frid /USA TODAY Sports


There were no guarantees from Ottawa’s alternate captain Thomas chabot He was going to be a part of Team Canada, but was disappointed to learn that the NHL players will not be in Beijing when the Winter Olympics begin in February.

With nearly 70 regular season games postponed as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak with the Omicron variant, the NHL and the NHL Players Association have agreed that the idea of ​​closing in February no longer makes sense.


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Everyone knew from the beginning of the season that this was probably not going to happen, but no one wanted to close the door due to the desire of the players to attend. Chabot had a good chance of reaching Canada thanks to his ability to play big minutes.

“It’s the reality of life right now with COVID-19 and so many things you’re not sure about,” Chabot said. “It is definitely quite disappointing. I don’t know if I would have made the team or not, but at the end of the day, if I had had a chance to go there, I would have loved to go.

“Every time you have the opportunity to represent your country is special, but especially at the Olympics, but it is reality. This is the way it is today, there are many things that we are not sure of and they are concerned about the safety of the players ”.


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The reality is that there were too many obstacles to overcome to allow players to advance.


Senators keep a close eye on Team USA during the World Youth Tournament held in Edmonton and Red Deer.

Defender Jake Sanderson, the club’s captain, played more than 22 minutes in the Americans’ 3-2 win over Slovakia in Red Deer on Monday night.

“He’s as good a player as we are in our country,” said the USA team coach. Nate Leaman.

Ottawa General Manager Pierre dorion heads to tournament Thursday with SVP of Player Development Pierre McGuire to see firsthand the five prospects the team has in the tournament, but in addition to the players eligible for the July draft.

Defending Tyler kleven , a Senators draft pick with UND, is also on the US team.


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Senators Associate Coach Jack Capuano He’s been watching 19-year-old Sanderson, who plays for the University of North Dakota, and he’s been impressed.

“I’ve seen Jake, including his college hockey, and he’s coming as advertised,” Capuano said Monday. “His hockey IQ is off the charts, he’s a very elusive skater who moves the puck very well. He has good offensive instincts but defends very well.

“In the NHL, the most important thing for defenders is their angles and having a good stick with all the rule changes that have been made. When it’s time for Jake and his family to make that decision, Ottawa fans will be delighted to see what they get. “

Leaman said Sanderson will continue to play a lot.

“Twenty-two to 23 minutes is going to be quite normal for what we play against him. We have one of the best players in the tournament and we need him on the ice. He was satisfied with his game, ”added Leaman.


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Batherson has a sister, There are , who plays defense for Syracuse University, and is among those unhappy that the IIHF Women’s U-18 World Championship is canceled next month for the second year in a row.

He would like to see the tournament rescheduled for later in the year.

“It’s unfortunate,” Batherson said. “Hopefully they can reschedule it. They deserve to play as much as we do. I would like the tournament to happen. I watch the Olympics all the time, I have seen a lot of women’s hockey, I have seen my sister play and they are great players.

“They deserve to show their skills as much as we do.”

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Twitter: @sungarrioch



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