Wading into debate on Redden's value to Sens

ERIN NICKS

, Last Updated: 8:03 AM ET

In light of the free association brought forth by local media this week, I thought I would add my own stream of consciousness to the mix.

Larry King does it.

TSN's Jay Onrait does it.

Can I accomplish it without donning suspenders or coming up with SportsCentre-worthy catchphrases?

Let's find out.

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The Senators' record when defenceman Wade Redden is in the lineup -- 40-13-7. When he is not -- 6-11-1. If all quibbles with Redden are made black-and-white with such ease, why did discussions regarding Redden's defensive issues continue through the better part of March? Stats are relevant, but you can't neglect the bigger picture. Here's the reality: Any NHL team would feel the sting of losing a veteran that eats up a ton of minutes. But did the Sens go on a 12-game losing streak without Redden, a la Edmonton following the Ryan Smyth trade? And for the record, the last time I heard a discussion regarding a team's record when a player of importance was injured, the name being mentioned was two-time NBA MVP, Steve Nash. Is Redden the Sens' MVP? That's a difficult honour to achieve when many continue to question Redden's ultimate worth.

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Who do you want to see throw out Opening Day's ceremonial first pitch for the Lynx on April 17? Keep in mind there are only five days left to vote on ottawalynx.com. It's a difficult choice, and many are worthy of a Rory Fitzpatrick-esque groundswell of support, including any number of the Lynx' devoted fanbase, as well as the front-office personnel. For the perpetual criticizers of Ottawa's Triple-A ball team, may I suggest an involuntary Opening Day dunk tank.

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Memo to NHL play-by-play announcers -- How many of you are freelancing for the Elias Sports Bureau? I don't care if Jason Spezza scores 3.6% more top-shelf goals when he applies his 8.4 millilitres of hair product five hours before a game. Is it too much to ask for a straight call of the game, or is such simplicity no longer in vogue?

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I read in a recent People magazine (don't look at me like that -- my boyfriend brought it home) that Arizona Cardinals QB Matt Leinart has been hanging out with actors Jason Lewis and Eric Dane. Now, if you're a male and don't feel comfortable enough with your sexuality to Google these guys, just take my word for it -- Leinart's the mutt in this trio. He's content to be the unattractive one among friends, and he's previously hooked up with Paris Hilton. Things aren't looking up for his cerebral cortex -- 10 bucks says Pete Carroll had to tie up his cleats for him at USC.

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When Stuntman Stu announces a goal scored by Dany Heatley at Senators' games, why does he sound like he's falling off a cliff?

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In honour of those teams currently chasing their first Presidents Trophy, here's a short tale regarding its significance -- When the Senators won the award in 2002-03 after finishing first overall in the regular season, I found myself at the Hockey Hall Of Fame shortly afterward.

After making my way up to the Corporate Sponsor Du Jour's Great Hall, I decided to seek out the trophy. A good ten minutes of searching proved fruitless -- I had to make an inquiry.

Me (approaching a HHOF lackey): "Do you know where the Presidents Trophy is?"

Lackey: "Whaa?"

Me: "The Presidents Trophy. Is it here or do the Senators have it?"

Lackey: "Huh ... no, I know (Ottawa) doesn't have it."

Me: "Sooo ... it must be here?"

Lackey: "Yeah, but ... I don't really know where it is."

Now, before you assume I was satisfied with the answers from an employee with the apparent I.Q. of margarine, fear not -- I found a higher-up ... who gave me the exact same response.

They didn't know where the trophy was. No clue. That's how important it is.

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Three games left in the regular season -- get ready to "Be Red."

Let's just hope it's not due to the embarrassment of a sweep, or anger at the inability to get through to the Team 1200's John Rodenburg at 3 a.m. for a post-playoff therapy session.

See you next week.


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