Senators add Mark Parrish and Mike McKenna, lose Roman Wick

There were a couple of minor organisational moves today.  34-year old veteran Mark Parris was signed to a one-year, two-way deal today (senators.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=568875).  Parrish hasn’t suited up for more that 40 NHL games since a disappointing stint with the Dallas Stars in 2008-09.  He’ll help fill the hole left by departing captain Ryan Keller (who signed with Edmonton) and late season acquisition Ryan Potulny (Washington).  I don’t think there’s any intention of Parrish playing with the big club (barring injury).  Last year with the Portland Pirates his numbers were 56-17-34-51.  It’s worthwhile checking out Ian Mendes’ amusing comment about the signing (http://twitter.com/#!/ian_mendes/).  [July 10: Parrish’s numbers have been posted by www.capgeek.com/players/display.php?id=700: he’ll make 650k/175k.]

The Senators have also announced the signing of 28-year old goalie Mike McKenna (http://senators.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=568883) to a one-year, two-way deal.  McKenna is expected to back-up Robin Lehner.  Last year he played with New Jersey affiliate the Albany Devils, posting mediocre numbers (14-20-2, 3.61, 0.866).  He will not push Lehner for minutes in Binghamton. [July 10: www.capgeek.com/players/ display.php?id=915 numbers: 550k/90k.]

Ottawa also lost an asset today when RFA and 2010 Olympic star Roman Wick (5-156/04) decided to return to play for Kloten in Switzerland (signing a 3-year deal, www.kloten-flyers.ch/contento/TabId/66/Default.aspx?articleId=d756367f-3ee5-49e2-ba06-9f1a00b4974c).  Wick enjoyed a successful rookie year in Binghamton (70-20-22-42), winning a Calder Cup, but either organisational depth or a need to maximize his financial future as a hockey player has taken him home.

Of the remaining RFA’s, Bobby Butler will either sign a new deal or accept his qualifying offer (bottom of http://www.ottawasun.com/2011/07/06/sens-condra-reach-new-deal), while there’s been no word regarding Geoff Kinrade or Kaspars Daugavins.

Senators Player Profile: Jesse Winchester

This is the second of a series of profiles on each player for the Ottawa Senators.

Jesse Winchester, C/RW, Contract: 0.75/12 (UFA)
Acquired: FA 2008 (Murray), 6’1, Shoots R, YOB 1983, Long Sault, Ont
2008-09 76-3-15-18 Even 33pim (3 fights) TOI 10:35 Hits 116 FO% 56.8
2009-10 52-2-11-13 -1 22 pim (2 fights) TOI 10:01 Hits 90 FO% 55.4
2010-11 72-4-9-13 -9 42pim (2 fights) TOI 10:50 Hits 101 FO% 55.6

Signed as a free agent by Bryan Murray in the spring of 2008, Winchester was coming off a strong senior season as captain of the Colgate Red Raiders in the NCAA (40-8-29-37).  A highly sought after free agent prospect (video.senators.nhl.com/videocenter/ console?id=36965), at the time of the signing the Senators were struggling badly (John Paddock had already been fired) and Binghamton was struggling in Cory Clouston’s first year.  It was Nick Foligno’s rookie year, but beyond  Nick the top prospect was arguably Josh Hennessy.  Ottawa’s cupboard was bare and talent needed to be added.

Entering his rookie year (2008-09) there was a clear expectation that Winchester was going to provide much needed secondary scoring for the Senators (www.canada.com/ ottawacitizen/news/sports/story.html?id=62439beb-e6fd-4ae5-a701-e956aa66442a).  While he would post what stand as career numbers (18 points), it quickly became apparent that Winchester’s talents were not translating well at the next level.

Missing the start of the 2009-10 season due to injury, he returned to find himself behind rookie Peter Regin on the depth chart.  He posted disappointing numbers and continued to receive fourth line minutes.  By the end of the season Winchester was fully defined as a grinding, depth player.  The organisation still saw enough in him to re-sign him to a two-year deal.

There was little doubt about his contributions heading into the 2010-11, and Winchester put up career worst numbers on a points-per-game basis.  While he’s a competitor, there’s no doubt that the Senators never envisioned him being this kind of player when they signed him.  His future with the team must be in doubt with the influx of youth and talent and I believe the 2011-12 season (assuming he plays it) will be his last as a Senator.  As for projections, there’s no reason to think he won’t follow his career curve, which works out to 18 points over 82 games.

Hockey Futures never developed a profile for him, but here’s an assessment from  2009: www.hockeysfuture.com/articles/10982/senators_top20_prospects_spring2009/
There aren’t a lot of Winchester highlights, but this shows some hits from his rookie season: http://video.senators.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=53933
The best fight of his career: http://www.hockeyfights.com/fights/88827

Next up is Nick Foligno.