Binghamton’s AHL Veterans

Here’s a look at Binghamton’s veterans on two-way contracts.

Corey Locke, C, Contract: 0.550/12 (UFA)
4-113 2003 Mtl (Gainey), 5’9, Shoots L, YOB 1984, Newmarket, Ont
2008-09 AHL 76-25-52-77 60pim
2009-10 AHL 76-31-54-85 44pim
2010-11 AHL 69-21-65-86 42pim

The AHL’s MVP and a two-time Calder Cup winner, assistant captain Corey Locke lead the league in points and assists and is becoming increasingly dominant at the minor league level.  The issue for Locke, besides his size, is his speed.  This summer he’s working out with Zenon Konopka‘s skating coach to try to improve his speed.  There’s a good chance Locke will be called up during the season, but his primary role is in Binghamton and there’s no reason to think he won’t lead them in scoring again this year with 80-85 points.  His old Hockey Futures profile: www.hockeysfuture.com/prospects/corey_locke

Mark Parrish, RW,  Contract: 0.650/12 (UFA)
3-79 1996 Col (Lacroix), 5’11, Shoots R, YOB 1977, Bloomington, MN
2008-09 NHL 44-7-6-13 18pim
2009-10 AHL 56-17-21-38 32pim
2009-10 NHL 16-0-2-2 4pim
2010-11 AHL 56-17-34-51 12pim

Parrish spent 10 years as an NHL-regular before his declining performance landed him in the AHL.  After an indifferent season with Norfolk in 2009-10, Parrish earned himself a contract with a strong year in Portland (finishing 5th in team scoring).  Known for his goal scoring, Parrish helps solidify Binghamton’s weak right side (featuring Andre Petersson and Francis Lessard).  I don’t believe Parrish is a likely call-up.  He has no development left and for a rebuilding team the organisation will want to give younger players NHL experience.  If Parrish stays healthy he should produce 60-65 points.

Francis Lessard, RW,  Contract: 0.550/12 (UFA)
3-80 1997 Car (Rutherford), 6’2, Shoots R, YOB 1979, Montreal, QU
2008-09 58-2-2-4 324pim (27 fights)
2009-10 61-2-2-4 289pim (21 fights)
2010-11 36-2-1-3 187pim (18 fights)
2010-11 24-0-0-0 78pim (4 fights)

A career pugilist, Lessard was able to return to the NHL after a five-year absence due to Ottawa’s roster-cutting.  There’s no question he will spend the year in the AHL, where he will fight and accomplish little else.  He was retained to prevent prospects like Eric Gryba from having to become enforcers.

Tim Conboy, D,  Contract: 0.600/12 (UFA)
7-217 2002 SJ (Lombardi), 6’2, Shoots R, YOB 1982, Farmington, MN
2008-09 AHL 39-1-5-6 127pim (5 fights)
2008-09 NHL 28-0-1-1 37pim (5 fights)
2009-10 AHL37-0-3-3 87pim (5 fights)
2009-10 NHL 12-0-0-0 24pim (4 fights)
2010-11 AHL 70-0-12-12 233pim (21 fights)

A physical, defensive defenceman who is coming off his most productive season since 2005-06, Conboy will help protect the younger players and the crease in Binghamton.  Given the organisation’s blueline depth he has no hope of being a call-up.  To quote an old scouting report on him, “Conboy doesn’t have much offensive upside, as he is content at staying at the redline and wait for the play to come to him, then flatten forwards who get near him. His skating is average, but he is solid positionally, and if players allow themselves to get into the open ice, they can be assured to be flattened in short order” (http://www.hockeysfuture.com/articles/4717/sharks2002_draft_review/).  A good year would see him putting up 10 points.

Mike McKenna, G, Contract: 0.550/12 (UFA)
6-172 2002 Nsh (Poile), 6’2, Catches R, YOB 1983, St. Louis, MO
2008-09 AHL 24-11-10-1 2.97 GAA .904 SV%
2008-09 NHL 15-4-8-1 3.56 GAA .887 SV%
2009-10 AHL 50-24-17-6 2.47 GAA .921 SV%
2010-11 AHL 39-14-20-2 3.61 GAA .886 SV%

A journeyman goaltender coming off a rough season in Albany, McKenna is playing for his sixth organisation in seven years.  He is no threat to Robin Lehner as the starter and unless the sophomore struggles I’d expect McKenna to get no more than 20-25 starts (winning half his games).

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