Senators News: August 7th

-Joy Lindsay, Binghamton’s excellent beat writer for the past two years, is moving on from the team.  I join many other fans in wishing her all the best–her coverage of all things Binghamton was second to none.

-In Joy’s final post she clarifies that Shane Prince can be returned to junior, which would help alleviate the forward clutter in Binghamton’s roster.

-Speaking of Binghamton, I will continue updating my roster and expectations as new information dictates.

Mark Parisi wonders if signing college free agents is worth it (something I brought up when Bobby Butler was bought out), but instead of looking at their general success he sadly limits his comments to Ottawa’s signings under Bryan Murray and listing Hobey Baker winners.  I would have liked to see some analysis on the broader phenomena post-lockout, but I am beginning to think I’ll have to write about it myself.  I limit myself to post-lockout because the attitude of teams towards drafting, prospects, and college free agents changed with the new CBA.

-Here are my profiles of Zack Smith and Colin Greening.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

Player Profile: Colin Greening

Colin Greening, C/LW, Contract: 0.816,667/14 (UFA), Drafted 7-204/05 (Muckler)
6’2, Shoots L, YOB 1986, St. John’s, NL
2009-10 NCAA Cornell 34-15-20-35 (ppg 1.02) 31pim
2010-11 AHL Bing 59-15-25-40 (ppg 0.68) +12 41pim (6 fights)
2010-11 NHL Ott 24-6-7-13 (ppg 0.54) +2 10pim TOI 15:05
2011-12 NHL Ott 82-17-20-37 (ppg 0.45) -4 46pim (4 fights) TOI 15:35

An off-the-board draft pick out of Upper Canada College, Colin Greening was a long term project who spent a year in the BCHL before moving on to Cornell in the NCAA.  Finishing his senior year both as captain and the student-athlete of the year, he signed a one-year ELC and was sent to Binghamton.

Greening spent about a month settling into the Binghamton lineup, but from that point on his game really picked up and in February he was recalled to the Senators.  Greening quickly won the confidence of coach Cory Clouston and was used extensively.  He also enjoyed some notoriety after beating Antoine Vermette‘s fastest skater record and narrowly losing to Matt Carkner for the hardest shot (you can listen to former Player Operations director Brent Flahr talk about how Greening needs to improve his skating back in 2009).  When the Senators’ season came to an end Greening returned to Binghamton to help the team in their Calder Cup run.  There wasn’t much left in the tank and Greening could not keep up his production (22-1-4-5).  Nevertheless, he earned a three-year, one-way contract.

His first full season in the NHL was a complete success.  Despite not being blessed with the best hands his point totals were above projections (I predicted between 25-30 points) and he remained fairly consistent in his production unlike pseudo-rookie Zack Smith.   His intangibles allow him to play anywhere throughout the lineup.  I’m sure the organisation wishes he would be more combative, but that doesn’t appear to be in his makeup.

Greening is built like a tank.  Randy Lee said he’s the closest to Zdeno Chara‘s physique he’s seen.  While he’s a physical player, he doesn’t throw many big hits like Chris Neil.  Greening‘s speed and work ethic make it easy to slot him anywhere in the lineup.  It’s difficult to project Greening‘s totals in this upcoming season given that it’s difficult to know where he’ll play in the lineup.  I think he’ll get less time playing in the top-six, but 30 points seems reasonable.