Senators News: October 9th

Randy Lee offers his two cents on Binghamton’s camp (transcription courtesy of Nichols):

The biggest thing that we were impressed [me] about [player fitness] was the attitude. They really competed in the testing. Chris Schwarz and the testing group came down here and we replicated everything that we do at a regular training camp and there was some really good leadership shown from the veteran guys. You could see when guys were doing the test and looking at (the results), and coming back and saying, “Can I get another rep in, I want to see if I can beat that.” So the competitiveness is there, which is a great tell-tale sign for the future of this team.

A small correction for Nichols who believes Claesson left a comfortable situation in the SEL–his team was relegated to the Allsvenskan.  I think the odds are decent that Claesson will spend time in Elmira when the blueline is healthy and the lockout continues–his primary competition right now is Ben Blood and I expect the NCAA grad to get the edge.

Some guys who thought they would be guaranteed top six D, are going to have a tough time now with the numbers here. They are going to have to adjust. I think they are realizing… the players aren’t dumb. They do the math. They are realizing that there are too many guys here for the number of positions available, so some people aren’t going to be happy then and they’re going to have to adjust. And that’s one thing that we will look at, how did you handle that? If you do get sent down to the East Coast (Hockey) League, how did you handle that? What was your approach when you went down there? How did you work? Did you pout? Or did you embrace it and challenge (yourself) and force us to bring you back? We always tell them, “You make the decision, if you’re good enough, we’ll put you back on the team, but you have to prove it. If you pout, you’re sending us a really bad signal.”

He [Lehner] addressed some issues that we had. His weight was an issue and he addressed that. It’s down two camps in a row now. In terms of being at development camp last year, he was very good. He was under 10-percent body fat and under 10-percent fat now, so he has addressed that. That was part of his approach. He is sleeping better and eating better. You know what it is like, guys learn at different paces and some guys get it faster and some guys take a bit longer. Robin is a very good talent. He has just had to adjust his lifestyle. He has adjusted his approach to the game. He has been calm. He has been competitive. He has looked really solid in the net and that is great for him. It’s our job to support these guys. We know it’s not going to be automatic that once we explain this to you and say that you should be at this level, it just happens. Guys take longer and he did have big success. He won MVP of the Calder Cup and then we wanted that to follow that up. They have been very good. Rick Wamsley has worked with him and Bryan has been very (forthright) with him. We want you to play lots. We want you to dominate and we want you to be a great teammate and a great worker, and he has done that. He has done everything that we have asked of him.

-Binghamton still has a cluttered roster and the difficult decisions haven’t been made yet.  There’s no roster limit in the AHL, but once players are healthy the organisation is going to want them to play, so expect more movement.

Hockey’s Future has begun their top-50 prospect countdown and thus far Robin Lehner (#46) and Jakob Silfverberg (#40) have made the list.  What relevance does this have?  Not much, although it’s a small indication of how prospects are viewed outside the Ottawa microscope.

-Elmira won their first pre-season game 4-1 against the Reading Royals (defeating Philipp Grubauer whom Binghamton beat a couple of days earlier).  Andrew Rowe, Brandon Blandina, Chris Wideman, and Dustin Gazley all scored.

-In an illustration of how badly a team can miss with a first round pick defenseman Mark Mitera (1-19/06, Brian Burke) was cut by St. John’s and is without a team.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)