Senators News: January 1st; Binghamton 4, St. John’s 2

-Binghamton rang in the new year with a 4-1 win over the IceCaps.  Ben Bishop made 29-saves for the win while Mike Hoffman (off a fantastic pass from Silfverberg), Shane Prince (great pass from Schneider), Derek Grant (another short-handed goal!), and Mark Stone (empty-netter) provided the offence.  Here’s the box score and the highlights.

-The B-Sens currently lead the AHL in winning percentage (.707), although they remain 2nd place in their conference.  Their performance has earned an AHL all-star spot for coach Luke Richardson.

-Both Daniel New and Darren Kramer have been loaned back to Elmira; neither player suited up for Binghamton while on the roster.

-The long-injured Mika Zibanejad has begun skating again.  This news not only puts to bed all the fuss about Zibanejad not playing in the WJC, but presumably signals the ticking of the clock for his return (which may still be a long way away).  Zibanejad last played November 24th.

-Elmira defeated Wheeling 3-2 last night with Jack Downing picking up a couple of goals while Louie Caporusso and Dustin Gazley had a point each.

-The Canada-Russia game yesterday did not match the epic contests we’ve become accustomed too.  The game was over when Canada made it 3-1, but even prior to that the Russians struggled offensively.

Nichols looks at how the NHL’s latest CBA proposal would affect the Senators and other than agreeing that Bryan Murray is in an excellent position when a deal is struck I wanted to applaud the idea of a weighted draft lottery for all non-playoff teams as well as remind us all of:

At issue was a story last week in The Ottawa Citizen written by columnist Roy MacGregor. The article contended that after the Senators’ final game of the season—a 4-2 loss to the Boston Bruins on April 14 that allowed Ottawa to finish with one victory fewer than the San Jose Sharks and thus clinch the right to draft first—Firestone had cryptically mentioned to MacGregor a secret plan to assure that the Senators would pick No. 1. MacGregor further contended that on June 26, in an off-the-record bull session with four other reporters in a Quebec City nightclub following the draft, he had asked Firestone to elaborate on his remark of 10 weeks earlier. According to MacGregor, Firestone said that the Senators were prepared to pull their goalie to make sure Boston won; that it had been difficult “keeping the restraints” on Bowness over the final weeks of the season; and that Firestone himself had had a plan to guarantee four players roster spots for next season if those players helped assure a loss to the Bruins. “It is no coincidence,” MacGregor said Firestone told him, “that those four players will be back with the team next season.” None of the other reporters in attendance that night have publicly challenged the gist of MacGregor’s account.

-I missed last week’s prospect update during the hubbub of the Christmas season, but here is the latest (for players with more than 10 games played I’ve indicated where they are in scoring; for blueliners they are compared to other defensemen on the team):

Cody Ceci (OHL Ottawa) 38-10-27-37 (1st)
Matt Puempel (OHL Kitchener) 26-21-7-28 (1st) (injured)
Stefan Noesen (OHL Plymouth) 26-17-9-26 (6th) (suspended)
Jordan Fransoo (WHL Victoria) 30-2-7-9 (t-2nd)
Jakub Culek (QMJHL Cape Breton) 8-4-3-7 (9th) (injured)
Jarrod Maidens (OHL Owen Sound) (injured)
Chris Driedger (WHL Calgary) 19-7-3 2.23 .923
Francois Brassard (QMJHL Quebec) 18-10-3 2.66 .907

Allsvenskan (Swe)
Mikael Wikstrand (Mora) 29-9-9-18 (1st) WJC 4-0-4-4 (1st)

Nikita Filatov (Salavat) 33-8-11-19 (t-2nd)

Ryan Dzingel (Ohio) – 20-9-8-17 (1st)
Jeff Costello (Notre Dame) – 15-5-9-14 (4th) (injured)
Bryce Aneloski (Nebraska-Omaha) – 20-3-11-14 (1st)
Max McCormick (Ohio) – 20-6-4-10 (3rd)
Michael Sdao (Princeton) – 14-4-4-8 (1st)
Tim Boyle (Union) – 9-0-2-2

Robbie Baillargeon (Indiana/Omaha) – 29-10-11-21 (t-1st)

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)