Senators News: June 18th

fmblair examines the notion that the Sens have too many centers on their roster and dynamites the notion very effectively:

A quick look at the Boston Bruins’ depth chart reveals that Ottawa’s divisional rival mixed in 7 centres amongst their top-12 forwards. Their counterpart in the Stanley Cup Finals, the Chicago Blackhawks, carried six centres throughout the regular season. While it’s true that each individual player has a different ability to adapt to a new position, there’s certainly precedent for carrying more than 5 centres and playing one or more of them on the wing, I don’t think that Ottawa’s dealing with an unmanageable situation on their hands.

Blair doesn’t think the Sens depth at center is very strong (beyond the five aforementioned) and it’s hard to argue the fact (Stephane Da Costa and Derek Grant would stand as the top two in Binghamton, although the organisation has a number of wingers who have played the position and could slide over).

The Silver Seven has started grading Sens players, beginning with the goaltenders.  I’ll skip the departed Ben Bishop, but they award both Craig Anderson and Robin Lehner A’s, which is on target.  They wisely note that Anderson is unlikely to ever reach this year’s numbers again.

-The Sens have changed the name of their building again (this time in honour of Canadian Tire); no word on whether Canadian Tire money can be used at the arena, but I’m sure many fans are raiding their stashes in the hopes that it can.  Some of us will find the association amusing long term, but for most it will be as meaningful as every other name the arena has had (which is to say, not at all).

-While the paths of former Sens are frequently followed in blogs and elsewhere, less attention gets paid to former B-Sens who have since gone elsewhere.  Here are a few players from the recent past whose subsequent paths I find interesting:

Mike Brodeur (09-11) – given credit for saving the Sens playoff hopes in 09-10, he struggled with injuries the next season (losing his job to Barry Brust) and was allowed to walk.  He spent the bulk of the following season with Las Vegas of the ECHL and then managed only a couple of games this year where he was awful with Orlando (which likely means it’s the end of the line for his pro career)
Geoff Kinrade (09-11) – a NCAA free agent signing the Sens qualified as an RFA, the Calder Cup-winning blueliner went to Europe anyway, joining HC Plzen in the Czech Republic; he moved to the more lucrative Swiss league the following season (with Bern) where he remains
Craig Schira (09-12) – a WHL free agent signing, his play regressed in Binghamton and he was allowed to walk as an RFA; he signed with Frisk Asker in Norway and after dominating that league will now play for HPK in the SM-Liiga
Mat Robinson (09-10) – primarily an Elmira (ECHL) player, he jumped to Sparta Sarpsborg in Norway the following season and converted a dominating performance into playing for Timra in the Allsvenskan in Sweden; despite questionable defensive skills he’s parlayed his European experience into a KHL contract with Dinamo Riga
Rob Klinkhammer (11-12) – a mid-season acquisition meant to help the struggling B-Sens, he spent some time in Ottawa before the season ended and then was allowed to walk.  Phoenix signed him and he translated a strong season in Portland into time with the NHL club, earning himself a one-way deal for next season
Shaun Heshka (11-12) – picked up as an emergency replacement after the unexpected retirement of Lee Sweatt, he was traded to Peoria after only ten games due to his awful play.  This year he wound up winning the SM-Liiga’s best defenseman award which he’s converted into a KHL contract

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)