Senators News: September 3rd

-Sadly, Sens prospect Jarrod Maidens‘ season is already being cut short by recurring concussion symptoms.  At this point the hope has to be less about hockey and more about Maidens simply being symptom free at some point in the future.

Mark Stone talked about making the jump to the next level:

There are a lot of guys who can play in the NHL. You realize that everybody is so close, from the AHL to the NHL, it’s just not that far apart, guys are knocking on the door everyday. It’s just a matter of who can do it on a consistent basis. I feel like I’m close. I’ve felt that way for the last couple of years. I know I’m knocking on the door. It’s just a matter of me putting together some consistent hockey and showing I can play at this level for an 82-game season.

Travis Yost wonders how the team will use Cory Conacher (the man who was overwhelmed by his exit interview–likely focussing on his conditioning and a commitment to both ends of the ice) and suggests the diminutive forward will be on a very short leash and could be passed over by other prospects.  I agree with Travis that Conacher will likely play the wing with Mika Zibanejad.

Sensfan90 looks at expectations for the Sens players attending the rookie camp and it’s a solid piece, I’d only suggest that Daniel New is essentially playing to establish himself as a call-up for Binghamton (not a spot on the main roster) and that I don’t believe Mark Stone, Matt Puempel, or Cody Ceci have a shot at the main roster to start the season barring injury.  All three are likely enough call-ups, however.

-I updated my look at the success of NCAA free agents in the NHL along with my look at ECHL success stories.

-For those of you who remember Andrey Osadchenko‘s rumour that the Sens were interested in Russian blueliner Viktor Antipin, he’s signed a new three-year deal with Metallurg Magnitogorsk.

-It’s funny how after resisting any expansion of replay for so long the NHL’s one exception this season is something as trivial as reviewing high sticking double minors.  Given the sad state of the league’s officiating and the declining rate of penalty calls, I suppose this limp addition is what should be expected.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)


ECHL Success Stories (revisited)

Continuing my updates of undrafted success stories, here’s a look at players who plied their trade in the ECHL and other tier-2 minor leagues to get a taste of the highest level.  Like the other articles I’ve focussed on the post-lockout NHL because of the different parameters in which players are viewed (particularly undersized players).  I have ignored individuals who only had a cup of coffee in the ECHL–my focus is on those who played at least the bulk of a season in that league.  I’ve excluded Rich Peverley, whose only full season in the ECHL was during the lockout (04-05), as well as Alexandre Burrows who began his NHL immediately after the lockout.

David Desharnais (C, 178 NHL games) Undrafted player from the QMJHL, he spent one season (07-08) in the ECHL before becoming an AHL regular; he’s spent two full seasons with Montreal and is signed through 2016-17.
Steve MacIntyre (LW, 91 NHL games) The undrafted WHL pugilist spent 168 games in the ECHL (and another 158 in other minor leagues) before establishing himself in the AHL and then earning an NHL spot with Edmonton (he’s also played for Florida and Pittsburgh).  Currently a UFA.
Ryan Garbutt (LW, 56 NHL games) Undrafted out of Brown University, he had to spend a season in the CHL before cracking the AHL and subsequently the NHL.  He’s on a one-way deal with Dallas.
Chris Durno (LW, 43 NHL games) Undrafted out of the Michigan Tech, he played 147 games in the ECHL before firmly establishing himself as an AHL player, seeing action with Colorado in parts of two seasons (08-09 and 09-10).  He spent last season in Italy and is currently a UFA.
Chris Minard (C/W, 40 NHL games) Undrafted OHLer spent 174 games in the ECHL before establishing himself in AHL; his NHL games were split over three seasons with Pittsburgh and Edmonton (07-08 to 09-10).  He’s entering his second season in the DEL (Germany).
Jordie Benn (D, 29 NHL games) Undrafted BCHLer spent time in both the ECHL and CHL before establishing himself in the AHL; signed a deal that becomes one-way after this season (with Dallas).
Steve Oleksy (D, 28 NHL games) Undrafted out of Lake Superior State, he spent time in the IHL and ECHL before establishing himself.  His cups of coffee have come with Washington and he remains with their organisation.
Pascal Pelletier (LW, 13 NHL games) Undrafted out of the QMJHL, he spent 88 games in the ECHL before establishing himself as a regular AHLer.  He had cups of coffee with Boston and Chicago (07-08 and 08-09).  After three seasons in Switzerland he’s back in the AHL.
Greg Rallo (C, 11 NHL games) Undrafted out of Ferris State, he spent parts of two seasons in the ECHL before establishing himself.  His cup of coffee came with Florida; he remains in the AHL.
Cedrick Desjardins (G, 5 NHL games) Undrafted out of the QMJHL, he spent one and a half seasons in the ECHL before becoming an AHL regular; his NHL cups of coffee have come with Tampa.  He remains with the Lightning on a two-way.
Kurtis McLean (C, 4 NHL games) Undrafted out of Norwich University, McLean spent the bulk of 05-06 in the ECHL before establishing himself in the AHL.  His cup of coffee came with the Islanders (08-09).  He’s entering his fifth year in Europe (the KHL this season).

That’s 11 players who have made their way into the NHL, 3 of which have become (or will become) NHL regulars.  Six of the players came from the CHL, while five are NCAA grads.  It’s not surprising that so few who go this route make the NHL, but being able to climb the ladder is a more common than I expected.  Regardless, as with all my previous looks at undrafted players, this emphasizes how rarely NHL scouts miss NHL talent post-lockout.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)