It’s very Bryan Murray to be chasing an older defensemen (Trevor Daley) [reactions to which you can imagine], but Chicago’s asking price makes no sense for the organisation (a pick and either Shane Prince or Matt Puempel)–a defensemen has to go back the other way. I don’t doubt the Sens would peddle a 2nd round pick as that’s what they do almost every year, but as for the asset? Between the two I think the org is more likely to give up on Prince, but as I said, they have to move a defensemen if they are going to add one (I’d put the odds on Patrick Wiercioch going).
Speaking of Murray, he continues to play the role of grumpy old man when it comes to Mikael Wikstrand as he recently rejected the Swede when he reached out to him (essentially it’s play in Binghamton or sit–so the same story). This sort of lackadaisical approach, which seems based on his “tough love” approach with Samuel Pahlsson in Anaheim, is pretty lazy–the situations aren’t the same at all–and it’s hard not to think that at season’s end Wikstrand (no longer bound to a contract) will simply disappear into the SHL or KHL and the Sens will lose a useful asset for nothing.
One thing I’ve wondered about with the recall of Scott Greenham is whether he can actually play or not. He’s still within the 21-day IR Evansville put him on (from November 2nd), although I don’t believe that period has to be respected at the AHL level. Given Binghamton’s schedule it may not matter, as Driedger can easily play both the Friday and Sunday games.
Some Evansville roster moves: the disappointing Matt Hussey has been waived–I’m not sure why they signed a player who didn’t play last year, but he’s gone after eight games of selfish and unproductive play. With Scott Greenham recalled the team has brought in former Sens draft pick Francois Brassard on emergency recall–he’s been playing in Peoria in the SPHL (1-0-0 2.00 .905). Evansville also received Mathieu Brisebois (AHL 9-1-1-2) on loan from Norfolk, via a trade by the Rangers of the useless Samuel Noreau to Chicago. Brisebois has a good ECHL track record and should help shoulder the offensive load that’s largely been Troy Rutkowski‘s to carry. Brassard has been the backup in Peoria and assuredly will play behind Asmundsen until Bengtsberg gets healthy. [A subsequent correction–Brassard had visa problems of all things, so instead Peoria starting goaltender Dustin Carlson was called up.]
On the coaching side there’s been a development as well, as assistant coach Johan Lundskog has had to leave the team indefinitely for personal reasons, returning to Sweden. This comes on the heels of owner Ron Geary battling for a new arena deal, but the two are unrelated.
I was asked this week what the Federal Hockey League was (Evansville’s affiliate). While I’d discussed it briefly back in August, I didn’t go into it figuring there was no interest whatsoever. For clarifications sake, the FHL (just like the SPHL) is the tier below the ECHL. The FHL operates primarily in the northeastern/midwestern United States and this is its sixth season in operation. The SPHL is the same tier, but operates in the south, is older, larger, and has a slightly better pool of players. These leagues are how ECHL teams fill holes in their lineups–there are no “hidden gems” here, but they’re an important part of the hockey ecosystem.
This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)
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