Exploring the BSens Veteran FA Signings

I’ve been curious how the BSens would spend their limited free agent budget–as I’ve previously gone over, since Tim Murray’s departure those decisions have been particularly awful, so would we get a repeat this off-season? Before we take a look at the latest signees (I’ve profiled Adam Tambellini and Stuart Percy below), it’s worth noting that my Kelly Summers profile was presumptuous because he remains unsigned (so the org appears to have decided against signing him–there’s nothing preventing him from getting an AHL-deal, of course).

Randy Lee (charges pending) likes his grizzled veterans when it comes to FA’s–older players on the downside of their careers who bring the intangibles that have helped the BSens miss the playoffs every season he’s been in charge. Let’s briefly go over his track record (this excludes re-signings or players acquired through trade):
2014-15: Aaron Johnson (31), Brad Mills (31), Carter Camper (26)
2015-16: Zack Stortini (30), Mike Kostka (30), Mark Fraser (29), Nick Tuzzolini (29), Guillaume Lepine (28), Eric O’Dell (25)
2016-17: Mike Blunden (30), Chad Nehring (29), Kyle Flanagan (28)
2017-18: Danny Taylor (31), Erik Burgdoerfer (29), Ben Sexton (26), Tyler Randell (26), Max Reinhart (25)

There’s a little restraint in Lee’s first year, as other than PED-user Mills these are reasonable additions, but afterwards it’s dominated by mostly useless players (a significant percentage have subsequently retired or gone on to lesser European leagues, giving you an idea of how the rest of the AHL regarded their abilities). Lee’s inability to recognize or understand talent is painfully obvious.

So what about this off-season? Ignoring re-signings, this is what we have: Mike McKenna (35!), Paul Carey (30), Stuart Percy (25), and Adam Tambellini (23). I’m on record as not a fan of adding McKenna (Nichols found criticism of this signing amusing for reasons I don’t think even he knows–my advice to him: 1) if you don’t watch/follow the minors, best not comment on it, 2) if you are going to criticize you’re better off explaining why). Fortunately, it doesn’t matter if the old ‘tender bombs out because there are two prospects to fill in. Carey and Stuart are better signings because both have a solid track record in the minors. Tambellini I have mixed feelings about because his numbers seem more a product of teammates than his own abilities.

Adam Tambellini
C/LW DOB 1994 6’4; 3-65/13 NYR
2015-16 74-17-15-32 0.43 6th
2016-17 68-13-22-35 0.51 5th
2017-18 69-16-16-32 0.46 7th

His goal to assist ratio reminds me of Jim O’Brien (and yes, this is Steve’s son and Jeff’s brother). The Sens haven’t had much luck plucking players out of the Ranger system, but the expectations for him wont be too high. His numbers suggest a shoot-first mentality and it’ll be interesting to see if there are enough playmakers to compliment him.

Stuart Percy
DL DOB 1993 6’1; 1-25/11 Tor
2015-16 58-4-20-24 0.41 2nd
2016-17 37-1-7-8 0.21 8th
2017-18 67-7-27-34 0.51 3rd

The failed former first-rounder has had stable AHL-production outside of one quirky season with Wilkes-Barre. As I mentioned on Twitter he’s not a true #1 defenseman and that means on paper the team is (again) without someone in that role (Bergman isn’t that guy, so unless Wolanin is in the minors it’s offense by committee).

Is this better than previously? I think it’s the best Lee’s done since his first year (assuming he’s had much say given his legal issues), although the proof is in the pudding. Throughout Lee’s tenure, regardless of coaching, his teams have been awful defensively (despite adding innumerable “defensive defensemen”) and struggled to score in all but his first year.  Adding Percy (along with the addition of Bergman) will help the blueline move the puck and Carey can add offense from the front. This doesn’t mean poor coaching couldn’t erase the potential benefits–O’Brien isn’t a #1 center and Burgdoerfer shouldn’t receive #1-#2 D-TOI, but decisions like that would mean yet another season of misery in Belleville.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)



  1. […] Exploring the BSens Veteran FA Signings […]

  2. […] Exploring the BSens Veteran FA Signings […]

  3. […] Exploring the BSens Veteran FA Signings […]

  4. […] Stuart Percy DL 1993; 1-25/11 Tor 2017-18 67-7-27-34 0.51 (AHL 0.38) Projection: 0.40 His totals are going to be heavily impacted on Lajoie or Wolanin being in the NHL and where he plays on the powerplay (first or second unit), but there’s no reason to doubt he’ll at least park himself around his average production (his number above is arrived at by removing his anomalous season in Wilkes-Barre). […]

  5. […] don’t expect them to do that wholesale, but we did see some positive signs. The BSens have an atrocious record of signing AHL vets and that needs to change (especially on the blueline). The trades weren’t […]

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