The Ottawa Senators’ affliate, the Binghamton Senators, lost out on a playoff spot on the final night of the AHL season. They had been in that spot for quite some time. Many people were expecting more from Bingo, however, it’s big brother club called up Cory Clouston, Brendan Bell, Brian Lee, and Brian Elliott for the remainder of the season. The team went down the toilet from there and Bryan Murray has spent his off-season trying to rebuild Binghamton. He has signed players on two-way contracts which for the msot part means “We like you, but Binghamton likes you better”. Today, let’s take a review on what Bingo’s lineup is expected to be this coming fall. Note that I don’t have Christoph Schubert in the lineup since he has said himself he will not join Binghamton if he gets sent down.
*Subject to change
Ilya Zubov – Peter Regin – Erik Condra
Kaspars Daugavins – Jim O’Brien – Ryan Keller
Denis Hamel – Zack Smith – Cody Bass
Shawn Weller – Martin St.Pierre – Joshua Hennessy
Erik Karlsson? – Craig Schira
Geoff Kinrade – Matt Carkner
Derek Smith – Tomas Kudelka
Forwards: Binghamton’s strong suit for many years has been their offense. Bingo has developed Jason Spezza, Antoine Vermette, Patrick Eaves, Chris Kelly, Chris Neil, and Brian McGrattan into NHL regulars. The top line of Zubov-Regin-Condra figures to be a wickedly awesome line. They have speed, scoring, playmaking, defensive awareness, and physicality. The second line is the scoring line, and if Daugavins can rebound after last season’s shellshock, then we have two good lines. Zack Smith centres the line with Bass and Hamel, two very good defensive forwards who aren’t afraid to lay out the mean stuff. The 4th line is the checking line which will make Bingo hard to play against. The 13th forward is former MMA fighter Jeremy Yablonski who is all fighting and nothing else.
Defense: Erik Karlsson is most likely joining Bingo this season, even though the decision isn’t known yet. Karlsson gives the B-Sens a calm, cool, and collected puck-mover who has a strong shot. Time in Binghamton will alow him and Craig Schira, another puck-moving defenseman, develop into NHL regulars. The second pairing of Carkner and Kinrade will be the shutdown pairing. Both defenseman positionally outplay their opponents and play physcial. The last pairing of Kudelka and Smith will be a blend of offense and defense, and both have played considerably in their career in Bingo. If Karlsson stays in Sweden or makes Ottawa’s roster, expect Alexandre Picard to join Binghamton.
Goaltending: Mike Broduer will be the starter after Elliott won the backup job in Otawa and Jeff Glass left. Brodeur is big and makes up most of the net. He has good reboud control and a good glove. His backup will be Andy Chiodo, who was drafted some years ago by the Penguins and has appeared in 7 games for them. His veterna presence there will not only help ‘tend the net, but help team in the locker room as a whole.
1. Scoring Forwards
2. Blended Defense
3. Gritty, Hard-Working, Two-Way Forwards
2. Veteran Puck-Moving Defenseman
3. Leaders in the Locker Room
Expectations: The Eastern Division will see a Top 3 of Hershey, Bridgeport, and Wilke-Barre Scranton. Adrondinack lost so many players and will have to base the team around James Van Riemsdyk. Albany will most likely lose their best players to Carolina, and Norfolk won’t see any changes since Tampa’s ownership sucks. Binghamton gets the 4th spot and makes the playoffs. After that, they’ll probably get sweeped by Hershey. Damn those Capitals and Bears.