So now that the Senators have signed enforcer Francis Lessard and three veteran defensemen, Geoff Kinrade, David Hale and Andre Benoit, in addition to Corey Cowick signing an entry-level contract, the B-Sens roster is set for this upcoming season. New head coach Kurt Kleinendorst will have 27 players on two-way contracts or AHL contracts slated to be in Bingo fighting for playing time. Here’s how the positions work out:
Mike Brodeur, Robin Lehner, Barry Brust
Patrick Wiercioch, Eric Gryba, Derek Smith, Craig Schira, Geoff Kinrade, David Hale,
Bobby Butler, Colin Greening, Jim O’Brien, Erik Condra, Roman Wick, Mike Hoffman,
David Dziurzynski, Corey Locke, Kaspars Daugavins, Ryan Keller, Jason Bailey, Cody Bass,
Corey Cowick, Zack Smith, Tim Spencer, Francis Lessard, Yannick Tifu
Today, SenShot will begin our month-long review of all the players who are planning to suit up for your Binghamton Senators. First up will be goalie Mike Brodeur.
Mike Brodeur captured the hopes and dreams of Senators fans last year when he came in and played magnificently for three games, at a time when the Sens two other goalies couldn’t stop a beach ball. Brodeur‘s play started the turnaround for a sagging Ottawa team which helped them build confidence as they pushed toward the playoffs. However, last season was not all rosy for Brodeur. He had an injury-plagued campaign which saw him dress for only 36 games. His AHL stats last year left you wanting more with a record of 13-13-2 and a GAA of 3.06 and SV% of 0.899. On the flip side, his NHL numbers were outstanding, despite the relatively small sample size, 3-0-0 with a GAA 1.00 and SV% of 0.966 with one shutout.
The 27 year old, 6’2”, 190 lbs Calgarian has played 100 ECHL games, 93 AHL games and 3 NHL games since the 2004-05 season. He posted his best numbers at the NHL level, as noted above. However, Brodeur has only played in 6 playoff games in that same time period (1 AHL and 5 ECHL playoff games).
Signed as a free agent in the summer of 2009, Brodeur was a hired gun brought in to fill the void until Robin Lehner was ready. But with a lack of any real goalie prospects (besides Lehner) in the system, combined with Brodeur’s solid NHL debut, he has turned himself into a bonafide goalie prospect for Ottawa. His future may be capped at a solid back-up goalie, but with both Leclaire’s (UFA) and Elliott’s (RFA) contracts up at the end of this year, Brodeur may be able to fill the back-up role next season. This depends on what Brodeur can do this year. He will need to stay healthy first off. And splitting games with Lehner in Bingo this season, he will have to prove he is better than the young Swede. The Senators organization is high on Lehner and wants to develop him properly. If that means being the full-time starter for Bingo in the 2011-2012 season, and ensuring he can handle the pressure, so be it. Lehner playing 60-plus games for Bingo is better for his development than him playing 20 games in the NHL and riding the bench.
The Sens depth chart lists Brodeur as the third goalie in the organization. With the Glass Man in Ottawa, Brodeur will likely see action in the NHL this season. He will need to take full advantage of any opportunity he gets and make it impossible for Clouston to take him out of the net. Being on a one year deal, Brodeur needs to take his destiny into his own hands. Craig Anderson and Tim Thomas are perfect examples of late bloomers who made it in the NHL. It may be now or never for Brodeur.
Prediction: 25 wins in the AHL, 6 wins at the NHL.
Next up in the SenShot month-long review of all the players planning to suit up for your Binghamton Senators will be Robin Lehner.
Topics: AHL, B-Sens, Binghamton Senators, Binghamton Senators 2010-2011, Bingo, Brodeur, Craig Anderson, ECHL, Elliott, Leclaire, Mike McKenna, NHL, Ottawa, Ottawa Senators, Ottawa Senators 2010-2011, Ottawa Senators Off-Season 2011, Robin Lehner