Perhaps one signing that went under the radar during the Senator’s late season activity was that of Miami University senior forward Pat Cannone. He was not one of the most recruited players coming out of the NCAA, but Ottawa was able to sign him to a one year contract that covers the 2011-12 season.
I had the opportunity to correspond with Vic Brotzman, of the Miami Redhawks Examiner newspaper, shortly after the signing. Vic has watched Cannone play over his 4 years in with the Redhawks, and offers his insight as to the type of player Ottawa is now developing in its system.
Jared Crozier: You have watched him a lot lately, so what type of player is Pat Cannone?
Vic Brotzman: The Senators are getting a solid prospect with a lot of upside in Pat Cannone. He is big and durable (never missed a game during his collegiate career) and a great leader and playmaker. As a co-captain for the RedHawks, he was an offensive standout (at least 30 points in each of his four seasons, including 37 this year) on a team crowded with some very prolific scorers. Cannone had the blessing/curse of playing all four of his years at Miami alongside classmates Andy Miele (2011 Hobey Baker Award winner, who led all D-1 scorers with 71 points) and Carter Camper (two-time Hobey Baker finalist, who leaves Miami as the second-highest points scorer in program history). If not for those two, Cannone might have scored even more than his 133 career points.
JC: Is he strictly and offensive player, or can he play in his own end as well?
VB: Miami’s head coach Enrico Blasi doesn’t have his team play a fast-and-loose style of hockey, opting instead for a (team of) bruisers with pinpoint passing skills, but Cannone does have decent speed when he has an opportunity to use it. He is coming from a program that prides itself not just on offense, but defense as well (the ‘Hawks were 4th in the nation this year on both sides of scoring the puck). Pat is rarely caught out of position, and isn’t afraid to use his body to save a goal in a pinch.
JC: Can he be an NHL player. or would you consider him a career minor leaguer?
VB: He might need a little bit of polish in the AHL, but I have no doubt that he will be a regular contributor for Ottawa in a short span of time.
So there you have it from a person who has seen Cannone play over the last 4 years. If Vic’s insight is correct, we may be able to see Cannone make an appearance in a Senators uniform at some point this season as a callup.
After signing this past season, Cannone spent the rest of the year with Binghamton. He got into 2 regular season games down the stretch and managed to score a goal and added an assist. Not a bad start to his pro career.
He also was a member of the “Black Aces” squad during Binghamton’s Calder Cup Championship run, but wasn’t able to get into any playoff games. However, just being around a championship team for the whole run could do nothing but benefit him and his understanding of what it takes to be a part of a winning professional program.
Ottawa has had success in developing undrafted NCAA free agents (Jesse Winchester, Bobby Butler), so it is entirely possible that his combination of speed and grit can eventually add to the Senators. However, at 24, he is not exactly young, and will not have a ton of time to develop into an NHL before he get the AHL tag on him.
I look forward to being able to see what Cannone can do in a couple of exhibition games with the Senators this fall. He will have the full season to get accustomed to playing a professional schedule as opposed to the 40 or so games in a collegiate schedule.
Thanks again to Vic Brotzman for his comments about Pat Cannone!
Thanks for reading and as always, comments are welcomed.
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