The deconstruction of the AHL Calder Cup winning Binghamton Senators continues as many veterans have left for greener pastures. Bringing the city of Binghamton their first championship in their history, fans were hoping to see the team be kept in tact and challenge for the Calder Cup again this season. But, as is the life of a minor leaguer, you have to go where you will get the best opportunity.
Many of the vets have left for other organizations that are willing to give them a legitimate shot at cracking their NHL squad. Others left to go overseas and play in their homeland. While others left for a larger pay cheque. Whatever the reason, the veterans that helped lead this young Bingo team to the promised land are gone and are now leaving it to the next wave of future Sens to defend their title.
Let’s take a look at the players that will not be returning to help Bingo defend their championship:
Binghamton’s captain will be taking his talents to the Edmonton Oilers organization as he signed a one-year, $625,000 deal. Most likely he will play for the Oilers’ AHL affiliate the Oklahoma City Oilers where he would make $225,000 (which is a $75,000 raise from this season). Keller showed his worth in the post-season as he put the team on his back and carried the team to the Calder Cup. He scored many huge goals in the playoffs and will leave a huge hole in Bingo’s line-up next season.
Binghamton’s leading playoff scorer was only here a short time, but he make a huge impact on the team. Coming in at the trade deadline, Potulny powered Bingo through the first three rounds of the AHL playoffs. With 26 points in 23 playoff games, Potulny also led the playoffs with 14 goals. Potulny signed a two-year deal with the Washington Capitals and their AHL affiliate, the Hershey Bears. The first year of the deal is two-way deal with a salary of $525,000 in the NHL and $105,000 in the AHL; and the second year is one-way with a NHL salary of $525,000.
A great solider for the organization, Bass played parts of six seasons for the B-Sens. The 2011 AHL Yanick Dupre Memorial Award winner (AHL Man of the Year), Bass not only was a leader on the ice, but off it too. With a huge presence in the Binghamton community, Bass will be missed in Bingo. Ottawa did not qualify him as to give him an opportunity to find a full-time NHL gig. Bass signed on with the Columbus Blue Jackets on a one-year, two-way deal worth $600,000 at the NHL level.
Smith was one of the leaders on the Bingo defensive unit this past season. Signed as a free agent, Smith played four seasons in Bingo. With his last two seasons seeing him notch over 50 points, Smith got to play nine games in the NHL this past season. With the depth chart on the blueline in Ottawa, Smith felt he had a better chance with another organization. Smith signed a one-year, two-way deal with the Calgary Flames for $700,000 at the NHL level.
The 25 year old bueliner who signed with Ottawa two years ago had two productive seasons in Bingo. Like Smith, Kinrade was getting buried in the depth chart of Senators defensive prospects and saw his window close in Ottawa. Kinrade signed with HC Plzen 1929 of the Czech Elite league.
The Switzerland native was seen as a forgotten prospect until he turned some heads at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. Signing with Ottawa, the 25 year old could potentially be a late bloomer. With a good rookie season where he notched 20 goals and 42 points, Wick even got seven games in the NHL this season too. Seeming to be giving up on his NHL dreams, Wick signed a three-year deal with the Kloten Flyers in the Switzerland hockey league. It’s safe to assume he is done in the Senators organization.
The leader of the D-corps, the veteran AHLer had 55 points in 73 games this season and also saw his first action in the NHL. The 27 year old played his first eight games in the NHL and played solid in his time in Ottawa. Leading the defense in the playoffs and playing major minutes after the team was stricken with injuries, Benoit seems to be taking his talents overseas. Benoit is rumored to be joining Skelleftea of the Swedish Elite League. A huge part of the leadership core, Benoit will leave a huge hole on the backend just as Keller will leave a huge hole up front.
The Latvia native is coming off his second strong season with Binghamton. With 54 points this past year, Daugavins had a breakout playoff campaign with 20 points in 23 games. Known as a character guy and a great locker room guy, Daugavins is an RFA and is still waiting on a contract. Rumored to be heading overseas to the KHL in the middle of the season, Daugavins wants to play in the NHL and may deserve a shot at being the 13th forward in Ottawa. We’ll see what happens with him later in the summer.
The savior of Binghamton’s season, the 33 year old took the city by storm. ‘In Brust We Trust’ was the motto as Brust carried the team and led them to the playoffs. Winning 29 games, Brust was a stabilizing force in the net and had a career year. Even though he lost the starter’s job in the playoffs, the B-Sens wouldn’t have been there if it was not for Brust’s regular season heroics. Signed only to a one year deal, Ottawa has signed goalie Mike Mckenna to back-up Robin Lehner this upcoming season. Looking to capitalize on his career year, I think Brust is looking for an opportunity to be a starter, which he was not going to get in Binghamton.
Brodeur had a year to forget. Signed to be the starter in Bingo, Brodeur had a injury plagued season which saw him only suit up for 17 games last season. Playing those 17 games over three different leagues, Brodeur won a total of six games. With Robin Lehner entrenched as the starter in Bingo next season, Brodeur may have to wait for the phone to ring to get a new job somewhere in the AHL.
There is also four forwards that are leaving the team through one-way contracts. Those players are: Zach Smith, Bobby Butler, Erik Condra and Colin Greening.
Each of these four players played huge roles for Binghamton during the regular season and the playoffs. Smith and Butler had coming out parties in the AHL playoffs and provided 37 points between the two. All four got to see significant time in Ottawa this year after the trade deadline opened up a few spots on the big team. All four have since signed one-way deals and will be penciled into Ottawa’s line-up in the fall. However, it will be up to them where they line up on the roster.
With Binghamton losing 14 players from last year’s team, they will have a new look to the squad. Can they repeat as Calder Cup champs? Only time will tell. There will be many new faces on the team this upcoming season and stayed tooned to SenShot as we take a look at the Reconstruction of the Binghamton Senators tomorrow.
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Topics: AHL, Andre Benoit, Barry Brust, Binghamton Senators, Bobby Butler, Calder Cup, Cody Bass, Colin Greening, Derek Smith, Erik Condra, Geoff Kinrade, Kaspars Daugavins, Mike McKenna, NHL, Ottawa Senators, Ramon Wick, Ryan Keller, Ryan Potulny, Sweden, Zach Smith