With so many players from the AHL Calder Cup winning team leaving for other opportunities, the Binghamton Senators may see one of their core players return for one more season. Fan favorite Kaspars Daugavins was expected to take his talents overseas as he had signed a deal with Dynamo Riga of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). Daugavins had rejected the Sens qualifying offer which was a two-way deal and signed with Dynamo. However, in his contract, he had a deal to come to Ottawa’s training camp in the fall in an attempt to stick with the big club.
But news came this week that Daugavins had actually signed a one-year, two-way deal to stick with the Senators. The deal will pay him $600,000 if he plays in the NHL, and $105,000 if he lands in the AHL. Daugavins will get a $42,500 raise if he plays in the AHL from his last years salary.
With his goal to make the NHL squad out of training camp, it may be difficult with 12 forwards on the roster already with one-way contracts. Daugavins will need to have one hell of a training camp to stick with Ottawa, but I think his awesome stache will put him in good standing with new head coach Paul MacLean. With his breakout performance in the AHL playoffs this past spring where he notched 20 points in 23 games, Daugavins may have finally figured it out and may be able to stick around as a 13th forward/fourth liner.
If he does not make the NHL team, Daugavins will go down to Bingo and be a leader of a young B-Sens squad that will have seen a lot of turnover. Daugavins should also be expected to be one of the first call-ups to Ottawa. Obviously great in the room, Daugavins is a strong energy forward that has good speed. As a comparable, Daugavins may be considered to be similar to Chris Neil with less grit but with more scoring upside.
This may be Daugavins last chance to make the big team as he may give up on his NHL dream if he does not get a legitimate shot this year. The outcome all depends on Daugavins making the most of his opportunities. The organization is hoping Daugavins can fill an energy role and add a few goals here and there at the NHL level. If he can add a little more grit to his game, Daugavins may see his stock rise more in the organization. With coach MacLean liking speed and physicality, Daugavins may have an outside chance at making the team.
Can’t wait til training camp starts. 43 days until the first pre-season game!
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