This off-season saw a lot of turnover from the Cahmpionship winning team last season as a number of veterans flew the coup for other opportunities. Let’s check out who won and lost this off-season:
Derek Smith – After 272 games, 33 goals, and 109 assists with Binghamton over 4 years, he elected to sign with Calgary. He had career highs last year in points (54) and assists (44) with Binghamton. His presence will be missed on the power play where he had the ability to sneak in from the point down his left side and remain wide open for either a shot or pass. Though he was never able to break through with the big club, he had turned into a strong steady blue liner for Bingo and someone that could always be counted on to be in position and add the occasional offense. A definite loss for the B-Sens.
Ryan Potulny – Granted, while he was only in Binghamton for 13 regular season games and 23 playoff games, his impact was felt greatly. After leading the B-Sens in scoring during their historic Calder Cup run (14g, 12a), and showing what he was made of during the Baby Sens run toward the playoffs, Potulny elected to sign a two-year deal with Washington Capitals. Yet again, Ottawa makes a trade and gets nothing in return. Chris Campoli was traded to Chicago for Potulny, and now as we enter the 2011-2012 Season, Ottawa is left with nothing to show for the trade. Apparently, Ottawa told Potulny that they were going to let Ryan see the options available to him, and considering the deal he signed in Washington, Ottawa should have been able to easily sign him to a similar deal. Another Loss for the B-Sens AND Ottawa.
Ryan Keller – July 5, 2011 marked the end of a two year partnership between Ottawa and Ryan Keller. The Captain that just led the B-Sens to the first Cup in Binghamton’s 39 year hockey history, signed with the Edmonton Oilers. Ryan only had six games with the big club (ending in 0 points, 0 PIM’s and a -1 standing) and was obviously not in the future for Ottawa. His numbers in Bingo were not overpowering but consistent over his two year tenure (143 games, 66 goals, 53 assists, and 86 PIM’s). What will be missed is his quiet leadership and calm consistency. Ryan will be immortalized in Binghamton as the Captain that brought a Cup to this championship deprived city. Overall, some pro experience (213 AHL games) will be lost for Ottawa but considering he couldn’t break into the NHL with the big club, good move for Keller and a Neutral move for Ottawa.
Francis Lessard – Ottawa re-signed Lessard to a two-way deal which a lot of fans around here found confusing. The game has changed from the time of a team needing a strictly enforcer type player to a more rounded player who can be an enforcer but also can contribute either offensively or defensively. Admittedly, Lessard does bring experience to a young corps of players (115 NHL games in which he has 1g, 3a, and 346 PIM’s), but in the faster more skilled AHL, having a player on your team who can lead the league in PIM’s (only 187 last year through 36 games due to injury), is not something that is of much value. Special teams play is now the difference between a middle of the pack team and a contender. As much as I like the excitement a player like Lessard can bring to a team, I’d personally rather see another Cup in Bingo. What is gained in experience is lost in performance. Loss for both Binghamton and Ottawa.
Eric Condra – Bringing Eric “Wizzer” Condra back was good, plain and simple for both teams, either team will benefit. Hands down, great move.
Mark Parrish – Parrish is a veteran winger who brings a ton of experience and knowledge to Binghamton. Bringing over 700 NHL games to the table will be a very good asset for the young crop of guys coming to Binghamton. Good move, but I don’t see too much happening with him in Ottawa though.
Mike McKenna – with Ottawa’s obsession with Robin Lehner, adding McKenna to the team was a must! I’ve seen many games against McKenna where he stood on his head and stole the show. McKenna is a time tested goalie who shows he can be consistent in whatever role he is asked to be in. Good move for Bingo, and if there are injuries, will prove to be a good move for Ottawa as well.
Barry Brust – The unsung hero from the 2010-2011 Binghamton Senators’ season, got hosed! No doubt about it! The man that took over after injured (Mike Brodeur) and called-up (Lehner), carried this team on his shoulders to the Calder Cup Playoffs. Granted he may have stumbled a small bit in the playoffs that proved to be an opportunity for Lehner to shine and prove himself to Binghamton. Apparently, I have heard many of the same rumors on this, that Brust was offered more money to stay in Binghamton, but with the signing of McKenna, he would be back to his role at the start of last season as a third goalie. Not much of a thanks to a guy that carried the team to the Calder Cup Playoffs. The fans are aware of this insult to their favorite player throughout last season. Knowing that Lehner will probably be up in Ottawa for the majority of the season, McKenna and Brust would have been one hell of a tandem down here in Binghamton. Bad move Ottawa/Binghamton.
And last but certainly not least…
Kaspars Daugavins – Wow! Great job by Ottawa for re-signing Douggy. Daugavins had said prior to the end of the season that he would be returning to Latvia to play hockey there. The Olympian, after completing his second full season with the B-Sens has turned into a force on the ice. His ability to be, seemingly, in multiple places on the ice and his vision to see where the puck will be is a welcomed asset to Ottawa and if he is in Binghamton, he adds to the chance of Binghamton returning to the Playoffs. Great move by Ottawa. Hands down the best move of the summer from a Binghamton perspective.
With some big losses and a few wins, it should be a very interesting season in Binghamton this year. ‘Til next time, GO B-SENS GO!!!
***The city of Binghamton is currently experiencing major flooding and our thoughts are with everyone in the area for their safety***
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Topics: AHL, B-Sens, Barry Brust, Binghamton Senators, Bingo, Eric Condra, Francis Lessard, Kaspars Daugavins, Mark Parrish, Mike McKenna, NHL, Ottawa Senators, Ryan Keller, Ryan Potulny, Serek Smith, SnapShot: B-Sens Update, The City Of Binghamton Is Currently Experiencing Major Flooding And Our Thoughts Are With Everyone In The Area For Their Safety