The Ottawa Senators sent Mark Stone back to their AHL affiliate Binghamton Senators on Thursday after a four game audition with the big club.
In his four games, he saw diminishing ice time, from a high of 15:14 against the Leafs, to a low of 5:41 Wednesday against the Habs, averaging exactly 10:00. He was sent back to make room for new acquisition Matt Kassian on the active roster.
He was held to just 3 shots in the four games, playing sparingly. One thing I noticed is that although his skating has improved over the past couple of years, he is still going to struggle to get to the corners on the forecheck effectively. Once he gets to play with a talented set-up man like perhaps Jason Spezza, he lack of speed won’t be as noticeable, but he will have a hard time creating his own offensive chances. He was held pointless and recorded just 3 shots on goal.
On the plus side, he was a little more physical than I expected, and was credited with 10 hits during his brief stay. He has good size, but didn’t really get a chance to show off the good hands he does possess.
Bottom line, Stone was brought up to create offense, and he failed to really generate anything in the offensive end. Whether you feel he was given a legitimate chance to do so is for you to decide.
So, after 4 games, what is your impression of Mark Stone? Did he fail his audition and did you expect more from the first year pro?