I really took a close look at the Ottawa Senators pre-season schedule for the first time today, and a couple of things kind of made me wonder, Why?
The first two games are Sunday in Winnipeg and Monday in Saskatoon. The first question that came to my mind, and I haven’t seen any clarification in the media, is how many of the 57 players in camp will be making the trip? Do the Senators take enough to dress two teams, or do they send, say 23 players and have a majority of them play back to back. So early on in the season it might be risky to have players play on consecutive nights, at risk of injury.
I thought financial issues might make the Senators think twice about doubling their traveling entourage, but with a charter flight it would really only be meals and accommodation that would be above normal, so that shouldn’t be an issue (or the Sens might be in more trouble than anybody knows).
The other thing that struck me is the split squad games against the New York Islanders on Sept 29th. Half the team will play in Barrie with the other half at CTC. That set of games will close out the pre-season, but it also means that they will still be carrying at least 40 players in training camp, at a time when the players that are going to be on the team need to be finding some chemistry. Unless they send the would-be Binghamton Senators to Barrie (which wouldn’t fall into the NHL preseason rules for dressing NHL talent), that is a lot of spare bodies to have around for that long.
I guess the Binghamton training camp is going to take place primarily in Ottawa this year.