Jim O’Brien may be returning to where it all began in the spring of 2009 as he has cleared waivers earlier today. Now the decision facing the Senators is whether or not he will be an asset in the NHL, and they must decide that by Ottawa’s final cuts on Monday. If they don’t think so, then he’ll be heading down to Binghamton.
That would mean a huge boost to an already loaded Binghamton Senators squad. How effective will he be is the question. The 24-year-old forward won’t be arriving under the best circumstances as Ottawa has given up on the former #1 round draft choice in 2007. He found himself in head coach Paul MacLean‘s doghouse and mysteriously vanished late last season. More importantly, the organization’s talent pool has left O’Brien soaking wet. If JOB does come down moping, then that type of attitude won’t be tolerated in the locker room if Luke Richardson has anything to do with it. We got some young talented guys in there and the last thing we need is a grumpy, ex-NHL player that would possibly rub off on the team in a negative way. The Bingo faithful have more than seen their fair share of lousy attitudes over the years but B-Sens General Manager Tim Murray did however put a stop to that a few seasons ago claiming that won’t be tolerated anymore.
If it pans out, O’Brien will be playing season 2 of a 2 year NHL deal at $650,000. That’s a lot of coin for AHL standards. The next question is where to put Mr. O’Brien in the line up card. A Mike Hoffman-Stephane Da Costa-O’Brien sounds appetizing. That is if Da Costa or Hoffman will be waived as well and Ottawa does finds a spot for Jean-Gabriel Pageau. Suddenly Luke would have some serious depth to deal with. And versatile. JOB can play center and kill penalties and Hoff also at center and play the point on pp’s. Realistically, look for O’Brien to center possibly Cole Schneider and Mark Stone or Buddy Robinson and David Dziurzynski or any combination of those four.
This would be Hoffman’s 4th season in Binghamton and Da Costa’s 3rd if it all plays out. That’s a crowded locker room and a few might see their season’s begin in Elmira. Lots will be happening after the split squad’s games take place on Sunday.
Opening night in Binghamton is 8 days away.