Hockey is making its way back to the Southern Tier of NY and today was the first day of practice as the Ottawa Senators made their final cuts this past Monday and this is what the results are for the B-Sens.
Forwards: Corey Cowick, Jakub Culek, David Dziurzynski, Derek Grant, Wacey Hamilton, Danny Hobbs, Mike Hoffman, Ludwig Karlsson, Darren Kramer, Jim O’Brien, Andre Petersson, Shane Prince, Matt Puempel, Buddy Robinson, Cole Schneider, Mark Stone and Mika Zibanejad.
Goaltenders: Scott Greenham, Andrew Hammond and Nathan Lawson.
-A couple of familiar faces are back
Big news that stands out from the list is the arrival of not one, but two NHL regulars from last season. Mika has joined O’Brien as both were sent down by Ottawa and will play for the team where they both started their professional careers at. However, for two very different reasons. Zibanejad will need to work on his game to get back into the good graces of Bryan Murray and Paul MacLean, and he will. There’s no way he won’t be back up to the big club at some point. As for O’Brien, I guess we’ll see how he approaches his demotion and where that will end up leading him. There is that possibility he ends up staying in Bingo for the majority, if not all of the season.
-Lines from today’s practice as per @PBSens twitter;
Recently Coach Luke Richardson spoke to Matt Weinstein of the Press-Sun Bulletin, these question/answers stood out the most.
Q: Do you change anything in the way you do things this year in your second season as coach?
A: Not a lot. I believe in myself and our whole coaching staff. Steve Stirling is a wealth of knowledge, and we also brought in a new video coach, Tim Marks. He’s a smart guy, played in the AHL and worked at Princeton. I really am happy and confident in my staff, and we will be supplied with a great number of prospects again. I think I’m always learning. I want to push the guys hard so they learn to push themselves. Try to empower them to control the locker room. It’s a bit of a teacher’s mentality but I want the players to feel like they are in control of their own destiny. I always have advice, but really I want to empower them and make them feel confident.
Q: With the depth in the organization, how do you handle a player who would likely have an NHL spot if he played in another organization?
A: That’s one of the biggest things you have to deal with. I think for me, I try to take pride in being honest. Sometimes those conversations are tough and you try to help the players through that. I’ve seen young players go through it. You just pass on that support. Help them and ask them what I can do to help them to get through this tough part and play great hockey. That’s my approach — just try to help the individual player in about 20 different ways. Everybody is treated and talked to the same, and relationships now have expanded since we see these guys practically all year. Our goal is to help them to get what they want to achieve.
Q: What do you consider the most important part of the job?
A: The most important is to pass on the wealth of experience in 20-plus years of pro hockey. I like to be approachable to players, make them comfortable to come to me with problems. Share things they’re feeling and help them with their journey. The Xs and Os just fall into place. More importantly, it’s about communication. Sometimes the players feel like just a number, so you try to relate on a personable level.