One man’s misfortune is another man’s opportunity. With Mark Stone stepping on a puck and crashing into the boards at Ottawa Sentors’ practice, Stephane Da Costa has been recalled from Binghamton to take his place on the roster, and presumably in the lineup as well.
For Da Costa, who is a free agent at the end of the season, this could be his last chance to make an impact in the NHL.
This is the 5th time in the past 3 seasons that he has been recalled, and each time he hasn’t had the desired effect. Part of the blame might go to the role he was asked to fill, but part of the blame has to go to the player himself. In the past 3 seasons he has suited up for 35 games, including 4 to open the season as he beat Mika Zibanejad for a spot on the opening night roster.
Each time he has been underwhelming, and if that continues this time he might be ticketed for a career in the minors or heading back to Europe.
He obviously has talent, judging by the 12 goals and 37 points he has put up in 37 games this season with Binghamton. The question is, where does he fit on an NHL roster. He isn’t a big player and doesn’t play with a lot of grit. This time around, he could see time in Stone’s spot on the wing with Jason Spezza.
This is the third full pro season for Da Costa, and most likely a last gasp for the player in this organization that has a closet full of prospects and a poor performance in this call-up could make his spot on the depth chart disappear altogether when the likes of Curtis Lazar arrive on the scene.