I had a feeling about this one early on but I’ll be the first to admit, my hopes were starting to diminish the longer it dragged on without getting a contract done for the free agent defensman, especially with the signing of Aaron Johnson just four days ago, but Ottawa stepped up in a big way and offered Alex Grant a one year, two-way deal worth $700,000/$150,000. That is a substantial upgrade from last season’s $550,000/$65,000 he earned while playing for Norfolk and later Binghamton.
What Alex brings to the table is added experience to the Sens defense and a booming, quick slapper which was dead on target from his blue line. B-Sens fan’s are all too familiar with Grant though, as before joining Binghamton late last season with that trade involving Andre Petersson to Norfolk, he had played his entire five pro career with two teams in the East Division. (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 2010-’13, Norfolk 2013-’14.) However, there are a lot of happy fans know that Alex is now an important piece of the puzzle on this club and their team.
Grant ended last season between the two teams with 9 goals and 28 assists in 71 contests, along with playing two games for Anaheim where he had two goals. The 25-year-old will most likely get paired up with Fredrik Claesson again like in the springtime of ’14, as they played rather effectively well together. With the signing this means Troy Rutkowski is now the extra d-man.
Projected Opening Night Line-Up
Now that we just about have completed the off-season transition of the Binghamton Senators, let’s look at the potential line-up that Luke Richardson and Steve Stirling might put out center ice starting with the forward spots;
Line up is filled with lefties so Dziurzynski moves to the right side like he did last season as well as Prince, with Schneider also sharing that flexibility. Perhaps flip-flop Prince and Robinson to add size for Camper and Puempel, regardless I want to see Matt and Carter together side by side to see if some chemistry is there. Same can be said about the two rookies in Dzingel and McCormick, but for now McCormick sits along with Culek. I loathed the idea to see Dzingel on that fourth line, but man nowhere else to move him unless you flip Grant for him.
The D is a little less challenging and more straight forward assuming Boroweicki is on Ottawa’s radar right from the get go;
For the most part I like what I see as the defense and goaltending look to be solid, but the question still remains on how well this young offensive line-up produces. I don’t see how they will in keeping pace going strong as last year’s club did while scoring at will, but it does have potential on paper. However this defense looks real good in helping out the goaltending duel of Hammond and now Driedger, which at times came into question all too often last season in front of Andrew.
*Cover photo courtesy of Alicia Strauch.