I’m not ready to throw in the towel on Shane Prince. Not just yet.
The Spencerport, NY native who is about to enter his third season for the Binghamton Senators is a polite, soft-spoken gentleman off the ice that fans have adored in his two years here in Broome County. Kids and adults alike look up to him and Shane always makes time for them, whether it’s a signed autograph after a game in the lobby outside the locker room or getting a picture taken with him. A real, genuine, class individual with God-given talent that Sens fan’s undeniably respect with his hustle and speed as once he turns on the after burner’s, he’s unstoppable while putting up the points.
The looming question remains though, where do you put him in Ottawa? A full house of forwards lies throughout the organization and it’ll be a crowded, competitive training camp come September that might see the 21-year-old looking out instead of in. Especially with sniper Matt Puempel making his case known, along with Mark Stone, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Mike Hoffman and stud Curtis Lazar leering on the horizon. So starts the trade rumors that has now developed.
Despite production being up over the previous season by 13 points, it was an up and down season for Shane. Benched for a handful of games by Luke Richardson, the first for two consecutive games after just two games into the season, sending a strong message to not only Prince, but the entire locker room that player’s are being held accountable. Richardson explained that he was playing too much on the perimeter and not getting any scoring chances and he expected better from him. Richardson also added that Prince wasn’t happy not being penciled in and thinks that he got the message.
However, it happened a second time later in the season in which this time it wasn’t addressed to the media. It seems to still have a lingering taste in the mouth of the left winger as he was recently quoted telling Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun earlier this month;
“I think I had a pretty good year,” said Prince. “I was a healthy scratch throughout the year a little bit, but overall I think I personally did very well. I’m looking forward to a little bit more of an opportunity next year, hopefully, and looking to take my game up to the NHL.”
Then there was that whole tweet debatical that stirred up the masses about him wanting out and if a trade wasn’t accommodated for, then he was going to be bolting overseas by mid-season. It wasn’t sent by him, but apparently by an acquaintance as Prince never talked publicity about it but the damage was already done to his reputation, which had a rippling effect throughout the Senator’s fan base that still exists to this very day.
With zero call ups that had him surely asking why, perhaps he does want out and play in his hometown where he can rub the slate clean and start over. If so, he’s saying the right things to the media; (Ottawa Sun)
“Obviously they’re trying to make a deal, and guys have to go the other way,” he said. “I don’t really think about it too much. If it happens to be me, then so be it. That’s great. If not, that’s also great. I’m happy to be here. There’s obviously a lot of options to go the other way, it’s not just me. I don’t really think about it, I just control what I can control.”
Does he need to kick it up a gear? Absolutely. At the same time and very least, give the kid some games next season before writing him off, see what he can do, see what he’s about. You don’t invest time and money into a prospect only to not see what you have in return. If Prince doesn’t get that call this upcoming season then he won’t be back as his three-year contract will be up as his patience will surely have worn out by then as well.
Besides, and I think I can speak for most fans from my area, it won’t be a pretty site to see Shane wearing the red, white and blue of the Rochester Americans in the near future.
Nope, not at all.