Ottawa Senators A Front Runner For Matt O’Connor, What Would That Mean For Robin Lehner?


According to numerous reports, including one from TSN’s Bob Mckenzie, the Ottawa Senators are said to be a front-runner in obtaining the services of 6foot5, 23-year-old Goaltender Matt O’Connor.

While it’s hard to know exactly what O’Connor could provide for an NHL franchise right away, it’s possible to think that he could step in to get a look at the NHL game.

It’s no surprise to see teams lining up for O’Connor’s services. As a veteran at Boston University, he’s seen success this season as BU is highlighted by 18-year-old forward and likely 2nd overall pick, Jack Eichel.

O’Connor’s success includes an impressive 23-3-4 record with a GAA of 2.11 and a SV% of 9.26, both career highs for the 23-year-old tender.


As for that reported list of interested teams? It’s a long one, but it appears as though the Ottawa Senators, the Buffalo Sabres, the Edmonton Oilers, and the New York Rangers are considered “front-runners”

This comes from a TSN 1060 interview featuring Bob McKenzie, as scribed here from theScore.

It’s also been known that the Senators have had interest in O’Connor for quite some time. He’s been on their radar since at least 2011, as he was a development camp invitee while he was playing in Youngstown of the USHL.


It’s clear that O’Connor won’t be signing until his season is over, as signing a professional contract declares the end of ones College career.

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The Terriers sit as a no. 1 NCAA seed and after yesterday’s win, they find themselves in the quarter finals of a 16-team tournament.

Ahead on he schedule for BU is a matchup between the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs, a roster that includes a pair of Maple Leaf prospects in Domenic Toninato and Tony Cameranesi.

So we won’t see a deal for O’Connor until BU’s season is over, and given their star power, that could be a while. They’re a team that has a chance to go far in the NCAA season end tournament.


Binghamton has had a rough year.

They’ve failed to qualify for the playoffs, and given the fact that the Senators have used their AHL feeding system heavily this season, it’s not a surprise.

Heavily used? well, yep. Mark Borowiecki, Mike Hoffman, Mark Stone, and Jean-Gabriel Pageau were all important pieces to Binghamton’s lineup last season and all 4 have moved on. More recently, Matt Puempel has been the player up in Ottawa.


If O’Connor signs on in Ottawa it makes things tricky. The “Hamburglar” has been the story of the year, but may be winding down with Craig Anderson‘s return to the lineup and the Senators still having high promise for Robin Lehner.

O’Connor and Lehner certainly have similar statures on the ice and are roughly the same age. For Ottawa, any O’Connor signing would likely be a shot at giving Binghamton depth going into next season.

It would also provide more assurance as until recently, Ottawa really did not have a 3rd string goaltender moving forward, and we really don’t know what Andrew Hammond is going to be as a UFA at 27 years old.


It’s been an interesting two years for the 23-year-old swede. After a Calder Cup run and amazing shortened season NHL performance, Lehner assured Senators staff that he was their goaltender going forward, leading Ben Bishop to be shipped out of town.

Now, after two setback years including an injury-riddled end to his 14-15 campaign, things are a little more hazy.

There has been talk of a trade, yet you have to think that doesn’t make much sense as he is still a 23-year-old in an organization that has put a ton of faith into him in the past.

An O’Connor signing would definitely provide motivation for Lehner, as he hopes to prove himself as a starter under his new 3-year deal that kicked in last October.


Matt O’Connor would certainly be a welcomed addition to the Senators squad. Yet it may be too early to tell where he’d start or what his immediate value would be.

.. but for an organization with 3 goalies who have played well at the NHL level, there are definite questions to be asked.

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