Matt O’Connor Decision Coming Saturday, Ottawa Remains On Shortlist


The Ottawa Senators remain a front-runner to obtain the services of NCAA free agent goaltender, Matt O’Connor. Much has been made of O’Connor and his play as he is still considered one of the most desirable college free agents this season.

Bob McKenzie was the one who discussed it today, claiming that a decision could be coming any time now.

A later report from Sportsnet’s Mark Spector confirmed what McKenzie had said earlier, as we now know the O’Connor decision will come tomorrow at around 1 pm.

Spector goes a little more in depth in his report:

"“The teams should know by 1 pm Eastern time Saturday afternoon, Sportsnet has learned. The Senators, Rangers, Oilers and Canucks are all that remain from a long list of NHL suitors”"

I previously discussed O’Connor in a draft profile I did earlier in the week. You can check that out here. Now, if O’Connor is to sign in Ottawa, questions will arise with Ottawa’s goaltending tandem. It has been said O’Connor is willing and will more than likely play in the AHL next season. In which case he would be the likely starter for Binghamton.

Ahead of him on the current depth chart are three goaltenders viewed as NHL caliber players. Craig Anderson is proven, Andrew Hammond will garner a one-way deal, and Robin Lehner can play in the NHL. Much has been made of Lehner’s struggles, and recently his health as the most recent update informed Senators fans that he still deals with issues surrounding the concussion he suffered back in February.


It’s interesting to see Ottawa still tied to O’Connor. Something that hasn’t been discussed so much, however is the franchise’s previous history with O’Connor. At the NHL level, the Senators were the first franchise to give O’Connor a shot with a 2011 NHL rookie camp invite following his 2010-2011 campaign with the Youngstown Phantoms of the USHL.

O’Connor played that season as an 18-year-old full-time starter, leading the club to an abysmal 23-30-7 record. Considering Ottawa gave O’Connor that early shot and have showed renewed interest in the player, you’d have to think Ottawa has a serious shot at landing the player.

Edmonton scares me if we’re looking at this from a fan’s perspective. With Connor McDavid expected to hop on board in June, the ideas of joining what looks to be an upcoming contender may be intriguing for O’Connor.

We will see, but given Ottawa’s past with O’Connor and recent interest, I’d say they have a very good shot at landing a top-tier, “free” prospect tomorrow.

Next: Mika Zibanejad Looks To Take Further Step In 15-16

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