With the announcement of yesterday’s final cuts, the Ottawa Senators are down to 22 players left on their active roster.
And unless there’s an injury over the next few days, that is the group they’ll take to Buffalo for their season opener in just three days from now. And while Paul MacLean has narrowed down his roster for the lengthy six game season opening road trip, he still has to make a couple more decisions before settling on a line up for opening night.
The decision on Mika Zibanejad is obviously an interesting one. At the TSN 1200 Launch party last night at Real Sports, both Pierre Dorion and Randy Lee talked about how they hope this can be a bit of a wakeup call for Zibanejad and that he uses it as a motivation.
And while there may be some financial benefit to this move for the Senators, Zibanejad made it easier for the Sens to justify by having a subpar camp. With Da Costa and Pageau both among the more impressive players in camp, the organization’s hand was forced. Sure they could have carried 23 players but right now, they’d rather Zibanejad play and play big minutes in Binghamton. Mika skated on a line with Mark Stone and Matt Puempel down in Bingo today.
Like most, I was fairly blindsided by the move but after taking a day to think about it, I do feel like I understand where the organization is coming from on this. One thing I know for absolute certain- is that Zibanejad will not be in the AHL for long.
Meanwhile here in Ottawa, the Sens were on the ice for their first practice in preparation for Friday’s opener. Here’s how Paul MacLean lined ‘em up.