With training camp expected to officially begin this Sunday, a number of Ottawa Senators have begun to filter back onto the ice at Scotiabank Place.
Today, Erik Karlsson skated with his teammates for the first time and was joined by the likes of Jason Spezza, Milan Michalek, Kyle Turris and Gulliaume Latendresse. Owners and players are still working on making the new CBA official but it’s safe to say, the boys are back in town!
It’s going to be a real whirl wind over the next few days for Paul MacLean and his staff.
While nothing is official just yet, the Senators are expected to open their season in Winnipeg just 10 days from now. Like last year, MacLean has indicated he will put a big emphasis on skating and making sure his guys are in the best shape possible when the puck drops next week. Unfortunately with an extended lockout and an abbreviated camp, the organization just has to hope that guys show up ready to play.
Injuries are always a factor early in the season but that will be an even bigger factor in a shortened season. Talking to people that watched the guys on the ice this morning, it sounds like it was an up tempo skate that got pretty competitive at times. Obviously the guys are excited to be back.
The number of players skating is expected to grow as the week progresses and guys filter in for the weekend training camp.
- Bryan and Tim Murray have both said that they are comfortable giving a Binghamton Senator or two first crack at the vacant spots on the blue line but that doesn’t mean they aren’t looking for help elsewhere. Apparently Kurtis Foster is a player on their radar right now but speculation on Twitter yesterday suggested the Philadelphia Flyers are also interested. Tim Murray suggested he has received multiple calls from agents representing free agent defenceman.
- Goaltending is a strength for this organization on paper and they may need to use that depth to address the issues on defence. Ben Bishop has played well in Binghamton and could be used as a piece in a trade, if Murray decides to pull the trigger on a deal. How the coaching staff and organization as a whole handles the goaltending depth will be fascinating to watch early this season.
- Jim O’Brien, expected to a regular on the team this season, is going with a new number. Last year O’Brien wore 42 but will be switching to #18, a number previously occupied by Jesse Winchester. Other numbers of note- Latendresse (73) Methot (3) Lundin (10)
- We may not know the entire schedule just yet but yesterday Bob McKenzie shared some details on how it will break down for each team. Teams will plays two division rivals 4 times, two 5 times, and then 3 games against the remaining teams in the conference.
- Earlier this week we learned that Cody Ceci would be getting an invite to camp and now it looks like Stefan Noesen will join him. Both Murrays have hinted at the possibility this week and now Bob McKenzie has also mentioned it on Twitter. Great experience for those two players.
- And as a bit of comedic relief, Bob McKenzie is reporting that the Maple Leafs have fired President and General Manager Brian Burke. Never a dull moment in the Big Smoke!