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Greg Smith is the Ottawa Senators' correspondent for OurHometown.ca. Greg was born and bred in Ottawa. An original Senators season ticket holder, he has followed the Senators from their infancy, including attending the very first inter-squad game in Hull and first regular season game to this their 20th year in the NHL. Greg previously interned at CBC radio sports in Toronto for a month before hosting his own radio talk show on CKCU radio in Ottawa for two years. Passionate about his Senators, Greg will provide current news and views on the Ottawa Senators organization from a global perspective. If you have questions or wish to contact Greg, you can email him at gsmith@ourhometown.ca.
Senators win rookie tournament
Greg Smith
OurHometown.ca

Senators win rookie tournament
Mark Stone scored less than 2 minutes into overtime to give the Senators rookies a 4-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leaf rookies at General Motors Centre in Oshawa to win the annual rookie tournament. Mika Zibanejad and Stephane Da Costa continued their strong play with a goal each. Jakub Culek scored the other goal for the Senators.
PHOTO CREDIT - Senators.com

Ottawa - Sep. 15, 2011 - Mark Stone scored less than 2 minutes into overtime to give the Senators rookies a 4-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leaf rookies at General Motors Centre in Oshawa to win the annual rookie tournament. Mika Zibanejad and Stephane Da Costa continued their strong play with a goal each. Jakub Culek scored the other goal for the Senators.

Top Five Senator rookies

Overall it was a strong tournament for the Senators rookies, winning all three games to win the tournament. A number of rookies impressed in the tournament. I could easily come up with a list of 10 rookies who played great during the tournament but I thought I’d narrow it down to five players. Here are my top five rookies in the tournament:

Mika Zibanejad: Clearly the class of the rookie tournament. The line of Zibanejad, Petersson and Prince was the best of the Senators rookie lines. Zibanejad’s lighting quick speed and his ability to read the play and his team mates kept his opponents scrambling. Once he touches the ice, the excitement level goes up.

Corey Cowick: The surprise of the tournament for me. Cowick was fast and physical, often over powering his opponents and knocking them off the puck. He also possesses a lighting quick wrist shot and in some ways reminded me of a young Phil Esposito. Wouldn’t that be nice if he turned into that type of player?

Stephane Da Costa: After a slow during the first game of the tournament, Da Costa always seemed to be around the net. Not blazingly quick like some of the other rookies, he seems to have a sense of where the goal is and his lighting quick release makes him a threat every time he’s in the oppositions end.

Robin Lehner: Lehner was solid in the two games he played. He covers the bottom part of the net effectively, always keeping himself square to the shooter. His lateral motion from side to side is great and even when it does appear that he could be beat, which is not often, his reflexes bail him out. Remember the toe then glove save he made against Toronto?

David Runblad: The concern about Runblad is that he is offensively gifted but maybe soft in his end. In this tournament that was not the case. Runblad continually handed out punishing body checks and managed to keep his part of the ice clear for the most part. Offensively he was great carrying the puck and made some very smart decisions.

Special consideration: Shane Prince, Andre Petersson and Mark Stone. All three had stretches in the tournament where they played great.

Training Camp Roster

The Senators open their training camp this Friday, September 16th. A total of 59 players have been invited to this year’s training camp broken down into six goalies, 16 defensemen and 37 forwards. All 23 players in the rookie tournament in Oshawa have been invited to the camp.

Some teams, like the Montreal Canadiens, for example, are just opening their rookie camps and won’t be opening their main camp until next Friday, so the early start of camp will allow the Senators to look at all of the rookies and gauge where they are in their development. I’ll follow training camp and give you twice weekly updates of the progress of some of the standout rookies.

Senators starting day roster

During the next three weeks of camp and the exhibition schedule, I’ll keep a list of who I think will be in the Senators opening day line-up. Who’s in? Who’s out? Who’s on the bubble? I’ll not only take a look at how players are playing during the exhibition games, but I’ll examine the salary cap to see if players can fit in under the cap and how many players the Senators have signed.

Senators History

Did you know that an Ottawa Senator was the first ever player to play all six positions in a Stanley Cup Match? Francis Michael Clancy, known as King Clancy, became the first player in NHL history to play all six positions in a Stanley Cup match against the Edmonton Eskimos in 1923. Clancy played nets for Clint Benedict, the Senators goaltender at the time, while he served a match penalty in the second period. In those days NHL goalies served their own penalties. Clancy, who previously played all five positions during the game, held the opposition scoreless during his time in the nets. Clancy’s nickname actually originated from his father who was a football player in Ottawa and known as the first ‘King Clancy’. Clancy played junior hockey in his hometown of Ottawa area before joining the Senators, where he led the Senators to Stanley Cup wins in 1923 and 1927.

Fan Forum

Thanks to everyone who posted comments last week in relation to my article. Here is the best response:

“Nice job with the Sens beat... keep up the solid work. Sens are on the right track!” - Kevin Dean (Belleville, Ontario)

Thanks for the comments. Remember if you’d like to make a comment and possibly end up in this article e-mail me at gsmith@ourhometown.ca


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