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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 training camp opens
Greg Smith
OurHometown.ca

Senators training camp opens
The Senators opened main training camp Friday with on-ice sessions beginning Saturday at Scotiabank Place in Kanata. The Senators invited a total of 59 players to camp broken down into six goalies, 16 defensemen and 37 forwards. Over the next two weeks the Senators will play seven exhibition games and Bryan Murray and his staff will work to cut to their opening day roster.
PHOTO CREDIT - Senators.com

Ottawa - Sep. 19, 2011 - The Senators opened main training camp Friday with on-ice sessions beginning Saturday at Scotiabank Place in Kanata. The Senators invited a total of 59 players to camp broken down into six goalies, 16 defensemen and 37 forwards. Over the next two weeks the Senators will play seven exhibition games and Bryan Murray and his staff will work to cut to their opening day roster.

Goaltending

A total of six goaltenders have been invited to training camp this year. Of the six goaltenders, three of them aren’t serious candidates to make the team Matej Machovsky, Mike McKenna and Brian Stewart. Matej Machovsky from Opava, Czech Republic played 23 games in the OHL last year and at 18 he should be sent back to Brampton. The other two goalies, McKenna who played 39 games in the AHL in Albany and Stewart who played 29 games in the ECHL and ten games in Adirondack in the AHL are battling for the backup job in Binghamton.

That leaves Anderson, Auld and Lehner. Craig Anderson is the definite number one for the Senators and can carry the load (71 games for Colorado in 2009-10). The Senators signed Alex Auld in the off-season and this is a definite sign to me that the Senators plan on sending Lehner down to be the starter in Binghamton this year. Auld is the type of back-up goalie who will play 10-15 games for your team, so I think the Senators are planning on playing Anderson for 65-70 games.

In: Anderson, Auld.
Out: Machovsky, McKenna and Stewart.

Defense

The Senators have invited 16 defensemen to camp. Unless the Senators manage to move a defensemen during the pre-season and that is highly unlikely, no less than six defensemen under contract- Carkner, Gonchar, Karlsson, Kuba, Lee and Phillips. Gonchar, Karlsson, Kuba and Phillips are a lock with Carkner and Lee almost in. That would leave one or two positions only at defence depending on how many defensemen the Senators want to keep. I see it as a competition between Cowen, Runblad and Wiercioch at this point.

Locks: Gonchar, Karlsson, Kuba and Phillips
In: Carkner and Lee
On the bubble: Cowen, Runblad and Wiercioch
Out: The rest

Forwards

A total of 37 forwards have been invited to camp. The Senators have 12 forwards under contract by my estimation. Bobby Butler, Erik Condra, Colin Greening and Zack Smith were rewarded with one-way contracts for their strong play last year. With 12 forwards under contract it’s a clear sign to me that all 12 will make the team this season. My guess is the Senators will keep 14, maybe 15 forwards with the bottom two to three playing on the black aces, the Senators players who are on the big club but don’t dress. This leaves an interesting dilemma with Nikita Filatov who the Senators picked up for a 3rd round pick from Columbus in a June trade. We also have to wonder about Zibanejad. More than likely he’ll be sent back to Sweden and will become a regular next season, but he could put that into doubt with a strong camp. In his case he won’t be part of the black aces, he’ll either start or be sent back.

In: Spezza, Alfredsson, Michalek, Neil, Foligno, Regin, Winchester, Butler, Smith, Condra, Greening and Filatov.
Black Aces: Konopka, Da Costa and Lessard.
Bubble: Zibanejad
Out: The rest of the forwards at this point are battling for a spot on the reserve squad.

Senators History

Harold "Punch" Broadbent (July 13, 1892 - March 5, 1971) started his career with the Ottawa Senators and was regarded as the first true power forward in NHL history. During his career Broadbent took a hiatus to serve in World War I. He scored a hat trick in the Stanley Cup finals in 1915 against the Vancouver Millionaries before going to war for three and a half years. After resuming his career he set an NHL record in 1922 by scoring a goal in sixteen consecutive games, a record that still stands today.

His streak began on Christmas Eve against the Montreal Canadiens and lasted until February 15 against those same Montreal Canadiens.

Fan Forum

Thanks to everyone who posted comments last week in relation to my article.

Here is the best response:

“That was a great article on the Ottawa Senators rookies. Great assessment on the rookies. Keep the history of the old team coming” - William Neal

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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