Jeremy Yablonski. The mere whispering of his name should simultaneously bring fear into opposing enforcers and an unstoppable fit of laughter into opposing goaltenders. And I'm not going to lie, ever since he was brought into the Ottawa Senators organization for the 2007-08 season, I've wanted to see this guy suit up for an NHL game. Not because I think he's an everyday NHLer--he's barely got the skills to be an everyday AHLer--but I do think he's lost some blood for this organization, and it'd be awesome to see him in just one Sens game. And it just might happen.
As reported by Michael Sharp of the Binghamton Press & Sun Bulletin, the Senators signed Yabo to a one-year, two-way contract for a reason--and Assistant GM Tim Murray says that he"can envision [Yablonski] playing some [NHL] games". From Sharp's blog:
"Well, we're going to give him an opportunity for sure," Murray said. "We had contract space. You're allowed 50 NHL contracts, (so) we had contract space. I think he's done everything we've asked him to do the two previous years down there. He's been a great teammate. He's fought for his teammates. He's been very professional about it. He fights for the right reasons, and he's certainly not an idiot the way some of those big guys can be. He's been great, so I guess as a bit of a reward -- it gives him the opportunity to come to camp and earn a job, rather than just come to camp and get sent down right away. And it gets it (done), we don't have to do (the contract) in camp if he plays well in camp. And it doesn't give another team an opportunity to give him an NHL deal. So I think it was good for him and good for us.
Which, if you ask me, would be pretty awesome. And I don't think it's too much of a stretch; the Sens' brass must have felt he'd be useful, because they threw out the existing one-way contract Yablonski had signed for two years in the summer of 2008, and gave him this new two-way deal. If we're expecting Chris Neil to do more than play as a fourth-line grinder, and therefore earn his $2M-a-year salary, then Yablonski could come in handy, depending on the competition's roster on any given night.
I mean... honestly: