TORONTO, CANADA - SEPTEMBER 19: Carl Gunnarsson #36 of the Toronto Maple Leafs contains Mike Hoffman #68 of the Ottawa Senators during preseason NHL action at the Air Canada Centre September 19, 2011 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)
The Ottawa Senators cut their roster down to just 28 players today, sending a large group to Binghamton's training camp.
According to TSN's Brent Wallace, the following players remain in camp:
G: Anderson, Auld
D: Phillips, Karlsson, Gonchar, Kuba, Carkner, Lee, Cowen, Rundblad, Wiercioch, Borowiecki
F: Michalek, Alfredsson, Regin, Greening, Smith, Butler, Spezza, Filatov, Condra, Daugavins, Da Costa, Neil, Konopka, Hoffman, Foligno, Zibanejad, Winchester
Most of the list is exactly what you'd expect to happen ("Spezza's still on the roster? Phew!"), but there are a handful of surprises to be found:
Mike Hoffman (still at camp) - the Hoff went from QMJHL MVP to being sent down to the ECHL briefly during his first pro season. He only put up 25 points in 74 AHL games, and yet he still made the cut. I remember prior to the cuts happening, the team kept saying they'd trim numbers to 26 or 27 players. With 28 remaining, you can't help but wonder if Hoffman impressed the staff so much during his limited minutes with Zibanejad and Alfredsson in the game against the Winnipeg Jets that he forced their hand to give him another look.
Kaspars Daugavins (still at camp) - Daugavins being around this late in camp is a great sign for a guy who came back to North America this year to give the NHL one last attempt. It's doubtful that he'll make the final cut, but it's impressive enough that he's still in Ottawa when most of his teammates from Binghamton -- including Corey Locke and Jim O'Brien -- have been sent down.
Patrick Wiercioch (still at camp) - Wiercioch has had a pretty mediocre camp, and given the play of Cowen, Rundblad, and Borowiecki, there's pretty much no chance that he'll make the team. Why is he still here? I'm guessing this is Bryan Murray's way of motivating him, and letting him know that there's still a place in the organization for him.
Mark Borowiecki (still at camp) - after a couple years of hearing that Eric Gryba was the stay-at-home blueliner who would be ready for the NHL shortly, Borowiecki finds himself still in camp while Gryba goes back to Binghamton. There aren't many spots available on the blueline, but Borowiecki is making a good case for himself with solid, tough-as-nails play.
Mika Zibanejad and Stephane Da Costa (still at camp) - It's not so much a surprise as it is notable. Given Ottawa's policy of not saying a bad word about Mika, it's starting to seem very likely that Zibanejad sticks around for his 9 game tryout.
Andre Petersson (cut) - If I'm correct, Petersson's NHL exhibition time was limited to less than 10 minutes of one game. Given his great performance in the rookie tournament and his position as one of the most skilled forwards in Ottawa's organization, I'm quite surprised that he was given so little time to prove his worth. I'm sure there's a reason to be found somewhere, but hopefully Petersson shows what he can do in the AHL this year.
Robin Lehner (cut) - I'm not surprised by the move, but I have to feel that Robin is currently figuring out the best way to hunt Anderson and Auld. Come to think of it, maybe he was behind Auld's cramping during yesterday's Jets game...