The Binghamton Senators are looking primed and ready to make a run in this year's AHL playoffs. Now, I'm no Bobby, but I did watch Binghamton during the lockout and I feel there are some good pieces there. Young talents like Shane Prince, Mark Stone, Stephane Da Costa, Derek Grant, Mike Hoffman, Cole Schneider and Pat Cannone combined with veterans like Brett Lebda, Hugh Jessiman and Nathan Lawson should make for a good run.
A while back, Sensfan90 wrote a post about the Binghamton Senators potentially getting some help from the big club for a Calder Cup run. I'm here to suggest something a little different.
As some of you may remember, the last time the B-Sens won the Calder Cup, not only did they get help from the big club, but from another place: the juniors.
In three days' time, Cody Ceci and the Owen Sound Attack are set to take on the Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds in a best-of-seven series. In four days' time, Stefan Noesen and the Plymouth Whalers are going to play the Sarnia Sting in their own series. Finally, the Kitchener Rangers and Matt Puempel are taking on the Guelph Storm in four days time.
All three of these teams are seeded pretty well. The Attack (3), the Whalers (2) and the Rangers (4) all have home ice advantage and are favourites in their respective series, meaning it would probably be against each other that they would knock each other out.
What does this all mean? Every single one of those players is 20 (or turning 20 in the case of Ceci), meaning they're all eligible to play in the AHL next year should the Ottawa Senators see fit. What it also means is that they could join the Binghamton Senators in Cowen/Lehner-esque fashion to make a big run at the Calder Cup.
Personally, I think the likes of Ceci and Noesen would greatly compliment the farm team.
With two thirds of their original blue line (Cowen, Wiercioch, Gryba and Benoit) gone, they could really use a boost as (as far as I know) the only real puck-moving defencemen are Lebda and Wideman. Ceci would probably be a substantial upgrade over Wideman.
Noesen seems like the kind of guy you can slot in anywhere. He hits, can score goals and seems capable of playing that gritty game. Top-6 or bottom-6, I could see Binghamton using him.
The last guy, Puempel, I'm a little shaky on. I haven't seen him play at all, but his skill set doesn't seem like one you can "slot right in" to the lineup. I'm not saying he couldn't , I'm just saying I don't know.
What do you guys think?