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Bingo Bites: With Hammond Out, Is O'C The Best Recipe For Success?

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Chris Driedger overlooked once again raising questions on his future with the Senators as Hammond is out for two weeks.

Alicia Strauch

Matt O'Connor's stay in the NHL might be a bit longer than anticipated, as word has it Andrew Hammond has been slightly concussed as a result to a shot to the head during Sunday's practice leading to believe he'll be out for a couple of weeks. As a precautionary note, this means O'Connor will ride the pine leading up for Craig Anderson handling the bulk of the upcoming schedule for the Senators.

The news leans slightly better for the B-Sens, as Scotty Greenham, who has been out injured with a slight groin injury playing in Evansville, has recently been cleared and declared healthy enough for a call-up as his replacement.

The question remains is, will O'Connor, who is winless after six starts in Binghamton, see any action in that time frame for Ottawa? If the Sens were smart about it, he shouldn't, as he's far from ready after a dismal beginning in the pros as it's best to not expose him to any NHL shooters this soon, as he hasn't been able to do it in the AHL.

Which also raises the question, why was he brought up in the first place? Doesn't Chris Driedger deserve it more?

After Driedger closing out last season on a six game winning streak and having been in net for ALL of Binghamton's four wins so far this season, what's the deal? There have been reports that Ottawa hasn't been exactly thrilled with Driedger's work ethics in the past, as he saw that fallout playing the majority of his first season in the pros out far in Indiana.

If there is indeed a clause in O'C's contract that limits him from seeing any action at the ECHL level, then that's acceptable I suppose, being part of the progress in signing a highly touted free agent. But given Ottawa's track record in handling past prospects including those in net, rushing him is the worst thing you want to do.

Mentor Rick Wamsley was supposed to be the key in all of this, as O'Connor put his faith in leading him choosing Ottawa. But it hasn't gone that way as Wamsley has yet to step foot in Bingo to help out. Whether it's a scheduled conflict or whatnot, I recall him visiting here at least a half dozen times (for several days at a time) when Hammond was trying to find his way around last year. So far this season, there was a single away trip to St. John's in a two game series with the IceCaps back in late October.

The point is Ottawa has rushed so many prospects in the past and apparently it hasn't changed with goaltending leading the way. I wonder if Dreidger is second guessing himself these days. What a blow for him getting overlooked after all what he's done for Binghamton, including this season in front of a porous defense.

Curtis Lazar is another one. He needs time to develop in the AHL, but has otherwise been squashed as he's been demoted to the checking line in Monday's SO loss with the Red Wings. This kid has a ton of talent but Ottawa refuses to develop him. Same goes for Shane Prince, a gifted forward that's going to blossom soon but the Senators look the other way and don't play him. Chris Wideman is another, as Mike Hoffman finally gets the attention he deserves on the top line and delivers.

Rant over. Ottawa, you're my team but you're killing me at the same time. As for Dave Cameron, news flash, you still suck.

*Cover Pic Courtesy of Alicia Strauch.