Unlike in the past in snatching up some leftovers, for the first time in quite some time, Ottawa came in a-blazing on a holiday known as Canada Day. Bryan Murray focused on what's happening in Bingo, setting his main priority and in doing so, spent some serious dollars to get some key figures.
There were several important signings and offerings yet to be accepted as we run down the results of a busy day of new contracts. Ottawa invested close to a million bucks on some new players. First, let's begin at the blueline, as this was a train wreck last season that needed to be addressed.
- Michael Kostka
The defense got a bit stronger as Kostka signed a one year, two way deal. The 6' 1" 29-year-old veteran will fill the shoes of Aaron Johnson and hopefully will have a better sense of what's at stake at the blueline. He played for the Hartford Wolf Packlast season, plus seven games for the New York Rangers.
- Eric O'Dell
A proven centerman has joined the Sens Organization after a solid campaign for the St. John's IceCaps in a new one year, two way deal. The 25 year old center played in 41 NHL games for Winnipeg after being drafted in round two of 2008. Good signing that replaces the loss of both Derek Grant and Carter Camper. Big shoes to fill but should hopefully fit in.
- Zack Stortini
The player you love to hate has crossed the neutral zone as he has joined the other side now for Binghamton. Stortini inked a new two year, two way contract as this means the end of Darren Kramer's tenure as the role of an enforcer. I'm a fan in protecting prospects, and bad boy Stortini should fill this role without a problem.
- Travis Ewanyk
The 22 year old centerman has two seasons under his belt playing in the pros for the Oklahoma City Barons after drafted by parent club Edmonton in round three (74th overall) of the 2011 draft. He appears to be not the most gifted forward on the score sheet producing only 10 goals over the last two seasons for the Barons, but will bring some energy while serving as an enforcer on the checking line.
This also means the end of Carter Camper as the Hershey Bears do what they do best in picking up old talent from Binghamton (Jim O'Brien, Dustin Gazley, Tim Spencer and Ryan Potulny as examples). Camper had a slow beginning last season but finished strong, becoming the top line centerman, so this will sting just a bit.
Another loss that strikes closer to home for many fans in Bingo is Derek Grant as he has moved on to the Calgary Flames before leaving this departing tweet:
Would also like to thank the @Senators organization, fans, and especially my teammates for the past 4 years!— Derek Grant (@DGrant57) July 1, 2015
Good for Derek and I personally wish the best of luck for him. Gonna miss you bud.
So in summary, this is still in the beginning stages in shaping up the line-up, as a few key players have yet to accept their offers with Cole Schneider being one of them along with Shane Prince. I expect them both to re-sign, just not sure if Prince will return to Binghamton as he's earned a shot with Ottawa. Schneider on the other hand will play a big part on the offense, returning for his fourth season for Binghamton.