Hockey talk in the middle of summer. Gotta love it.
Now that Andrew Hammond has played himself into a new contract, he'll be backing up Craig Anderson in Ottawa that eventually forced Robin Lehner out after five years of investment by the organization in his development, as the shift in net carries down the pike in Binghamton as well as in Evansville, Indiana. It's a real shame, but I will hold that thought for now with a Hammond/Lehner debate waiting in the wings at some point over the summer.
Last season in Binghamton featured four goalies with Hammond, Peter Mannino, Chris Driedger and Scott Greenham all taking turns in net. With the season wrapping up, Hammond was called up and made the best of it during Ottawa's stretch run leaving Driedger and Greenham in Binghamton, with Mannino making the occasional start before calling it quits in the end.
It still didn't leave much depth moving forward for Binghamton until the Matt O'Connor sweepstakes took place which certainly altered the course moving forward, but in a positive way. That now becomes a potential powerful presence with two quality goaltenders and an adequate back-up.
The following list of netminders are under contract and will make their mark for the B-Sens next season.
- Binghamton Senators / Evansville IceMen
Chris Driedger 8 games, 6-0-0 2.55 GAA, 0.923 SV% / 40 games, 8-27-4 3.78 GAA, 0.885 SV% 2 SO
29 games, 15-11-2 2.77 GAA, 0.916 SV% 2 SO / 8 games, 1-4-2 3.50 GAA, 0.903 SV%
Driedger was a tremendous late addition for the B-Sens and posted solid numbers despite the Sens giving up more shot attempts and scoring in the entire AHL, as a result of a porous defense. He gave up slightly more than two goals in his eight appearances for Binghamton. Last season he must've really po'd the front office as they sent him to Evansville right out of the chute as there was mumblings of him showing up for camp out of shape.
Possesses a quick glove and same on his feet, this will be a very interesting project for Ottawa Senators' goaltending coach Rick Wamsley to tackle, but I have faith as Wamsley is one of the best in the business this side of the Atlantic Ocean.
Greenham also was clutch when called upon for the the B-Sens, often proving he belongs at the AHL level. His best stretch came during a four game winning streak before Mannino was signed and he was the odd man out and sent to Evansville, much to the dismay of the Binghamton Senators' fan-base.
Why Greenham wanted back is perhaps knowing the comfort zone as a quirky plus as some goaltenders are otherwise known for. Either way, he's an extremely important piece of the puzzle and a reliable fill-in if needed.
- In the fold
Matt O'Connor 35 games, 25-4-4 2.18 GAA, 0.927 SV% 1 SO
A Boston University standout season for the 23-year-old as he comes in rather big at 6' 6" 204lb for the free agent signing. The Toronto native saved his best for last as the Senators ended up landing the coveted O'Connor through personal guidance by Wamsley, according to some reports as he has a reputation to one of the best in the business, like I mentioned above.
O'Connor is known to flash a quick glove and cover rebounds at ease, at least through the college level reports I've seen, as his biggest test is yet to come for the pros. I looked forward to it, anticipating his progress that I'll address while playing for the Binghamton Senators. He's the game changer people and has the tools I'm hoping to back it up.
- Prospects in the system
Marcus Hogberg 27 games, 12-12-0 2.30 GAA, 0.917 SV% 3 SO
Joey Daccord Senior season at high school at Cushing Academy in Ashburnham, MA.
Hogberg played the majority of last season for Linkopings HC of the SweHL. Still not sure as far as his future here is in the organization but I'm sure some reader's will.
Daccord, the 18-year-old out of Boston plans to attend Phoenix State University in the fall and was this years draft signing by Ottawa picked in the seventh round (#199). Both are Ottawa's property but too early to tell what their role's would play.
That's all I have for this week, as the next installment of the Bingo Bites I'll take a peak at center's and their roles.