A good news-bad news situation for Curtis Lazar - yesterday he was medically cleared for contact after his bout with mono, but today the Senators have sent him to the AHL. While it’s impossible to tell exactly what the balance between them is, there are a number of reasons likely in play for this move.
First is the mono. It caused him to almost miss camp entirely, and he wasn’t able to participate fully in the parts he was there for. Even though he’s been cleared for contact, he may still need conditioning to get past the fatigue that comes with mono.
Second has been the talk that perhaps Lazar’s game would benefit with some time in the AHL to develop his game. He’s going to be given a bigger role in Bingo than he would in Ottawa, and that could help him find what’s been missing from his NHL game.
The third is pure roster management. Lazar is waiver-exempt until he plays 11 more NHL games. This was practically a now-or-never move for the Sens when it comes to sending him down safely, and lets them take a longer look at some of the players that require waivers to be sent down such as Tom Pyatt and Phil Varone. This wasn’t strictly necessary as Fredrik Claesson was put on waivers yesterday and could be reassigned after he clears to bring the roster down to 23, but this does add flexibility to either keep him on the roster for now or make their own claim off the waiver wire.
While Lazar may not have a long stay down in Bingo, the schedule isn’t very good for giving him the opportunity prove it - the BSens only have one game in the next week and a half.