The Ottawa Senators’ tagline for this season is “The Kids Are Alright”. Evidently, that hasn’t been the case through the first couple games of the year.
Following a 4-1 loss to the New York Rangers on Saturday night, the team announced, this morning, that they have reassigned forwards Drake Batherson and Filip Chlapik to the Belleville Senators.
Roster update: The #Sens have assigned forwards Drake Batherson and Filip Chlapik to Belleville (AHL).— Sens Communications (@Media_Sens) October 6, 2019
Mise à jour alignement : Les #Sens ont retourné les attaquants Drake Batherson et Filip Chlapik à Belleville (LAH).
This is obviously disappointing for both, but likely for Batherson especially. The 21 year-old lit the AHL on fire last season, and seemed primed to become an Ottawa mainstay to start the year. But after a somewhat disappointing preseason, and a lacklustre first two games, he’ll have to find his way in Belleville once again.
Filip Chlapik had a solid camp, and made the team likely in part due to the injury to Rudolfs Balcers. He notched an assist in the season opener against Toronto, but was a healthy scratch against the Rangers.
Fans will likely be frustrated with the apparent lack of trust in the young players, but for my two cents, it’s hard to argue with this decision. Batherson needs to find his confidence again, and it’s better to have Chlapik play Top-Six minutes in Belleville, than be a rotational player in Ottawa.
With the Senators now down to 11 forwards, and a Balcers return seemingly awhile away, the team will have to make at least one call-up. They’re back in action Thursday(!), when they host the defending Stanley Cup Champions, the St. Louis Blues.
Belleville hosts the Binghamton Devils on Friday.