Bingo Bites: Crowded Blue Line, Eric O'Dell & Max McCormick Shines In Camp

This week for the Bites we sort out the blue line and take a look at two key figures for the Binghamton Senators.

During the off-season we will take a look at what the highlights are with the club, focusing on players and their future impacts. Then as the regular season unfolds, this will continue with player updates (including prospects) from my game re-caps, both home and away. I'm excited to launch Bingo Bites on a weekly basis and hope you are as well.

This week I want to dig a little deeper on the Eric O'Dell signing for the B-Sens, the sudden turn-around within the organization with the emphasis on defense, and the progression of Max McCormick and how far he's actually come in such a short span. Let's begin as we take a peek at what's been happening with all these Ottawa/Binghamton signings at defense.

- Defensive Logjam in Bingo?

These are the players that will dress in Binghamton followed by some options the Senators face at training camp;

Fredrik Claesson

Mike Sdao

Patrick Mullen
Michael Kostka

- If Chris Wideman doesn't make Ottawa out of training camp, we roll the dice and see if he clears waivers, which hopefully he will.

- Mikael Wikstrand is a long shot as he either he plays in Bingo or overseas, but there is a possibility he starts at Evansville that just can't be ruled out while making adjustments to the smaller ice surface.

- Troy Rutkowski is Ottawa's property and might stick with the B-Sens after two and a half seasons in the ECHL, but may be on the way out with his disappointing performance in 15 games for the B-Sens last season as he's running out of options.

- Guillaume Lepine and Chris Carlisile are Binghamton signings and have two-way contracts with Evansville and if Binghamton is caught in a numbers game, they may find themselves the odd men out playing for the IceMen.

- Prospect Ben Harpur is under contract with Ottawa and should be in Bingo.

- Kostka was signed to a one year, two-way contract as well during the off season and will share some ice time with the veteran Mullen.
That leaves out free agent Kevin Tansey (unsigned) and after his development camp for Ottawa he's at a standstill. If Tansey is invited to rookie camp followed by training camp and impresses, he'll likely start the season as the odd man out in Evansville.

That's ten players that are under contract giving Luke Richardson something to play with that should be a big improvement over last season. Gone are Alex Grant (Arizona Coyotes) and Aaron Johnson (unsigned) from last season's squad. Binghamton has options and are completely covered so there isn't a last minute scramble to find and fit missing pieces in once training camp begins this fall.

- Eric O'Dell

The 25 year old free agent is signed to a one year, two way deal as he's expected to take place of the recently departed Derek Grant at center who has since moved on with the Calgary Flames. The Ottawa native was drafted by the Anaheim Ducks in the second round (39th overall) in 2008 and had 14 goals and 15 assists in 37 games for St. John's and also played in 11 games for the Winnipeg Jets recording an assist.

O'Dell has played in 42 NHL games for the Jets over the course of the last two years and the last four seasons all for the St. John's IceCaps with pro highs of 29 goals and 26 assists in 59 games back in the 2012-'13 season, which were also tops on the IceCaps with both goals and points.

At 6' 0" 195lbs., O'Dell will be front and center for the Binghamton Senators come this fall as he's expected to center the top line only if Curtis Lazar doesn't get sent down for the beginning of Binghamton's season. O'Dell should fit in the middle with either Matt Puempel or Shane Prince at his expense on the wing along with Cole Schneider, but the big hole to fill will be Grant's PK work as a specialist.

- Max McCormick

I'm a big McCormick fan and like others here in the region it didn't come as a surprise when he earned the hardest worker award recently in Ottawa's Development Camp as Max always hustles, digs deep and provides that energy along with a knack of producing points.

From the beginning I was impressed with his collegiate success at Ohio State but remained reserved as I do with all new prospects. In watching his development, McCormick is leaps and bounds over all others as he's been my dark-horse pick from day one.

Last season Max played in 62 games without sitting as a healthy scratch, but he did miss five games early on as he suffered a upper body injury, only to return in his first game back adding an assist centering the fourth line between Darren Kramer and Garrett Thompson, which would be his permanent residence the rest of the season while interchanging the wingers.

He should again be centering the fourth line with David Dziurzynski and Zack Stortini on the wings as that would make one dynamic checking line.

I ran a profile feature on Max here a few months ago including some feedback from some B-Sens' fans and by their tweets it's a non-contentious discussion, McCormick is on the right path to be on his way to Ottawa soon. Look out Zack Smith, you've got company and he's coming on hard.

*Cover Pic Courtesy of Alicia Strauch

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