In a surprise move today, the Ottawa Senators assigned winger Nikita Filatov to Binghamton of the AHL. Filatov had started the season with one assist in two games before being a healthy scratch and now being demoted to the AHL.
The move offers a bit of relief for the logjam at forward, reducing the team's roster to 22 healthy bodies (although there are still two healthy scratches at forward for tonight's game against the Colorado Avalanche). Still, it's a surprise given Filatov's impressive pre-season and the appearance of a strong work ethic in games. It remains to be seen whether or not he will report to Binghamton, but I assume he would.
In trying to rationalize the decision, my only thinking is that it's a short-term move intended to get Filatov playing games, and to save a little bit of money in the process (Filatov's NHL salary is more than ten times his AHL salary). It could also be an attempt to show Filatov he's still got work to do, and to give the winless Binghamton Senators a bit more firepower up front.
Personally, I have my doubts about the length of the demotion. I would suspect that, unless something changes dramatically in his play, Mika Zibanejad will be returned to Sweden to develop for another year, which would open up a top-six roster spot on the NHL squad. Even if Zibanejad sticks in Ottawa, I assume Filatov would be at or near the top of the recall list in the event injuries take players out of the lineup.
What do you think of Nikita Filatov's demotion?
|Great idea - he's not ready for the NHL||12|
|Good idea - he needs to play and develop||96|
|Bad idea - he should be in Ottawa||153|
|I don't care||14|
Not everyone can afford to pay for sports coverage right now, and that is why we will keep as much of the site's content free for as long as we can.
But if you are able to, please consider subscribing to help keep our articles free (and get a few extra perks).
- Ability to comment and participate in our community
- Twice monthly newsletter available only to subscribers
- Ad-free reading
- Our undying love and appreciation
- Everything from the Erik Condra tier
- 10% discount on all merch
- Access to any future paywalled content
- A personal thank-you from the Silver Seven staff
- Everything from the Brady Tkachuk tier
- Inner peace knowing you are supporting quality, independent coverage of your favourite sports team