After what was likely a thorough consideration of the rental forwards market, Bryan Murray took a pass. Many pundits openly wondered how much values were inflated by the relative dearth of available talent. Indeed, the TSN panel that frequented my TV screen over the course of the day expressed outright shock when the services of Paul Gaustad for a two-month stint practically garnered a first round selection. To be sure, had Bryan Murray given in to what was sought for the likes of a P.A. Parenteau or a Steve Ott, then I would have less players to discuss in this space. As it happens, the opposite is true.
The acquisition of Ben Bishop on the weekend added depth to a position where, at the very least, the organization would have needed to ink a warm body. Brian Stewart's callup to Binghamton from Elmira was not his first and it indicated what one more injury would have done to Ottawa's corps of tenders (Where art thou, Mike Brodeur/Chris Holt?)
Thus, this column does not lose a body of interest and a new goalie will get the chance to face an avalanche of shots in the Binghamton net. Owing to the scant interconference play in the AHL, Bishop and the BSens have not previously this year. Speaking of the BSens, the team was on a torrid run to finish January, but has since regressed to their earlier season form, dropping eight of their past nine. The run is not their first such slump of this beleaguered campaign. It has seen the BSens drop four one-goal games and, probably for the sake of variety, two games by more than three. They even fell to the Adirondack Phantoms last weekend. For much of the season, Binghamton's domination of the Phantoms has been a curious phenomena, as the middle-of-the-pack Flyers' affiliate accounted for nearly a third of the BSens points in the standings. No wonder Robin was winking.
With 0.8 points per game, Klinkhammer's season has been rolling along at an impressive clip. That number becomes almost mind-boggling when one considers that Klinkhammer's 18-game season with Rockford gifted his stat-line only six points. Therefore, through the following 33 games with the Binghamton Senators, Klinkhammer has amassed 34 points. You probably could have figured out that elementary arithmetic without me. I've written plenty about the mid-season pickup, but the AHL tagged along with a feature item this week. In it, Klinkhammer reveals a lot about a changed role within the organization and in the lineup. For a conditional seventh, the trade has proven so far to be a prudent move by Tim Murray.
I often refrain from openly gawking at this guy's numbers because otherwise, it would be all I did. We have probably seen all that there is to see from Stone in the WHL. This season has been encouraging- Stone has shown last year was no aberration (106 points in 71 games) and had a standout performance at the World Juniors. In an increased role, Stone has put up increased production, and that is all we can really ask for at this point. There's no point in heaping praise upon Stone, it would all be empty platitudes. Stone has done well-- let's wait and see if he can continue improving his trajectory.
On Another Note:
- After some discouraging news on his second career concussion, in which he complained of recurring symptoms, Matt Puempel seems to be gradually turning a corner in his recovery. This Peterborough Examiner article illuminates Puempel's return to the bike and to skates. Take your time.
- Keep an eye out in the coming days for the continuation of the Top 25 Under 25 series!