Silver Nuggets: Rookies Getting Chances

In the offseason, Bryan Murray said the team was trying to give their rookies a chance to compete. Against our cynicism, it's been happening.

When the Ottawa Senators traded David Legwand and Eric Gryba, and then let Erik Condra walk in the offseason, one of the reasons cited by management was to give some rookies a chance to play. Most of us were skeptical, since Ottawa would already have 12 forwards and six defencemen on one-way contracts plus Curtis Lazar and Cody Ceci. However, management went out in free agency and got 0 players who were expected to play in the NHL. They then immediately buried Colin Greening in the minors, and Chris Phillips suffered a setback that may end his career. The Sens still had a full roster, but any injury could change that.

Opening night, Ottawa's rookies, Shane Prince and Chris Wideman, were the healthy scratches. However, injuries have taken place, allowing Shane Prince to play in 11 games, Matt Puempel in nine games, Chris Wideman in seven games, and even Max McCormick in four. With Ottawa having played 18 games, that averages out to 1.7 rookies per game. Still not amazing, but I expect that number will continue to climb.

On the one hand, you could look at this and say that Murray didn't actually open spots for prospects, injuries did. However, injuries are a part of every season. It's to Murray's credit that he didn't sign a free agent to block a prospect who was ready to take a spot in the lineup. I wouldn't be surprised to see the team give someone else a shot further down the road too, as longer road trips and more injuries lead to the team carrying more players. Nick Paul, Tobias Lindberg, Ryan Dzingel, or Fredrik Claesson could all get their first taste of NHL hockey. And if given a chance to play, some of these players can show management that they deserve a shot and that the team could afford to trade someone ahead of them on the depth chart.

I realize it's not a lot, but it is more than I expected. I'm glad that Shane Prince is getting games over Eric O'Dell. Now if only they could do something about that defence...

Sens Links

  • Last night's Arycap, an OT loss to the Red Wings [Silver Seven, Rank the Performances, SensChirp]
  • And the recap from Saturday's SO loss to the Rangers [Silver Seven, Rank the Performances, SensChirp]
  • Trevor with a pair of great pieces: today's looking at what defencemen the team could trade for [Silver Seven]
  • And yesterday's, looking at the awkward Bryan Murray situation [Silver Seven]
  • Jeff's recaps of Binghamton's weekend, with a couple of disappointing losses [Silver Seven]
  • Your Ups and Downs from last week [Silver Seven]
  • Rob Poirier talks about Dave Cameron's plan: to put the Sens in position to require a historical run to make the playoffs in the spring again [Bonk's Mullet]
  • Chet's weekly Hater's Guide to the week [WTYKY]
  • Friday's edition of the Sens Callups podcast is out [Sens Callups]
  • Peter Levi's recent thoughts, including a list of Murray's worst deals during his tenure (and oh boy, there are some bad ones) [Eye on the Sens]
  • Travis Valois takes a look at Ottawa's possession numbers [SenShot]
  • Stuart McGinn asks if Andrew Hammond is good enough for their to be a goaltender controversy in Ottawa [SenShot]
  • And finally, remember that cute kid from Saturday's game who was named the third star? Someone put together the clips of him, and it's just great [YouTube]

Other Links

  • A great piece by Andrew Gordon about how he left the NHL/AHL bubble to play pro hockey in Europe [RMNB]
  • Cory Schneider has a sparkling .928 save percentage this season, that is shockingly only .006 above his career average. Just how good has he been? [AATJ]
  • A look at Mike Condon's "different kind of aggressive" [In Goal Mag]
  • Take a listen to Dani Rylan, co-founder of the NWHL, talking about where the idea came from, and how she thinks it's the best time to get women's hockey going in the US [Players' Tribune]

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