Silver Nuggets: Where Should Curtis Lazar Play Next Season?

A look at whether Lazar should start in the NHL or AHL, plus your semi-weekly link dump.

Jeff Ulmer had an article over the weekend about Nick Paul that contained an interesting side note: Curtis Lazar could suit up in Binghamton next year. I have to admit, before reading that article, I hadn't thought about the possibility of him playing in the AHL.

Last year, as we all know, it was either the NHL or the WHL for Lazar. The Senators elected to keep him up with the big club, releasing him briefly to captain Team Canada to gold at the World Junior Championships.

From an offensive perspective, his season was a disappointment. He didn't score his first NHL goal until December, and finished with only 15 points (6 G, 9 A). More was expected of the young player. However, toward the end of the season, he found a home with Erik Condra and Jean-Gabriel Pageau on the third line. That line crushed opponents possession-wise, and was relied upon for seemingly every key defensive-zone draw. Most importantly, from March 21 to 28, he scored three goals in four games. Each of those goals was a good hard wrist-shot, rather than the garbage ones he'd been scoring earlier. Defensively responsible with the occasional offensive outburst is hardly bad for a player who turned 20 mid-season.

Still, a lot could be gained from him spending a year as the top-line centre in the AHL. The competition would still be strong, and he'd get to play lots of key minutes under a good coach. With Kyle Turris, Mika Zibanejad, Zack Smith, David Legwand, and the aforementioned Pageau as NHL centres, Lazar would likely have to play as a winger if he stayed in the NHL. That would be OK, but it would be nice to develop his game as a centre. He'd get a lot more opportunity to do that in the AHL.

Of course, most would see an AHL season as a demotion after a year with the big club. Still, I think Lazar would be mature enough to understand it and handle it. Where do you think he should play? Let us know in the comments!

Sens Links:

  • Jeff's article about Paul and Lazar [Silver Seven]
  • More in the Your Say series, with Legwand, MacArthur, and Smith up for vote [Legwand, MacArthur, Smith]
  • Callum has his second article in two business days, arguing that Ottawa's defense isn't as bad as some think [Silver Seven]
  • Nichols at 6th Sens has some thoughts on Dorion's comments that Ary looked at in the last Nuggets [6th Sens]
  • Nichols also looks at Kevin Tansey, a college UFA who is choosing between the Sens and Ducks [6th Sens]
  • One more from Nichols: thoughts on Pierre LeBrun's comments concerning a potential Robin Lehner trade [6th Sens]
  • Peter Levi at Eye On The Sens says trading Lehner is a bad idea [EOTS]
  • Johnny Eaton of SenShot looks at teams who may be interested in one of the Sens' goalies [SenShot]
  • Two more from SenShot: first, by Trevor Shackles, looking at offseason Sens storylines to watch [SenShot]
  • Second, by Jack Leiper, since Ottawa has two second-round picks, looking at if it makes sense to try to turn them into one first-round pick like in 2011 [SenShot]
  • Peter Levi at EOTS also looks at Red Line Report's draft guide [EOTS]
  • Lastly, a FanShot from a week ago that shows an awesome NHL 15 glitch involving Craig Anderson [Silver Seven]

Other Links

  • Sean McIndoe (Down Goes Brown) looks at the precedent for Ben Bishop's injury issues [Grantland]
  • Bob McKenzie's final NHL draft rankings: he has winger Evgeni Svechnikov in the Sens' 18th-overall spot [TSN]
  • If you haven't watched any of the Women's World Cup, you're missing out on some great sporting action. Granted, some have been blowouts, but yesterday's Sweden-Nigeria game was amazing. Two quick goals early in the second half by Nigeria tied it at 2-2, only for Sweden to score six minutes later. However, Nigeria kept pressing and tied it up with only minutes left in the game. Here's hoping for more games like that! [TSN WWC Full Coverage]

Where should Lazar play next season?

NHL as a centre32
NHL as a winger80
Chris Phillips' basement19

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