Friday, June 10, 2011

In Ottawa, they look at the farm and the bounty that could come

For Ottawa Senator fans, this has been a spring (and now almost summer) that hasn't resonated much, the home team never even made it to the first round of this Stanley Cup tournament, a woeful season confirming that there is much work to be done to return to the top echelon of the NHL standings.

Adding on to the concerns of their place in this years pecking order, word came out this week that Daniel Alfredsson, the teams captain and its heart and soul, is set for back surgery and while it's considered a relatively normal procedure, the concern for his health is on the minds of Sens fans.

The only consolation for a season of woe it seems was to be the annual amateur draft, where perhaps the Senators might unearth the hidden gem of a star of the future, though as history has shown, the draft in most years is but a roll of the dice at the gaming tables.

However, there is some hope it seems on the horizon after all, the players that are just bubbling under the radar of the NHL have shown that the future may not be as bleak as the last season suggested.

The Binghamton Senators, the farm club of the Kanata based head office battled back in their Calder Cup championship final to defeat the Houston Aeros 4 games to 2, laying claim to bragging rights in the AHL and serving notice to the Senators management that there may be some talent ready for their next step in their hockey careers.

Of particular interest to fans at the home office will be the success of the Baby Sens rookie goaltender Robin Lehner, who had a remarkable Calder Cup run. As Sens fans through the decades since the return to the NHL can attest to, goal tending has always been an Achilles heel for the team, perhaps that destiny may soon be about to change.

The AHL championship is as gruelling a tournament as the Stanley Cup is, in fact for many a player a spot on a Calder Cup champion could be the heads up required to gain some interest from the 30 NHL teams looking for the character of a champion.

The reviews of the Baby Sens success has provided for something for Senators fans to study, a collection of signs that perhaps augur for a future that they hope is brighter than the season just past.

Ottawa Citizen-- Despite impressive play Lehner expected to play most of next year in Binghamton
Ottawa Citizen-- Binghamton's AHL success delays Sens' coaching search 
Ottawa Citizen-- Binghamton's Senators win AHL championship
Ottawa Sun-- Baby Sens' success credit to Murrays
Ottawa Sun-- Bingo! Baby Sens win Calder Cup 
Ottawa Sun-- Greening, Baby Sens look to rekindle offence

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