As everyone in the NHL knows and is currently losing sleep over I’m sure, Ottawa Senators sixth overall pick Mika Zibanejad will play his ninth NHL game tonight. Which means that if he plays any more games the first year of his entry-level contract kicks in, regardless of how many more games he plays. Bryan Murray, looking at his deep, deep stable of 2nd line centers (uhh…) must now decide what is best for the 18 year old. Send him back to the Swedish Elite League (“It’s a league of MEN.”) or commit him to a season’s worth of “development”, AKA punishment in the NHL.
What do you think is best for Zibanejad? SEL or NHL? I know youre very strongly against not kicking in ELCs til the last minute.
I feel like I couldn’t be any more on the fence about it. Maybe with a slight edge toward returning him. I really wish he could just be sent down to Binghamton. He’s the new Jared Cowen!
I think he should go to the SEL this year. For me the AHL route is a perfect middle road, if only it were possible. He can be called up easily, still gets used to the smaller ice surface and North American style game, etc. That’s the debate with Rundblad. But my understanding is that both have options in their contracts to return to Sweden if they want, and I can understand why they would. You have a choice of returning to your home country, living with your family, and being a star in a league where you know exactly what to expect. Or you can ride the bus all over the US.
But if it’s between staying and going, I think he should go for all the common reasons. Mostly though it’s just because 18 is yoooooooooung. I see what Atlanta did with their prospects in consistently playing them early, and it’s never fast-tracked a player’s development.
You know what, I swayed more to the send him back side. I sometimes think back to how his SEL number of games-played is somewhere in the 20s, and I think their season is a little over 50 games. It says a lot about his pedigree: just broke in from the Swedish Juniors and caught a bunch of scouts’ attention. I think it would be extra exciting to see him go back and enjoy a Rundbladian domination of the league. Though that’s asking a lot, it did make Rundblad seem all the more of a sure NHLer and SEL graduate when he came over this year. Same goes for Jared Cowen going back the WHL and absolutely hurting that league’s feelings.
Even though winning two games has been a gas to watch (except for like 53 minutes of that CLB game) it’s still a rebuild year and I think Ziba is more of a sure-thing prospect, like Rundblad, where there’s little question he’ll make the NHL one day. With so many prospects in the mix, I’d actually prefer to see DaCosta get a bit more of a look. He seems more the wild card. Maybe even a couple of games for Corey “AHL Hall of Fame” Locke. That and I guess it makes more room Nikita Filatov which, for me: give the kid the full try out. Rebuild year, last year on his ELC, might as well see what he can do, warts and all. Better than having Zbad crammed in there potentially playing wing (like what’s now happening).
Interesting to see The Dogman getting called up ahead of Filatov. I like me some dogman though.
Yeah, Filatov must be secretly seething. D-Man gets his callup as he wanted to sign in Latvia or some shit and re-signed in Ottawa (apparently) after a promise he’d get a shot in the NHL, so this is probably it. Eventually Filatov though – he’s gonna get his Bobby Butler treatment. “You’re what we’ve got! Top six minutes for the last 30 games of the season!” (*hides under blankets.*)
I mean, don’t get me wrong about Zibanejad: I’d like to him to stay for entertainment value. I’d like to see him develop. I really wanna see him get that first goal, and he was awesome in pre-season. (What a tease preseason is, huh.) Also we need him for depth purposes, as I’ve already said a billion times that I expect like 40% of our lineup to be hurt by mid-season. But you know, if we need to call up someone I’m totally cool with like, Mark Parrish, he of 10 seasons in the NHL and currently with Bingamton, coming up for a few games.
I know. I look at Parrish as a very, very smart signing by the Murrays. The David Hale of forwards.
Yeah, I’m not losing sleep over the whole Filatov thing. Still so much season to go and you have to think he’s going to get a pretty extensive shot again with his contract expiring.
Exeunt (weigh in in the comments section)