Jared Cowen has missed the last seven Binghamton Senators games with a lower body injury and, if the parent organization has its way, it could be another seven before he returns to action.
“He’s a big part of our organization,” said Binghamton GM Tim Murray, nephew of Ottawa GM Bryan Murray. “Whether he’s 70 per cent or 60 per cent or 80 per cent, we’re not going to rush him. We feel we have enough players down there that can play, and he has already proven that he’s an NHL player.
“We’re not going to jeopardize him long-term by playing him right now.”
Cowen, 21, was expected to dominate in the AHL after last year’s solid rookie campaign with the Sens. He played in all 82 games, scoring 5G-12A-17PTS. while playing close to 18 minutes a night.
The hulking rearguard (at 6-foot-5, Cowen tips the scales at 230 pounds) led all Ottawa defensemen in hits during the regular season and upped the ante in a seven-game playoff loss to the Rangers, leading the entire Ottawa team with 28 hits.
As such, the Senators are preaching patience with his injury rehab. Cowen looks to be one of the cornerstones of an exciting young defense that also features Norris winner Erik Karlsson (22) and Marc Methot (27).
Concern does seem to be creeping in, though. The leg injury was originally diagnosed as minor but now, Cowen has no timetable for return.
“He’s out indefinitely, but we thought it was nothing, really, at the beginning,” Binghamton head coach Luke Richardson told the Ottawa Citizen. “It was great to work with him last year [in Ottawa], and I’m sure he’s disappointed and frustrated.”