The Ottawa Senators will have a new look at forward on Wednesday night as
Mark Stone will draw into the lineup for the first time this postseason — and just the fifth time all year.
Stone, 21, spent the majority of this season with Ottawa’s AHL affiliate in Binghamton (scoring 38 points in 54 games), appearing in just four regular-season contests with the Senators.
Sens head coach Paul MacLean could be playing a hunch here with Stone’s insertion into the lineup — a hunch he’s played before.
Last postseason, MacLean gave Stone his NHL debut in a Game 5 victory over the New York Rangers, and the rookie responded by assisting on Jason Spezza’s game-winning tally in the first period.
It’s unclear who Stone will replace in the lineup tonight, though speculation suggests it might be Cory Conacher.
Conacher stayed out for extra work following the morning skate, usually an indicator of a player that’s about to be made a healthy scratch.
Update: It’s official — Conacher is out.
This isn’t breaking news or anything. We just thought you’d like to know that three of the NHL’s 10 oldest players (who’ve played at least one game this season) are members of the Florida Panthers.
Oh, and the Panthers’ starting goalie? He’s the oldest starter in the league. (Scroll down.)
Here’s the list of skaters, topped by 43-year-old
Yet another veteran Panther, 36-year-old defenseman
Brian Campbell, ranks 17th on the list.
Granted, the above list does not include 39-year-old
Patrik Elias (who’s hurt) or 39-year-old Eric Boulton (who just re-signed with the Isles). As soon as those two play, Thornton will get pushed out of the top 10.
Now here’s the list of goalies who’ve started at least one game this season, topped by 36-year-old
For the record, Luongo isn’t the oldest goalie under contract. That would be Minnesota’s
Niklas Backstrom, who’s 37.
Related: Can Florida’s old guys hang on while the young guys get better?
Matt O'Connor‘s time in the Canadian capital was brief, but still noteworthy.
O’Connor, the losing netminder in Sunday’s “
Battle of the Backups” against Montreal — Habs No. 2 Mike Condon got the win — has been sent down to AHL Binghamton to pave the way for Andrew Hammond‘s return from a groin injury, per the Sun.
The Hamburglar has been out since the preseason, but his return is earlier than expected.
He was originally supposed to miss the first two weeks, yet now sounds as though
he’ll play one of Ottawa’s two games on an upcoming road trip through Columbus and Pittsburgh.
It’s going to be interesting to see if Hammond can replicate the success he had last season, when he came out of nowhere to go 20-1-2 with a 1.79 GAA and .941 save percentage, and finish seventh in Vezina voting.