One of the international heroes of the Olympic hockey tournament is finally making his way to North America to play pro hockey. Switzerland sniper Roman Wick inked a deal with the Ottawa Senators today and will compete for a spot with the team. Sens GM Bryan Murray had glowing regard for Wick’s game which shined on the biggest stage in the Olympics.
“We hope that we’ll give (Wick) an awfully good look through training camp this season,” said Murray. “He looks like a candidate to play in the NHL at some point. Whether he’ll have to start in Binghamton, that will be the question. He’ll answer that with his performance in camp.
“But he’s a guy with talent and skill … (he) was an outstanding player for Switzerland in the Olympic Games in big, big games. Based on that alone, you have to take a real serious look at him.”
If you think the Senators are jumping on Wick after only being impressed with his play in the Olympics you’re probably only half-right. Or maybe three-quarters right. Either way, it’s not totally accurate.
Wick was drafted back in 2004 by the Sens in the fifth round. He stayed in Europe and never made his way to North America and, as often happens with some lower-round European draft picks, it’s not worth the trouble to give up the professional life at home and end up potentially riding buses in the AHL in North America. Murray is banking on the “moxie” factor to hope that Wick can do the same thing with the Senators, be it in Ottawa or Binghamton in the AHL. Then again, it’s worth a one-year two-way contract to see if you can find a potentially special player. If he plays how he did for Switzerland in the Olympics for an entire season, he could do just that.