Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Murray Changes Mind - Demotes Rookie
The confusion surrounding Erik Karlsson's position on the team and what exactly a demotion would mean contract wise have all been clarified today.
Karlsson was sent to Binghamton and not Sweden, as GM Bryan Murray thought he might have to do in order not to burn a contract year on Karlsson's entry level status in the league. After clarification from the league, Murray, and the rest of us confused dopes learned that sending Karlsson to the AHL, the much preferred option, will not burn the first year because he's exempt due to being a European draft pick.
Or something like that....
But if he plays one more game in a Senators uniform, he'll be one year closer to RFA status.
Regardless of all that contract mumbo jumbo, the slick Swede has to take his lumps riding the buses like a lot of prospects have to do, partly due to the amount of 1-way contracts on the NHL team.
Like I reiterated in my last column, I don't agree with the decision in a hockey sense but I understand the financial logistics behind the move. To me, it's a reasonable compromise between the NHL (the preferred option) and going back to the big rinks of Sweden which would mean Karlsson would only be delayed in learning the intricacies of the North American game.
Ultimately, as Murray mentioned in his press conference, it was up to Cory Clouston on whether or not he was going to use him enough going forward. Once Murray got the shake of the head, he knew what he had to do.
Clouston has done a great job so far and he deserves to outfit his club as he sees fit. My hunch is that with the condensed schedule, we haven't seen the last of Karlsson this season and that any hangups over a measly year on an entry level contract won't dissuade Bryan Murray from trying to ice the best lineup he possibly can.
I still hold out that Karlsson will be an impact player this year. He just has more tools than guys like Brian Lee, Chris Campoli and Alex Picard. All that stands in his way is a little patience from management and some hard work from Karlsson to get back to the big time.
On a related note, what happens when Jesse Winchester's conditioning stint is over in Bingo next week? I think Winchester has already proved his worth at the NHL level and an injury shouldn't stand in his way.
But who do you take out?
Obviously, Murray has to make a trade here, barring any injuries in the next 3 or 4 games.
Suggestions on who goes?
One thing we know, it's not going to be Peter Regin. Word is the Senators told him to buy a house.
Usually, that's the kiss of death in the NHL but Regin likely has a long career in the red and black ahead of him. Either this season or next, as I've said before on Black Aces, he's going to be the next David Krejci.