Coming Up Aces: Mark Stone Arrives on Sunday


After Tim Murray announced the organization’s intent to carry upwards of eight black aces for the team’s playoff stretch, Mark Stone, the Senators’ uber-prospect and Canadian World Junior star, announced via Twitter that he would be arriving in the nation’s capital Sunday.

From the sounds of it, it seems like the organization has decided that it would be better for Stone to report directly to Ottawa than possibly play in Binghamton’s final regular season game on Saturday against the Norfolk Admirals. Frankly, in light of the injury that forced him to miss the last four periods of his WHL playoff series versus the Edmonton Oil Kings, it makes sense.

There is plenty of time for Mark Stone to play for the Binghamton Senators in the near future however. Today the Ottawa Senators announced that they had renewed their affiliation with Binghamton for another three seasons pending the approval of a new lease at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena.

“We’re very excited,” said Senators Director of Player Development and Hockey Operations Randy Lee. “It’s a good development market because of the proximity, and we think it’s a great environment to be in.”

It wasn’t too long ago that Kurt Kleinendorst had his emotional post-game outburst or that over-the-top Swedish newspaper interview with Andre Petersson was published – contrasting Sweden and Binghamton while portraying the latter as a hellish place to play.

Suffice it to say, stability is an important characteristic to have for any organization and part of this stability stems from the relationship with its farm team. Despite the recent Binghamton graduates and a few of Ottawa’s most impactful prospects — Zibanejad, Stone, Silfverberg — being close to NHL ready, management has accrued its fair share of young talent through the draft, trades and collegiate free agents. Much like the acquisition of Ben Bishop was designed to push Robin Lehner and raise the level of internal competition within the organization, not all of Ottawa’s prospects will be able to play for the parent team at the same time. And with the possibility of another work stoppage looming over the 2012/13 season, Binghamton could find itself with some prominent names on its roster.

“What Have You Done For Me Lately…?”

Also as you may have heard, Sean Couturier had a hat-trick and assist last night in the Flyers win over 1980’s goaltending and the Penguins. Post-game there was much praise coming his way with Jagr likening his defensive play at such a young age to Ron Francis. Impressive stuff. It was common knowledge Couturier was among the most NHL ready prospects available last June…and he has certainly lived up to such an assessment.

Nevertheless, there are those kinds short-sighted pricks out there who carry that “what have you done for me lately?” attitude; bemoaning the selection of Zibanejad at the sixth spot and allowing Couturier to slide to eighth. It’s an utter joke. It will be a few years at least before we can grade Dorion’s team on this. Couturier may be the better pro now, but who knows who will be the better pro one, two or three years from now. As a wise man once said, relax.

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