Sens Go Back To University


Bryan Murray once again dipped into the collegiate ranks to acquire undrafted talent and by all reports scooped a player out from underneath the Leafs in the process.

This has been on going for a few weeks now, with unsubstantiated reports coming out of both the Sens and Leafs camps about a bidding war for the services of young UNH forward Bobby Butler.  It seems Murray beat Burke to the punch.  Many believed the Leafs had the inside track with Butler playing along side Phil Kessel’s younger brother.  Guess not.  Many regarded Butler to be the #1 undrafted prospect available, so this is quite the get for the Sens.

Eyebrows were raised with the recent trading away of two 2nd round picks, but it would seem Murray may well have known Butler was in his pocket, making at least one of those picks expendable.  With this signing Murrays recent trades can now be considered Sutton and Cullen for a 2nd and Pickard…one hell of a good deal, IMO.

Butler, a 22 yr. old, 6′-0″, 185 lb RW, and MASS native, was recently named the Hockey East Player of the Year (Best NCAA Div. 1 player in New England), while captaining his team to the Hockey East title.  Known as a solid team leader, prolific scorer, reliable 2-way player and good academic, it is hoped Butler can inject some further depth into the organization for next season, as he will be ineligible to play in this years play offs.

Here’s what UNH coach Dick Umile, who himself was named Hockey East Coach of the Year, had to say about why Butler has had such success this season;

“I just think it’s his work ethic…It’s not by accident that he scores goals. He’s picked up his skating, he’s gotten stronger, he’s quicker out there, his shot … he’s got a pro shot, with a great release. He’s playing at a very high pace, a high level, and he can maintain it. He does the little things before practice, after practice, and it’s nice to see him being rewarded for his hard work…You want your captain to be your hardest worker, to lead by example, and no question he does that.”

Expect to see Bobby get some ice time before the close of the regular season, possibly as early as Tuesday versus the Caps.  He is expected to be at practice as soon as tomorrow.

Next on the wish list is Wiercioch.  Now that UD has been eliminated from the NCAA finals, some expect to see Patrick signed soon, and continuing his playing time in Binghamton…although mid season reports indicated Weircioch intends to return to UD next season.

With the recently penned Jared Cowen’s Spokane Cheifs now down 3-2 in their WHL play-off series with the Winterhawks, will the Sens have a full press box come April?

Time will tell.

GN

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9 Responses to “Sens Go Back To University”

  1. Sometimes…sometimes GN your logic leaves me cold…to suddenly discount a 2nd round pick and bring up poor old Picard again makes me mad…Picard was the only one they wanted…the only one Carolina would take.

    Butler is a nice College boy, too old and under sized for Toronto to bid big for…good pick up but he is no 2nd round draft choice.

  2. GelatinousMutantCoconut Says:

    I have to agree with Sir Canucknik.

    Signing a good undrafted free agent is nice, and sometimes works our very well. But it is never a replacement for any pick. Technically, you could have had the signee AND the drafted player. So while the signee might help make up for the loss, it can’t completely.

    But thankfully for Ottawa, newfound prospect depth and the pure awesomness of Cullen and Sutton make giving up the picks worthwhile.

  3. I think if they sign one of Sutton and Cullen the picks will be worthwhile. Also if they go at least one playoff round that’ll be great.
    I am not optimistic about cullen signing here . His wife is apparently from down south as is his family. They have a young family (see the interview with Gord Wilson on the sens website). So it seems that they may favor going back to Carolina. That doesn’t mean Ottawa can’t try to keep both.

    As for picks, Regin is a 3rd rounder. Elliot was a very late pick in the draft. So I think the draft and player development should be taken v. seriously.
    my two cents worth

  4. “Signing a good undrafted free agent is nice, and sometimes works our very well. But it is never a replacement for any pick.”

    I’d take Winchester over Kaigarodov any day.

    That’s kind of a rediculous statement. That’s like saying an adopted baby can’t be as awesome as a more traditional baby?

    The fact is that signing undrafted kids out of college and university is only going to become more and more prevalent. Post-secondary education is now a staple in contemporary life and even blue collar hockey families are getting in on it. Signing undrafted college kids is on the cusp of being the sexy “new” (not to mention cost and time effective) way to find hockey talent.

    • GelatinousMutantCoconut Says:

      That’s not how I meant it…I didn’t mean skill-wise or worth wise.

      I’m just saying…if you could have had the adopted baby AND the traditional baby, but decided just to adopt, does the adopted completely replace the traditional? Again, not meaning worth…

      it’s simple mathematics…you have one where you could’ve had two..

      that’s all.

      • Draft picks are great, but at 17 few draftee’s will have the track record of a 22 yr. old NCAA player. The Sens have a very good idea what they’re getting in Butler…a 2nd rnd pick? Basically like buying a lottery ticket.
        GN

  5. Derrick:

    Butler needs one credit for his degree…and is working hard for it this spring.

    Bobby is too old, too small and too smart to think he will play in the Show…he’s here because we promised him a shot right away. Make a few bucks, take your shot and get a real job…no Bingo for Buts…his old man (the Coach!) is all over this!

    In the Show, playing goals is a tough jump, playing Defence just as far but scoring in College is not scoring in the NHL…for 99 of a hundred a bridge too far!

    • With all due respect Nik, scoring is the easiest thing to transition from the NCAA to the NHL.
      As for the second round picks, they’re, at best, crap shoots. For every one that works I can point to 20 that don’t…to consider Butler longer odds than that, because he took a different development route, is baseless.
      Lastly, the have your cake and eat it too argument. Yeah, sign me up for the Sutton and Cullen for Picard trade, two second round NHL’ers and a NCAA signing…then pass me the umbrella, because a flock of pigs is about to fly over.
      GN

  6. GN:

    Let’s reserve on Butts…the scouts say he’s another checker…involved 3rd liner?? Just what we need…another undersized checker.

    Scoring in the Show…me, Eastie, Bob Gainey and Central Scouting do not…I repeat, do not agree with you! But hey, that’s the fun of it…Bobby could turn into another Pierre McGuire…million dollar legs and a 10 cent brain!

    2nd round picks to the Murrays are big oversized D-men, who if they don’t pan out can be moved 1 for 2 promising forwards.

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