As I’m sure everyone knows by now, former Ottawa 67’s offensive stand-out, Corey Locke, has signed a 2 year, 2 way deal with the Ottawa Senators.
Corey’s one of those players that, for whatever reason(s), shows tremendous production at every level, but never gets a shot to prove himself in the NHL.
Some have pointed to his lack of size (5’9″ – 189lbs), lack of two way play, or lack of two step acceleration. I suspect it is a combination of all of the above, and a lack of opportunity as a result of over-all roster depth.
But, no doubt his desire to play in the NHL remains alive, and he believes Ottawa represents his best opportunity to finally get his shot to prove himself capable of playing consistent minutes at the top level.
Well, he may be right.
Come this fall, Ottawa will be desperately seeking a scoring winger, and Corey is no doubt hoping to fill that role. In order to do this, he will have to light the lamp, consistently and often. He’ll have to make the coaching staff believe he can hold his own defensively, but provide true top line sniper skills. If he proves to be another bottom six guy, he’ll be back in Binghamton faster than you can shout Bingo.
The cold hard fact is, when it comes to bottom six forwards, the Sens are full to the rim; Regin/Foligno (both remain RFA’s), Winchester, Shannon, Ruutu, Neil, Smith, Kelly, Butler, Keller, Bass and Wick.
So Corey, here’s your chance. Score, score, score. Listen to the coach, stick within the defensive system, then score, score, score. Let Spezza get you the puck, then take a page out of DDH’s handbook, and score, score, score. In case I wasn’t clear enough, SCORE!