Recall shocks Hamel

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:13 AM ET

RALEIGH, N.C. -- It's the call Denis Hamel didn't think he would get.

The veteran winger was called up from the Binghamton Senators of the AHL yesterday to replace injured forward Bryan Smolinski on the roster for tonight's game against the Hurricanes.

"I didn't think I would get a call at all this year. I was getting prepared to spend the whole year in the AHL," said the 28-year-old native of Lachute, Que.

Hamel was cut after training camp and it appeared both Brandon Bochenski, who started the season in Ottawa, and Patrick Eaves, who has been called up three times this season, were ahead of him on the depth chart.

"It's a combination of a lot of things," said Senators coach Bryan Murray when asked why Hamel got the call.

"He's a good veteran player. We know he's a reliable player and a good person and deserving of it. He's a guy who can kill penalties and if we want to give him more ice time, we can put him on the power play."

Smolinski will miss tonight's game with a bruised chest he suffered in the first period of Saturday night's game against the Devils. He had his head down when he was hit by New Jersey defenceman Dan McGillis.

"It's nothing major, just a contusion," said Smolinski, who expects to be back in the lineup Friday afternoon when the Senators are in New York to face the Islanders (it's American Thanksgiving).

Hamel will play on the fourth line tonight with Chris Kelly and Brian McGrattan.

Mike Fisher, shifted from wing back to centre, will continue to take Smolinski's spot while Vaclav Varada, elevated from the fourth line, will skate again in Fisher's spot on left wing with Chris Neil on the right side.


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