'He has underachieved'

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:28 AM ET

ATLANTA -- The players changing places as the Senators pulled the trigger at the NHL trade deadline yesterday had mixed emotions about what was behind them and what lay ahead.

Centre Tyler Arnason, obtained by the Senators from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for winger Brandon Bochenski and a draft pick, is leaving behind some rough times in the Windy City.

"I was kind of 50-50 (about wanting to leave Chicago or not). This is the only place I've been and obviously I don't have much experience -- this is my first trade and it's tough to handle, but I think it was getting to the time to leave Chicago," Arnason told TSN.

COULD BE A 'STAR'

Blackhawks GM Dale Tallon didn't pull any punches when assessing Arnason's time in Chicago.

"He's got all kinds of ability and I think he has underachieved," Tallon said. "I felt probably a move would benefit both of us. We all, as a group, decided that this was necessary for the future of our franchise.

"Arnie's got a chance to be a star, but it's been frustrating the last couple years with him. The fact of the matter it's frustrating to watch the ability he has, the inconsistent play he has shown us when you realize he can do so much. I hope he does very well for (the Senators), but it's time for a change and that's just the way it is."

Chicago coach Trent Yawney, who coached Arnason in the minors, said he was a different player when Yawney got to Chicago. He made Arnason a healthy scratch earlier this season.

"For whatever reason he was a different player when I got here than when I had him in the minors -- just everything and I can't pinpoint what it was. I hope this move for him will help him regain some of the fire he had before. I know he doesn't necessarily show it outwardly, but compared to the last year he played I just know he's a different guy.

"It will be interesting to see him play on that team. Obviously, he's got some offensive gifts and maybe with the right people he could potentially be a real solid player for them down the stretch."

Arnason said he can be a good two-way player.

"I think I can put up points. I think I'm okay defensively, too. I think I can bring a solid game and try hard not to get scored on ... just be a plus player."

GREAT CAMP

Bochenski had a great training camp and earned a shot on the top line with Jason Spezza and Dany Heatley, but fizzled in the regular season with just one goal in the first 10 games and found himself in the minors.

He had a hat trick during another recall, but injured his shoulder and wound up back in the minors.

"Well, I think I had mixed reactions (to the trade)," he said. "I was excited because it's going to give me a chance to play, but you know at the same time, I'm a little bit disappointed because Ottawa's the team I wanted to play for."


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