Battle's on at Sens camp

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:59 PM ET

When all is said and done, there will be only “one or two jobs available” at Senators camp, says coach Cory Clouston.

Fifty players reported for medicals on Day 1 of training camp at Scotiabank Place on Friday and the first group will hit the ice at 10 a.m. Saturday under the watchful eye of Clouston.

“Just because a (veteran) guy has a bad camp, it doesn’t mean he’s going to have a bad season,” said Clouston. “Guys can have two or three bad games and can take off with a real good start to the season. Each guy is in a different situation.

“Some guys are really, really pushing for spots and trying to show what they’re capable of doing. Some guys know they’re going to start the season off in Binghamton and some guys know that camp is basically to get their timing down.”

Senators assistant GM Tim Murray said there is a spot open among the top nine forwards, which is expected to be a battle between prospects Bobby Butler and Roman Wick.

Don’t be surprised if the Butler-Wick winner winds up on a line with Peter Regin and Nick Foligno.

Murray said it’s up to the players to change people’s minds if they are going to make the team.

“We’re looking for one more skill player on our top (three) lines,” said Murray. “If it’s a winger, it’s Wick, it’s Butler. I’m not sure if it’s (Mike) Hoffman right yet, but he’s going to be a top-six forward down the road. It may not be today.

“All these guys want to do is compete for a job and they can see that there’s not that many jobs here. One good performance creates a job.”

With 15 blueliners in camp, there should also be good competition on defence.

The Senators think rookies Jared Cowen and Patrick Wiercioch will push for spots.

Lee on hot seat

The club also has to figure out what to do with Brian Lee. He is coming off a bad season, but has a one-way contract and will be given a chance to compete for a job. If he’s not able to nail down a spot, he’ll either be kept as a seventh defenceman or dealt.

“I don’t think we’re any different than most teams,” said Clouston. “We’re realistically looking at one or two spots and we feel that we’ve got that.

“If you’re talking about a forward position, we feel we have two or three guys that are really pushing for that spot.”

bruce.garrioch@sunmedia.ca


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