Andre Benoit has travelled a long road to the NHL.
His hockey career has included stops in Kitchener, Hamilton, Sweden and Finland, but the 27-year-old will experience a highlight Friday night as he makes his NHL debut at Scotiabank Place.
With the Senators hurting because of injuries to Chris Campoli and Sergei Gonchar, Benoit will be in uniform as Ottawa tries to end a nine-game losing skid at home against one of the NHL’s top teams, the Boston Bruins.
Benoit got the call late Wednesday and was on the ice for practice Thursday.
“I’ve been waiting a long time for this. I’ve got to take advantage of this. I’m excited,” said Benoit, a native of nearby St. Albert, Ont. “I’ve gots lots of aunts, uncles and cousins in the area. It’s fun to play in front of them.”
Benoit will be paired with veteran Matt Carkner, who is expected to return after missing six games with a lower body injury.
“I know the feeling. It’s great for him to be up here and get an opportunity,” said Carkner. “The biggest thing is to get an opportunity.”
There was some news on goalie Pascal Leclaire. His hip/groin injury has shown progress and he could resume skating with the team next week. The Senators are confident he will play again this year.