BUFFALO — Marek Svatos has done a lot of moving around this season.
He’s pretty excited about this chance.
The 28-year-old winger, picked up on waivers by the Senators from Nashville on Thursday, was rushing to catch a flight to join the club in Buffalo late in the evening.
Svatos, just back from knee surgery last month, will suit up for his third NHL team on Friday.
Svatos wouldn’t have it any other way. He’ll probably get a chance to play on one of the Senators’ top two lines, especially after Alex Kovalev was dealt to Pittsburgh.
Expect the 5-foot-10 Svatos to skate with Nick Foligno at centre and Ryan Shannon.
“We know there’s an opportunity in Ottawa to play some significant minutes,” said Svatos’ agent, Rich Evans. “He’s looking to showcase what he can do with good minutes. He’s very excited about coming into Ottawa.”
Making $800,000 at the NHL level, Svatos was worth the gamble for the Senators.
Signed to a two-way deal with a minor-league salary of $105,000 by St. Louis after trying his hand in the KHL, Svatos was picked up on waivers by the banged-up Preds earlier this year. They just didn’t have room for him anymore.
This is a good move by the Senators. There were at least two other claims on Svatos by NHL teams.
“He wants to show the organization that he plays hard and he can score,” said Evans. “He’s very quick, smart player who has terrific hands and goes into the dirty areas to score goals. Despite his size, he goes into the dirty areas. He’s got great hands within 15 feet of the net.”
Svatos does have a championship history with Senators coach Cory Clouston.
Svatos played for Clouston when he was an assistant with the Kootenay Ice in the WHL.
“I’ve got great memories with Marek. As an assistant coach, we won a Memorial Cup (in 2002) and he was a huge part of that team,” said Clouston. “I don’t know if I’ve ever coached a guy who loved to score more. Absolutely just loved to score.
“Going back to junior, he would spot 50 pucks on the ice and put 49 of them under the crossbar. He just had a very good set of hands. He’s not a guy who is going to shy away from the front of the net. He’ll get into the paint. He’s willing to go to the net. He’s a competitor and he was fun to coach.”
Clouston said Svatos will get a good look with Ottawa.
“It’s an opportunity for a young guy to step in,” said Clouston. “He might not be a big guy, but he’s very quick. He’s got great hands.”
— Bruce Garrioch