Senators exercising caution with injured Cowen

Senators exercising caution with injured Cowen
(Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Ottawa and Binghamton Senators are taking no chances in rushing defenceman Jared Cowen back from what they are calling a lower body injury.

Cowen has missed Binghamton’s past seven games and he isn’t skating at this point.

Cowen, who scored five goals and 12 assists in a solid rookie season with Ottawa last season, was expected to dominate with Binghamton after being assigned to the AHL due to the NHL lockout.

Yet after registering three assists in the club’s opening three games, he suffered what was originally believed to be a minor leg injury. Now, there’s no timetable for his return.

“At this point, we’re being careful,” Binghamton coach Luke Richardson said Thursday. “He’s out indefinitely, but we thought it was nothing, really, at the beginning. It was great to work with him last year (in Ottawa) and I’m sure he’s disappointed and frustrated.”

Binghamton general manager Tim Murray says the Senators number one priority is to make sure Cowen is fully recovered before putting him back on the ice. While Murray wouldn’t specify the exact nature of the injury, he says there is some concern that bringing Cowen back too soon could lead to additional injuries.

“He’s a big part of our organization,” said Murray. “Whether he’s 70 per cent or 60 per cent or 80 per cent, we’re not going to rush him. We feel we have enough players down there that can play and he has already proven that he’s an NHL player. We’re not going to jeopardize him long-term by playing him right now.”

Cowen, 21, is expected to be part of Ottawa’s top four on defence, but given his current injury status, there’s some question about whether he would be ready for the start of training camp if the NHL and NHLPA were able to reach agreement on a new CBA in the next few days.

THUNDER BAY, HERE WE COME: After playing in front of 4,800 fans in Cornwall on Monday, the next stop in the First Assist Charity Tour will take place in Thunder Bay on Nov. 12. Senators players Chris Phillips, Chris Neil, Marc Methot, Zack Smith and Peter Regin will be joined by a group including former Senator Nick Foligno, Grant Clintsome, Jim Slater, Mark Stewart and Derek Mackenzie. There are also plans for a tour of the Northwest Territories, beginning Nov. 19.

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