Zibanejad to Binghamton

In a surprise move, the Ottawa Senators are expected to assign Mika Zibanejad to Binghamton of the American Hockey League.

Mika Zibanejad (Photo by Wayne Cuddington, The Ottawa Citizen.)

In a surprise move, the Ottawa Senators have assigned 20-year-old forward Mika Zibanejad to Binghamton of the American Hockey League.
Zibanejad, who appeared to have established himself as a National Hockey League regular with his play late in the 2013 season and with a decent playoff performance, was the odd man out when the Senators announced their opening day roster in a media release on Monday.
The contract situation of other players played a role in the Senators’ decision.
Stéphane Da Costa, who had a strong training camp, couldn’t be assigned to Binghamton without clearing waivers. The Senators were afraid that Da Costa would be picked up by another NHL team desperate for centres.
Zibanejad, however, is still on his entry-level contract and can be sent to the AHL without having to pass through waivers.
The Senators will go with a 22-player roster at the outset of the regular season, rather than the maximum allowed of 23, in what could be a related to the team’s payroll situation.
Last week, Senators owner Eugene Melnyk said the team was already over budget for the season.
The Senators open the 2013-14 schedule with a Friday at Buffalo, followed by five more contests away on the road before playing their home opener against the New Jersey Devils on Oct. 17.

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