I have had info on Brian Lee for almost a month now but a few sources wouldn't let me go on record on about what happened when Lee was sent down before the Sens West Coast road trip to California and Arizona.
Brian Lee had it out with Binghamton Sens HC Don Nachbaur after he was sent down to the AHL by Ottawa. I was told that unless they absolutely had to play Lee that it would be the only way he saw action in Bingo again. Well low and behold, Lee is back playing in Bingo but to be showcased as the Sens prepare to deal him. The Carolina Hurricanes are currently scouting Lee and word is Sens GM Bryan Murray wants Ray Whitney in return. Whitney is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and currently makes 3.55 million. This is the type of move that would happen prior to the Olypmpic break. Lee scored the OT winner on New Year's Eve and from what I was told and to quote the source in the organization, “although he scored the OT winner, he was absolutely the worst defensemen on the ice that night.” I have had other scouts tell me that if you didn't know Lee was a first round pick, you would think he belongs on the ECHL.
After hearing these type of things about Lee, it makes you wonder why any team would want him or give up a player like Whitney for him unless more was involved. Lee burned a bridge here with the Sens coaching staff which was why he was originally sent down. So it really has to make you wonder what Lee is thinking by ticking off two coaching staffs.
In other Bingo Sens news, Cody Bass was just suspended 6 games for jumping off the bench this past weekend to come to a teammates aid, which speaks volumes about the toughness on this team. With Jeremy Yablonski suspended for 10 games for abuse of an official last month in Syracuse, there are very few players on this roster that will drop the gloves.
From all accounts HC Nachbaur has been terrific in taking over this team but he is extremely frustrated in Bingo due to the lack of physical play by the Baby Sens. Dennis Hamel brings a ton of leadership and physical play but the rest of the team without Yablonski and Bass teams are taking liberties on various players.
Mike Brodeur is out with a lower body injury and was pulled in his first game back in Bingo after being up with the big club for a month.
Derek Smith has been the best defensemen in Bingo all year and many believe he should be given a chance before Erik Karlsson at this point as he brings an edge to his game, something that Karlsson, Picard and Campoli are lacking in a big way.
Josh Hennessy has been very productive in Bingo and from two sources in the organization they said when he is called up to Ottawa that the coaching staff can't be putting him in a 4th line checking center role but on the 2nd or 3rd line if he is going to be successful at the NHL level. But on all accounts the two sources really believe that Hennessy is ready for the NHL and can contribute.
Zach Smith is being played in a third line checking role in Bingo as per the instructions from the Murray's in Ottawa. Many are puzzled by this as he has struggled mightily all year and last year he was so successful in the 2nd line role while scoring twenty goals. Many people close to the organization believe the Murray's are screwing up the farm team in a big way. Bingo has a lack of depth with too many marginal AHL players, either because of where they were drafted or their contracts. I am told some of the marginal AHL players should be played in the ECHL before they are ready but that hasn't happened. Then again, this is the same Bryan and Tim Murray who haven't once showed their faces in Binghamton and that goes all the way back to last year. How your GM and Asst. GM can be so absent from the AHL team is ridiculous and someone needs to be held accountable! Where are you Eugene Melnyk?
I will have more from Binghamton by the weekend.
As always feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Author
Written by Kevin Lee
Kevin has had an extensive career as a sports writer and radio show host for almost 10 years. Kevin has covered the NFL, NHL, MLB, NCAA College Football and Basketball. From covering the BCS Championship Game to the Final Four and the Stanley Cup Finals, he has done it all. He has been featured on numerous sports radio stations in Canada and the United States and often a weekly guest on numerous XM and Sirius Satellite radio shows. He has also had his work featured on FoxSports.com.