Shane Prince was the last Senator out the door prior to the Feb. 29 trade deadline, after a week-long stretch that included Ottawa sending four players to the Leafs for Dion Phaneuf.
Things haven’t calmed down much for the underachieving Senators, whose owner, Eugene Melnyk, publicly criticized decisions from his hockey department on Tuesday and promised changes.
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“When you fall out of the playoff race, I guess there’s going to be some cracking down from the top of the organization,” Prince said before facing his former team. “It’s not really my business anymore. You do realize that it’s business -- if you’re not getting things done, you’re going to get the heat from up top.”
Melnyk assailed the “stupidity” of starting Senators goaltending prospect Matt O’Connor in the team’s home opener this season and claimed the Senators, who needed a miraculous 21-3-3 run to make the playoffs last season, should have been a top-five team in the NHL this season.
“We were grinding for the playoffs the whole time I was there, in and out of it,” Prince said. “But no matter what team you’re on, when you fall out of it, there’s going to be some heat.”
Isles add two prospects to Bridgeport
The Islanders signed goaltender Eamon McAdam, their 2014 third-round pick, to a three-year entry-level deal. McAdam just finished his junior year at Penn State and will report to Bridgeport for the remainder of this season. The Sound Tigers also added defenseman Parker Wotherspoon, a 2015 fourth-round pick, on an amateur tryout from the Western Hockey League.
Mathew Barzal, the highly regarded first-round pick from last June’s draft, was named a first-team WHL All-Star. Barzal finished the season with 27 goals and 61 assists in 58 games for Seattle.
Pulock back in
Ryan Pulock returned to the lineup Wednesday after a two-game absence, replacing Brian Strait. Marek Zidlicky, who missed his ninth straight game with an upper-body injury, skated with the team on Wednesday morning. Adam Pelech, out since January with an undisclosed injury, skated after the team skate and could be ready to practice next week. He would head to Bridgeport to work himself back into playing shape.