The Ottawa Senators are bringing in some early season reinforcements, recalling veteran Paul Carey from the AHL’s Belleville Senators. The gritty, versatile forward is likely to compete for a job on the Senators fourth line. Carey, 30, recorded career highs across the board in 2017-18 with the New York Rangers and was Ottawa’s most notable free agent addition this off-season.
Despite skating in 60 games with the New York Rangers last season and posting seven goals and seven assists, as well as finishing among the Rangers’ forward leaders in hits, Carey has not seen the expected bump in attention paid his way this off-season. Carey was without any one-way offers on July 1st, signing a two-way contract with Ottawa in order to join a scenario where he felt he could find significant play time. He was then a relatively early cut from training camp, placed on waivers back on September 24th. Although Carey is almost exclusively an off-the-puck style player who was exposed at times last year and certainly benefited from an inflated shooting percentage, he is nevertheless an experienced, hard-nosed forward who can line up at all three positions and contribute to both special teams units. Even after a strong campaign in New York, Carey is still on the hunt for respect this season with Ottawa.
If he can find his niche with the Senators, he does have a chance to play an important role. Ottawa’s current fourth line of Tom Pyatt between Max McCormick and Magnus Paajarvi won’t strike fear into many opponents and Carey would seem to be an upgrade over either wing. Carey also could work his way into a regular short-handed role. With McCormick presently listed as day-to-day with a lower body injury, Carey likely will get his first chance to show that he can be a permanent fixture on the checking line when the Sens square off with the Toronto Maple Leafs tomorrow night.