The Senators will welcome back another blueliner tonight as head coach D.J. Smith confirmed to TSN 1200 (Twitter link) that Erik Brannstrom will play against Calgary. The 24-year-old sustained a concussion on a hard hit from Islanders winger Cal Clutterbuck two weeks ago and was stretchered off the ice, resulting in him missing the last five games. Brannstrom was off to a slow start offensively as he had been held off the scoresheet in his first seven appearances but with the team dressing three rookies earlier in the week, getting him and Artem Zub (who returned last game) back certainly will give them a boost.
More from Ottawa:
- The team has not yet started reaching out to other teams for permission to interview potential GM candidates, reports Pierre LeBrun of TSN and The Athletic. At this point, President of Hockey Operations and interim GM Steve Staios has an idea of who they’d like to reach out to but clearly, this is not a vacancy that is going to be filled in the immediate future. Teams are sometimes hesitant about granting permission to speak to another club in-season so it’s possible that Staios could hold both titles for a little while.
- Prior to losing his GM role, Pierre Dorion had been exploring the trade market for defensive depth, reports Postmedia’s Bruce Garrioch. Ottawa’s preference this season was to keep their young blueliners in AHL Belleville where they could play heavy minutes but, again, their recent rash of injuries saw them dressing three rookies with the big club earlier this week. For the time being, Thomas Chabot’s LTIR placement has given them some extra flexibility on the cap so it wouldn’t be shocking if Staios picked up where Dorion left off on that front.
- Prospects Tomas Hamara is on the move as OHL Brantford announced that they’ve acquired the defenseman from Kitchener in exchange for a pair of draft picks. The 19-year-old was a third-round pick back in 2022 (87th overall) out of Tappara’s system in Finland. This season, Hamara has three assists in 18 games. His new team is owned by new Sens owner Michael Andlauer.