The (Late) Arrival of Mike Lundin

by Owen on 7th-February-2013

You might have forgotten that the Senators made a big splash on July 1st, 2012 by signing UFA Mike Lundin (sarcasm intended).  Lundin was drafted in 2004 in the fourth round by the Lightning and since then has been up and down between the AHL and NHL.  He split last season between the Minnesota Wild and their farm team the Houston Aeros.

Lundin has played 241 NHL games and recorded 4 goals, 31 assists, and 54 penalty minutes.  Hockey’s Future provides a flattering “Talent Analysis”:

Lundin is a skilled defenseman who possesses exceptional playmaking abilities and athleticism. While he has good size, he could stand to bulk up. He is an excellent skater with good acceleration. Possesses some good hands and great passing ability. He also shows tremendous confidence with the puck. He can be utilized in every type of situation, including quarterbacking the power play. He possesses very good vision and hockey sense. He is positionally solid. Possesses a good, hard shot. He makes excellent outlet passes, has the ability to both jump up into plays and lead the rush up the ice. Possesses a great attitude and seemingly tireless work ethic.

Nonetheless, he was signed to compete for the 6th and 7th defensemen jobs in Ottawa.  When Jared Cowen suffered a season ending injury in the fall it seemed like good news for Mr. Lundin.  Unfortunately, while playing in Sweden during the lockout, Lundin broke his finger and has been out ever since.  On Wednesday Mike Lundin made his practice debut with the Senators.

But there’s a new problem (or problems) for Lundin.  In his absence, and given Cowen’s injury, the Senators recalled and have been playing Mark Borowiecki, Andre Benoit and Patrice Wiercioch from Binghamton.  Fortunately for the Senators they have all looked good and NHL-ready, in particular Wiercioch and Benoit.  For now Paul MacLean says the team will keep all 8:

“It’s a nice puzzle to have,” said coach Paul MacLean. “Right now, we’re going to keep eight, but we know we can’t keep that number (for long). We have to make a decision down the road, but right now, we’re going to let Lundin get some legs underneath him.”

Keeping 8 defensman cannot be the long term answer.  Soon Lundin will get a game in and the pressure will be on.

UPDATE:

Looks like the game Lundin will get to start is tonight, 7:30 pm vs Hurricanes at Scotiabank Place.

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