The Ottawa Senators surprised just about everyone when they demoted Mika Zibanejad to begin the season. He can stick for good this time around if he just continues to do what he did last year.
In 2013, the Senators where racked with injuries and lost their best player at every position for long stretches. Among the fallen was Jason Spezza, who has been Ottawa’s No. 1 center for quite some time. Someone needed to step up in his absence, and the combination of Kyle Turris and Zibanejad filled in admirably.
To start the 2013-14 campaign, Turris secured a top-six role and continued to expand his playing time in the NHL. Zibanejad was pushed down to the minors for monetary reasons, but with the team struggling to put together wins, he has been recalled.
— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) October 22, 2013
Ottawa’s faithful fans seem to have let out a collective sigh of relief in response to this news, and with good reason. The 20 year-old is a vaunted two-way player and brings a boat load of intangibles to the ice on a nightly basis.
Mika Zibanejad has been recalled from the AHL. #FINALLY
— Jens Neese (@jensneese) October 22, 2013
Zibanejad is highly competitive and motivated and absolutely deserves a spot with the Senators.
— Mike Griffin (@griffinmike95) October 22, 2013
Yes, it appears that the news has caused every computer in Ottawa to get stuck with the caps lock on.
This Mika Zibanejad recall has gone viral. #Sens
— Bruce Garrioch (@SunGarrioch) October 22, 2013
It’s unclear what role Zibanejad will take on for the Senators, but if fans have their way it looks like he’ll be coaching and taking over as general manager by the end of the week.