Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Senators sign D Luke "Richie" Richardson

According to reports from the Ottawa Sun, the Ottawa Senators have reached an agreement in principle with 38-year-old Ottawa-native defenseman Luke Richardson. Preliminary reports have him agreeing to a one-year deal worth $500,000, and with a clause regarding possibly playing in the minor league-affiliate Binghamton Senators. According to a source close to the team, Chris Neil has already nicknamed him "Richie".

I like this deal... it's sort of a no-lose situation. It's pretty obvious it stems from a few fortunate circumstances; one, Richardson is apparently close to GM Bryan Murray, and they cottage near each other; two, Richie is an Ottawa-native. I've seen him around the city a few times, so he makes his off-season home in the area.

As a defenceman, there's little room for Richardson on the big Senators. It's unlikely he'll usurp Larry Nycholat as the seventh d-man, so count on him being demoted to Binghamton. Unless Chris Schubert continues to play forward, in which case Richardson will probably be the team's seventh defenseman after Nycholat.

If the plan is to send him to Binghamton, consider the last couple months to be an amazing start for Binghamton GM Terry Murray. He re-signed Denis "Mr. Binghamton" Hamel to a three-year deal, and brought in forward Niko Dimitrakos and defencemen Richardson, Matt Kinch and Matt Carkner. Add this to the prospects that might play in Binghamton (Nick Foligno, Brian Lee, Alexander Nikulin, Cody Bass) and a few potentially returning guys (Danny Bois, Josh Hennessy) and fans of Binghamton should have a good season to look forward to. Which is fitting, because if I remember correctly, they were pretty bad last year. It'll be great to hear about a recharged farm team, and vets like Hamel and Richardson will certainly help the development of the Sens prospects. Cheers to the Murray family.
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