by Todd Anderson
Binghamton Senators head coach Dave Cameron got a nice preview of his team's talent when he helped out during the Ottawa Senators training camp this month.
Cameron got 15 players from Ottawa's training camp, after they were assigned to the American Hockey League affiliate on Tuesday. Binghamton's camp, which opens today, will also feature 10 other players who skated in the East Coast Hockey League and Central Hockey League last season.
Before leaving Ottawa for Binghamton on Tuesday afternoon, Cameron spoke about his feelings going into his club's camp.
"Like most training camps, I'm excited about it. We'll establish roles for the guys and find out where everyone fits in. We have some vets who have proven they can play in the AHL and we have some guys who have to grab the bull by the horns and establish themselves as good AHL prospects."
One player who Cameron will keep a close eye on is centre Bobby Robins. After playing a 35-game season with the Umass Lowell River Hawks of Hockey East in 2005-06, Robins skated for 16 games in Binghamton. His progress continued in Ottawa's camp during the past two weeks.
"He played right up to expectations," Cameron said. "He looks real good in camp."
On the other hand, while Cameron would benefit from his production, he's hoping he doesn't have winger Denis Hamel on his roster this season. After scoring 56 goals and 91 points with Binghamton last season, Cameron feels Hamel is ready to play in the NHL in Ottawa.
"Our role in the AHL is to develop players for the next level. We tell the guys if they do certain things and work hard, good things could happen. Sure Denis scored 56 goals last year, but he was always the first guy on the ice working on shooting the puck everyday. He paid his dues and he was a real good player for me."
As Cameron enters his third season behind the Binghamton bench he looks forward to spending another winter in his home away from home.
"I really enjoy Binghamton," he said. "The team we gave the fans last year worked extra hard. Hopefully, this year, with more depth that we have, we'll be able to give them a playoff team."