|After undergoing successful sports hernia surgery, Mike Lundin is looking forward to a fresh start in Ottawa (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images).
Mike Lundin is eager to start over in Ottawa.
The veteran blueliner, who was plagued by back troubles during a lost season with the Minnesota Wild in 2011-12, inked a one-year free-agent deal with the Senators today. Though he's leaving his home state, Lundin says he's "thrilled" to head north of the border for the first time in his five-year National Hockey League career.
"It wasn’t the greatest year for me last year," said Lundin, a native of Burnsville, Minn. "With the injuries and everything, it didn’t work out. But I’m healed up and I know that my best hockey is ahead of me. I’m thrilled at the opportunity and that Ottawa was interested in me and I’m excited to come and play with a Canadian team with potential. After the season they had last year, they’re only looking to get better."
The 27-year-old Lundin only saw 17 games' worth of action with the Wild season. He missed the first 23 games of the 2011-12 campaign with a back injury and later sat out the final 25 games with a sports hernia. Off-season surgery on March 15 repaired both a fracture in his back and the hernia, which Lundin said doctors believe were related ailments.
"Everything been great since then," he said. "I've been working out and training hard to be back in top shape."
Prior to last season, Lundin spent the previous four years with the Tampa Bay Lightning, totalling four goals and 29 assists in 224 games. He played all 18 playoff games for the Bolts during their drive to the Eastern Conference final in 2010-11.
"We really liked him when he was in Tampa," said Senators general manager Bryan Murray. "We really like that fact that he’s mobile, he moves the puck pretty well and he gets up and down the ice real well. He’s not a big point getter or a physical player, but he’s one of those transition guys who we felt was a little bit better than a couple of the guys we had here."
Lundin knows the kind of game he needs to play to be successful in Ottawa.
"I’m not a big guy, but I’m more of a defensive specialist," said the 6-2, 191-pound Lundin. "I’m not flashy — you probably won’t notice a lot of me out there — but hopefully, I’m just doing my job and staying kind of quiet. Hopefully, I can have the chance to skate against some other teams’ top lines and use my speed and good stick and be able to help control other teams’ offences.
"I'm still working on getting my point production, my offensive work in the NHL up. I know I have it in my game and haven’t necessarily shown it yet. Hopefully, I’m there to contribute (in that way), too."
Prince inks entry-level deal with Sens
Ottawa 67's forward Shane Prince, who is taking part in this week's Senators development camp, has signed his first contract with the organization. It's a three-year entry level deal.
The 19-year-old native of Spencerport, N.Y., was a second-round pick (61st overall) by the Senators in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. In 2011-12, he established new career highs in goals (43) and points (90) with the 67's in finishing fourth in the Ontario Hockey League scoring race. He added another 16 points in the OHL playoffs, second best on his team, as the 67's reached the Eastern Conference final before falling to the Niagara IceDogs in five games.
In 224 career OHL games with the 67's and Kitchener Rangers, Prince racked up 220 points, including 86 goals.