by Todd Anderson
With the arrival of forward Dean McAmmond, who played with the St. Louis Blues last season and signed as a free agent with Ottawa on Aug. 2, Senators head coach Bryan Murray has been given another player to slot into any spot in the lineup.
"(McAmmond) is going to be a good hockey player on this team," Murray says. "We're trying him in different situations to see what he can do for us. He's a versatile guy. He'll probably play up and down the lineup, and I think he can be a good penalty killer for us."
During his 15-year NHL career, McAmmond has played with the likes of Craig Conroy and Jarome Iginla with the Calgary Flames, and Michael Nylander and Steve Sullivan with the Chicago Blackhawks. While he has fit in well on scoring lines such as those, the speedy forward is also useful in a checking-line role.
"On those lines in Calgary and Chicago, I basically played defence," he jokes. "I pride myself to be able to play with the third and fourth line in a checking role, and I also pride myself in stepping up and playing with the top two lines and being able to keep pace."
Drafted as a centre, McAmmond says he prefers playing that position but has no problem switching over to either wing as well. During the NHL lockout in 2004-05, McAmmond skated with the Albany River Rats in the American Hockey League. The 33-year-old dabbled at playing the point on the power play in Albany, something Murray also had him do during this year's pre-season.
"I played the point on the power play in Albany two years ago and I loved it," McAmmond says. "I love carrying the puck and setting up players."
McAmmond has played in 726 games during his career, scoring 151 goals and 366 points. This season McAmmond has a goal and an assist in three games.