by Todd Anderson
Ottawa Senators goaltending coach and professional scout Ron Low has enjoyed his summer cottage on Lake Dauphin in Manitoba this off-season, but the former NHL goaltender is excited to get back on the ice. After the Senators signed Martin Gerber to a multi-year deal this summer, Low can't wait to start working with his newest tandem that also features sophomore Ray Emery.
"They're both very capable of carrying the load," Low says. "They're both bonafide No. 1 goaltenders in my eyes. If you look back to last season, you can't have enough goaltending. It's nothing but good. If they split games, they're not going to get worn out."
Low says he's impressed with Gerber's emergence as a star in the NHL.
"He's come a long way in the last three or four years. He's gone up to almost elite status and he's a big part of why (Stanley Cup champion) Carolina did so well last year."
While Emery and Gerber offer the Senators solid goaltending for the present, Low is also excited to look into the future.
"Both guys we'll have in Binghamton this year, Jeff Glass and Kelly Guard, I think will have NHL futures. Ottawa is in great shape when it comes to goaltending. I saw (College prospect) Brian Elliott at the Senators development camp last month and he looks like a heck of a goaltender, too. There's going to be good competition here for years."
Shortly after the development camp was over, Low was invited by Binghamton Senators - Ottawa's AHL affiliate - head coach Dave Cameron to participate in a golf tournament in P.E.I. Low, along with his wife Linda and daughters A.J. and Taylor, extended the trip into a 12-day stop as they also visited Digby, N.S.
"It was really nice," Low says of his first trip to P.E.I. "It's so picturesque. Everywhere you look is like a postcard."
During the rest of the summer at the cottage in Manitoba, the Low family has escaped the heat and humidity by spending lots of time fishing, tubing and water-skiing on Lake Dauphin.
Low played his junior hockey a short drive from the cottage and has been going back to the area ever since. His family built their current cottage on Lake Dauphin seven years ago. The Low's permanent home, however, is in Edmonton. During the hockey season, Low is away for 22 days out of every month on average as he splits his time coaching between Ottawa and Binghamton.
He expects to return to Ottawa four or five days before training camp begins early next month and, in the meantime, will be in contact with the goaltenders in the organization to see how they progressed during the off-season.