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Sens re-sign Borowiecki

by Chris Lund / Ottawa Senators

The Ottawa Senators announced today that they have re-signed defenceman Mark Borowiecki to a two-year contract. The deal is a two-way contract for the 2013-14 season, and becomes a one-way deal in 2014-15.

With the signing, the Sens now have an additional defenceman under contract after the signing of Joe Corvo on Monday.

From the official release...

Borowiecki, 23, played in six National Hockey League games with the Senators in 2012-13, recording 18 penalty minutes and a plus-one rating. The Ottawa native also recorded four goals and 10 assists along with 157 penalty minutes and a plus-21 rating in 53 games with the American Hockey League’s Binghamton Senators last season. He served as the B-Sens captain from Apri 8 through the remainder of the regular season and playoffs.

The Senators’ fifth-round pick (139th overall) in the 2008 NHL Draft, Borowiecki has been held scoreless in eight career NHL games, while he has registered nine goals, 27 assists and 290 penalty minutes over 135 career regular-season AHL games (all with Binghamton). He was a member of the B-Sens team that won the Calder Cup championship following the 2010-11 season.

Borowiecki, the first Ottawa native ever drafted by the Senators, participated in the team’s summer development camp on five occasions, and was named “hardest working player” for the 2011 and 2012 camps.

Borowiecki brings another physical presence to the Sens blueline and has put a lot of emphasis on developing his puck skills since being re-assigned to Binghamton on February 8. The nature of his contract suggests that you can expect to see him get some time with the big club in 2013-14 before taking a more permanent role after next season.

Mark weighed in on his signing and development as a player today after the signing was announced. Here's what he had to say...

On the new contract:

I'm really happy. I can't really say how happy I am. You know, at this point in my career this is the place I want to be and I want to be a part of this organization and it's really nice to get that deal done.

On the one-way portion of the contract:

I think the right way to look at it is regardless of what your contract status is, you still have to earn it. There's nothing given to you in this business. I think that's pretty obvious based on the number of guys you see coming and going. That attitude (one-way is an NHL guarantee) is maybe not the right attitude to have going into a season regardless of whether you have a one-way or not. I know for me, obviously I'm happy about it, it's just more of a push for me to make that next step and hopefully have the odds stacked in my favour.

On the Joe Corvo signing:

I try to be even-keeled about it -- I'm sure you hear that from every guy who you ask a question to like that -- but you see it and it's just part of the game. Teams are going to sign guys, management has things they need to do. Obviously any time I guy you could be competing with gets signed you take notice, but you can't really dwell on stuff. It's just another challenge for me.

On improving his game:

I know for me there's definitely some stuff I need to work on. I need to get more confident with the puck -- that's a big thing for me, especially the way the game is played now. You need to be able to move the puck quickly and that's something that I really work on in Binghamton. If I do end up there this year that's something I can really focus on and hopefully make that a bigger part of my game.

On his development since he was sent down:

When I got sent down, obviously you're a little bummed anytime you get sent down. I really told myself -- and I talked to my parents about it and my girlfriend and everyone pretty much -- that maybe this is a good chance for me to really go after it and really work on that part (puck skills) of my game. There's really nothing to lose. I really tried to step up and contribute a little more on the offensive side and really work on being more confident. I think that's the biggest thing, you have to know you can make those plays and be confident to do them. I think it was something I worked on and I think it came along pretty well.

On working with Luke Richardson:

He's awesome. Any guy who has played for him will say the same thing. He's just really easily approachable as a player, he's a true player's coach. He knows a lot, especially being a defenceman cut from the same mold -- as a defenceman he's kind of the same player I want to be and to have him around to give you tips and work on small things, even after practice, every practice he's pulling guys aside and we're working on small things. I think that's important and he's great to have.

On power play time:

I kind of bounce around in Binghamton on and off the power play. I think it's a good thing to do even though I may not project as a power play player at the NHL level -- it's always good to get that confidence level. It's good to round out your game and having that little bit of experience helps.

On his summer training:

I'm in with Chris Schwarz and a few of the other guys who are in town here. I've been with Schwarzy for probably the past five years now and he has helped me a lot, I can't say enough about him and his assistant Rob Mouland, they do good work with us. We work hard but we work smart, too. I think it has always been a good fit for me.

On starting his skating regimen:

We start skating within the next week. We start out slow and really build our way up into training camp. It's good to have those guys around. I know there's a few other guys who used to play in the NHL who are still in Ottawa too. They'll be doing some skill sessions and stuff so that's something I'm going to try and make the most of. When I'm on the ice I use my time wisely and really get out there to work on my skills.

On his physical play and fighting:

It's something that I work on. I'm going to start up some boxing here too. It's not the kind of thing where you can go out and say, 'I'm going to stop getting engaged physically' or 'I'm going to try and ramp it up.' The way I play just sort of comes to you and you just have to take it as it comes. You look at my penalty minutes and might think that I just go running around and stuff but really I don't go looking for it too much, it's just the way I play. When you put someone down, someone's going to come challenge you. You have to be ready to go and it's a big part of the game to be able to have that physical presence. It's something that I think gives me a role.

On his boxing training:

I work with a few guys. Right now I'm working alone, more with Guy Ouelette, he works with a lot of the Ottawa guys, so he comes in every once in a while. It's just little things, I've got a heavy bag in my garage too so I just work on that and it's just stuff just to keep you sharp because with that type of thing you don't want t be caught sleeping.

On his fighting record:

We'll call it half and half... I think for me not being the biggest guy in the world it's important to work on that stuff technically. I'm pretty intense and I'm a pretty strong guy for my size, but sometimes it's tough, you get overmatched with bigger guys. I think it's important for me to work this summer to really work on the technical stuff. That's where being around a guy like Chris Neil helps. It's not an easy thing to do and to be doing it for that long as he has and be successful at it -- he has some good tricks and it's nice to be able to match up against some of the bigger guys.

On Fredrick Claesson winning the Hardest Working award at Development Camp:

Freddy's a great guy. He's probably one of the team's favourites in Bingo this year. He's got a great personality, he does work very, very, very hard. He's out there every practice -- he's one of the guys who works with Luke a lot on the little things. It's not a knock against Europeans by any means, but he doesn't play like a European defenceman, he plays like a Canadian defenceman and that's great to see. I didn't play much with him at even strength this year but we killed penalties a lot together. He's a great player, he's really smart, he's sound defensively and he's definitely a hard worker.

On Alfredsson leaving:

I'm not really sure I can comment on that. It's always surprising to see a guy like that leave but it's every player's right to do what he feels is necessary.

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