Mika Zibanejad recalled by Ottawa Senators after surprising AHL exile

Promising 20-year-old Mika Zibanejad has been recalled by the Senators. (USATSI)
Promising 20-year-old Mika Zibanejad has been recalled by the Senators.(USATSI)

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One of the most curious cuts from training camps this summer was Mika Zibanejad from the Ottawa Senators. After posting 20 points as a rookie last season, the promising Swedish forward was sent to the American Hockey League after a rather lackluster preseason.

Zibanejad’s exile to Binghamton has ended, however, as Ottawa has recalled him from its farm club.  The skilled forward posted seven points in six games with the B-Sens.

The Senators are in need of some offensive spark after a disappointing 3-3-2 start to the season, putting Ottawa sixth in the tough Atlantic Division. Zibanejad was fourth on the team in scoring last year, which is why he was such a surprising cut from the camp.

Some wondered if Zibanejad’s dismissal was a cost-related maneuver as Senators owner Eugene Melnyk has been vocal about his team’s budget in recent months. The team explained that it was just a matter of Zibanejad getting beaten out for a job.

The fact that Ottawa hasn’t gotten much out of Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Cory Conacher likely increased the need to call up Zibanejad. He has good size and skill, which the Senators obviously hope will translate into more offense.

The Sens head into an absolute buzzsaw of a schedule the next week with a divisional tilt against Detroit on Wednesday before meeting the Ducks, Sharks and Blackhawks in their next three games. That could be a rough stretch.

Zibanejad probably isn’t a savior by any stretch, but he should help and with the schedule that lies ahead this week, the Senators can use all the firepower they can get.

CBS Sports Writer

Chris Peters has been a hockey writer for CBS Sports since 2012. Prior to that, he wrote for numerous outlets and edited the United States of Hockey blog, covering the sport at all levels. Peters also... Full Bio

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