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Cowen's ironman campaign bodes well for his future

Senators blueliner believes he's ready to 'take a step forward' in second NHL season

Friday, 27.07.2012 / 12:36 PM / Features
By Rob Brodie  -
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Cowen\'s ironman campaign bodes well for his future
In his rookie season in the NHL, defenceman Jared Cowen was one of only three Senators players to suit up for all 82 games in the 2011-12 campaign (Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images).

Only three Ottawa Senators saw action in all 82 of the team's games last season.

And at least one of that ironman trio believes it was the best thing for him in terms of preparation for a more important role on the team's blue line.

"It was good for me and good for all the coaching staff and management to see that I can play that many games and play through the regular schedule without breaking down the body," said defenceman Jared Cowen, who joined forwards Colin Greening and Nick Foligno (who has since been traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets) in recording perfect attendance, so to speak, in 2011-12. "Overall, the season was good for me. I was glad to get the experience and play the amount that I did, so next year I can take a step forward instead of just (not improving)."

In Cowen's case, that 82-game workload came in his first full National Hockey League campaign, in which he produced five goals and 17 points to go along with a minus-4 rating. As he ponders his sophomore season, the 21-year-old Saskatchewan native is working toward establishing himself as a steady presence among Ottawa's defence corps.

"I just want to get back, take a step forward and become more of a reliable player," said Cowen, the ninth overall pick of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. "That’s what I want, that’s what I’ve been before in my career and I don’t see why now would be any different. I want to be a big part of the team and hopefully, they realize that, too."

Though the Senators did push the New York Rangers to the limit in the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, their season was over before the end of April. Compared to the year before — when Cowen played into June as a part of the Binghamton Senators' Calder Cup-winning squad in 2011 — the lengthy off-season has been a bit of a luxury for him.

"Every year, you want to do well and go far but at the same time, you need your time off in the off-season to get ready for the next season so you can do the same thing," said Cowen. "So it’s kind of a good and bad thing, but once you get going on the workouts, you kind of forget you had time off and just get back into the swing of things.

"This year, it was nice. It’s probably the longest off-season I’ve had in ... I can’t remember when I had this much time off. But it’s good for my body and good for the head, too, so hopefully I can come back next season feeling a lot more fresh than I usually do."

The off-season has also brought Cowen a unique honour of sorts. Plans are in the works for his hometown of Allan, Sask., to erect a "Home of Jared Cowen" sign honouring the fact he's made it as a National Hockey League player from a town with a population of less than 700.

"It’s cool," Cowen said from Saskatoon, where he now resides. "There’s only a couple of towns here that have those signs. It was all their idea, so I think it’s a pretty neat thing."

Senators buy out Butler's contract

After he cleared waivers today, the Senators announced they have bought out the final year of the contract of winger Bobby Butler. The native of Marlborough, Mass., had signed a two-year deal with the club after a 2010-11 season in which he produced a combined 32 goals in Ottawa and Binghamton, and added 13 more tallies in the B-Sens' drive to the Calder Cup.

Butler, who originally signed with the Senators as a free agent on March 29, 2010, after completing his NCAA career at the University of New Hampshire, scored six goals and 16 points in 56 games last season and went scoreless in three playoff contests.




1 DET 48 28 11 9 144 123 65
2 TBL 49 30 15 4 158 131 64
3 MTL 46 30 13 3 126 108 63
4 BOS 48 25 16 7 126 121 57
5 FLA 45 20 15 10 111 127 50
6 TOR 49 22 23 4 143 152 48
7 OTT 46 19 18 9 126 128 47
8 BUF 48 14 31 3 90 171 31


B. Ryan 43 12 21 7 33
E. Karlsson 46 11 22 -5 33
K. Turris 46 9 20 -8 29
M. Stone 44 11 15 9 26
M. Hoffman 43 16 9 19 25
C. MacArthur 45 13 11 -7 24
M. Zibanejad 44 11 12 1 23
D. Legwand 45 7 12 -4 19
A. Chiasson 43 7 10 -8 17
M. Michalek 42 6 9 -7 15
C. Anderson 13 11 7 .927 2.37
R. Lehner 6 7 2 .900 3.16