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Senators say Zibanejad staying in North America

Still too soon to decide whether he'll be released to Sweden for world juniors

Friday, 08.10.2012 / 11:44 AM ET / Features
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Senators say Zibanejad staying in North America
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LAKE PLACID, N.Y. — Mika Zibanejad got a short taste of hockey and life in North America last season, after the Ottawa Senators picked him No. 6 at the 2011 draft.

This season, he'll be on this side of the Atlantic far longer.

Ottawa Senators assistant GM Tim Murray told NHL.com that Zibanejad will spend the 2012-13 season in North America, either in the NHL with the Senators or with the club's American Hockey League affiliate, the Binghamton Senators.

"He's staying no matter what," Murray said. "Whether it's Ottawa or Binghamton, we're not sending him back. So he's here."

Zibanejad, currently here with Team Sweden for the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp, started last season in Ottawa, but was returned to his Swedish team, Djurgardens, in late October.

"We wanted to keep him, that was the intent," Murray said. "Just the longer it went, you could see with him the loss of confidence. The NHL is a tough league for anybody, especially an 18-year-old kid coming from Europe for the first time. I thought he played pretty well. He had some good games. I think it was the right thing to do to send him back. Hopefully, that comes through in the next couple years."

Zibanejad, who scored the overtime goal in the championship game at the 2012 World Junior Championship, remains eligible for the 2013 tournament, set for Dec. 26-Jan. 5 in Ufa, Russia. Murray said there's a chance the Senators could let Zibanejad play in the tournament. It's a similar situation they faced last year with goaltender Robin Lehner. The Senators opted to keep Lehner in Binghamton rather than release him for Team Sweden.

"For the world juniors, obviously then that's not a decision we have to make today," Murray said. "He's obviously on their team … We'll just have to do what we think is right for him. Is he playing 18 minutes a night in Ottawa? Is he playing 23 minutes a night in Binghamton? Who knows? Potentially he will be back playing in this tournament, but if I had to put odds on it I wouldn't even know where to place the odds."

The 19-year-old Zibanejad scored one of Sweden's goals on Thursday during its 10-2 loss to the United States, which is using this week as its summer development camp for its national junior team ahead of the 2013 WJC.

— Author: Adam Kimmelman


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STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
2 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
3 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
4 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
5 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
6 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
7 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
8 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Karlsson 82 21 45 7 66
M. Stone 80 26 38 21 64
K. Turris 82 24 40 5 64
B. Ryan 78 18 36 5 54
M. Hoffman 79 27 21 16 48
M. Zibanejad 80 20 26 0 46
C. MacArthur 62 16 20 -6 36
M. Michalek 66 13 21 3 34
D. Legwand 80 9 18 1 27
A. Chiasson 76 11 15 -5 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Anderson 14 13 8 .923 2.49
R. Lehner 9 12 3 .905 3.02