Player Spotlight: Erik Condra
(Editor's note: As the 2012-13 season draws closer, ottawasenators.com will take a daily snapshot look at some of the returning players from last year, with both a look back and a look ahead).
2011-12 stats: 81 GP, 8 G, 17 A, 25 PTS, 30 PIM, +11 rating
Last season: In his first full NHL season, Condra established himself as a dependable forward capable of filling a number of roles. The 26-year-old native of Trenton, Mich., saw action in all but one of Ottawa's regular-season games and was among the team's most effective penalty killers, being one of just three Senators to record more than one shorthanded goal during the 2011-12 season. His solid +11 rating tied for sixth among the Senators in the plus-minus category, and he also rated 15th among all NHL forwards with 69 blocked shots.
The highlight: Condra enjoyed his biggest offensive night of the season on Dec. 20 at Scotiabank Place, scoring twice in the third period — including the eventual game-winner — as the Senators dumped the Buffalo Sabres 4-1. It's was the third multi-goal game of his still-young NHL career.
Looking forward: Though he's best known for his responsible play defensively and his hockey smarts, Condra has spent the off-season working toward becoming more of an offensive contributor in the coming season. During the Binghamton Senators' run to the Calder Cup crown in 2010-11, he totalled 17 goals and 47 points in 55 games, showing he's got that kind of ability. Now it's just a matter of, as Condra puts it, bearing down a little more at the NHL level when he's presented with scoring opportunities.
Quote: “I think we sparked some youth and energy with (the team's veterans). And they handed down the experience and some of their love for the game as well. So we just had a great time last year and we really clicked, and I think that's what led to some of our success last year. Our big guys stepped up and had great years and I have a feeling they're going to do the same this year.”