UND defenseman Ben Blood had a chance to sign with Ottawa last summer. And after signing a deal Wednesday with the team that drafted him in the fourth round, Blood sounded more than pleased that he finished out four years at UND.
“I wish I had a fifth year,” Blood said. “I would come back in a heartbeat. If I could tell anyone who is thinking of leaving early, I would tell them I’d do this again. There’s nothing like playing in The Ralph. There’s nothing like playing for Dave Hakstol. It’s such a special place. You won’t find it anywhere else.”
Blood said that they worked hard to get the deal done in time for him to play some games with Binghamton in the AHL. Blood is expected to make his debut on Friday night in Norfolk.
He will jump into the fire. Binghamton is in last place. Norfolk is in first.
Entering last season, I believe Ottawa had seven defensemen on one-way contracts, which would have made it nearly impossible for Blood to crack the NHL.
Blood said there weren’t any discussions about expecatations for next year, but in looking at Ottawa’s situation on defense, he may have a shot. The Sens dumped some of those one-way contracts and others expire after this year.
You never know what the Sens will do in free agency, but I wouldn’t be shocked if Blood makes it up at some point next season. In the meantime, the next week will be a good taste of pro hockey for Blood, even if he wishes he had a half-decade of eligibility like his old D-partner.