Many projected that Zibanejad would make the Senators opening night roster after a strong performance in 2013. The No. 6 overall selection in the 2011 NHL Draft, Zibanejad tallied seven goals and 13 assists in 42 regular season games at the NHL level last year. In addition, the 20-year-old forward accumulated 11 points over 23 games with Binghamton during last season's lockout.
NHL teams need to finalize their rosters by 5 p.m. ET on Monday evening. The Senators currently have 22 players on their roster. Speculation has risen that Zibanejad was sent to the minors because of financial issues facing the Senators. The player can be sent to the American Hockey League without the use of waivers and only accounts for a $70,000 salary with Binghamton compared to $925,000 with Ottawa. Owner Eugene Melnyk previously stated that the team was already over budget.
Whether this is why Zibanejad was sent down remains to be seen.
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