In their final preparations for the upcoming season the Ottawa Senators made a somewhat surprising move on Monday electing to send young center Mika Zibanejad down to AHL Binghamton.

Zibanejad the sixth overall pick in the 2011 draft by the Senators spent last season at the NHL level playing 42 games. In those 42 games he had seven goals with 13 assists while averaging just 13:34 per game in ice time.

You have to think this has something -- OK a lot -- to do with finances. It's well known that the Sens are on an extremely tight budget with owner Eugene Melnyk's personal issues and by sending Zibanejad to the AHL his salary goes from $925000 to $70000. It is a silly and frustrating reason to demote a player but it can't be ruled out as an option here. There was no need otherwise to cut Zibanejad they were already at the 23-player limit. Now they will go with 22.

Plus Melnyk recently commented that his team was already over budget despite having one of the lowest payrolls in the league. The penny pinching isn't going away. If this decision is money related the financial concerns are Ottawa are very real.