Veteran presence

Sean O’Donnell, at age 38, isn’t taking things easy. O’Donnell has missed only four games this season — the first two games of the season because of suspension — and played more minutes (on average) in February than he did in October. O’Donnell’s overall minutes have dipped a bit — 18:40 this season, compared to 20:29 last season — but he’s also playing a different role. O’Donnell also has not been out of the lineup since being a healthy scratch for two games in mid-November.

Here’s what Terry Murray said today about O’Donnell, who — for what it’s worth — has a plus-15 rating in 64 games, the third-best number on the team…

MURRAY: “Sean has always fit in. With the way he came into our organization last year, it was exactly the kind of player that we need to add. The experienced veteran, the presence, the leadership that he would show, and the support that he gave to Doughty, especially. Early in the year, when he was a scratch — the reason for it being that hard, heavy, gritty game that he had showed the previous year on a consistent basis — I like the way he has bounced back. You look at the minutes he’s playing, his plus-minus, his role on this team has stayed the same as it was last year. An important player, a veteran presence and helping, again, the younger players develop their games.”

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