Former Spirit star Tom Pyatt returns to NHL with Ottawa Senators

after five seasons playing for 2 NHL teams Pyatt spent two years in Switzerland before his recent return to the NHL....

Posted In: Sports, Saginaw Spirit,   By: Jason Marcoux

20th October, 2016     0

After two seasons in Switzerland's top professional ice hockey league (the Swiss National Liga A) former Saginaw Spirit forward Tom Pyatt has managed to work his way back into the NHL as a grind-line winger for the Ottawa Senators.  
Pyatt was drafted by the Spirit in the second round (21 overall) of the 2003 OHL priority selection draft and would go on to hit the 200-point plateau, scoring 94 goals and 106 assists over the course of his 4-year OHL career, spending all four seasons (2003-2007) in Saginaw. 
As a 5-foot-11, 181-pound forward with the Spirit, Pyatt would win back-to-back Gold medals playing for Team Canada at the 2006 IIHF World Junior Championship in Vancouver, British Columbia and again at the 2007 IIHF World Junior Championship in Leksand, Sweden. He also won silver for Team Canada at the 2005 IIHF World Junior U-18 Championship in the Czech Republic. 
The Thunder Bay, Ontario native followed his father Nelson Pyatt (who had a productive seven year NHL career) and his brother Taylor Pyatt (who recently retired after 13 NHL seasons) into the family business after being selected by the New York Rangers in the fourth round of the 2005 NHL draft. 
Pyatt worked his way through the Rangers' minor league system for four seasons before being traded to the Montreal Canadiens in June of 2009 ultimately making his NHL debut on November, 5 of the same year against the Boston Bruins.  
Pyatt would spend two seasons in Montreal (2009-11) before joining the Tampa Bay Lightning (2011-14) for three seasons. He would compile 54 points (27 goals, and 27 assists) throughout his first five year stint in the NHL.
In 2014 Pyatt went to Switzerland to play for Genève-Servette HC which is the same team former Spirit defenseman Will Petschenig signed with prior to this season. 
After parting ways with former Ottawa head coach Paul MacLean last year, and MacLean's assistant Dave Cameron (who had been named the interim coach) the Senators hired new head coach Guy Boucher and his assistant Marc Crawford following the end of the 2015-16 NHL season. 
The pair of journeymen coaches were key in signing Pyatt as they had first-hand knowledge from his two seasons in Europe as they coached in the same league at the same time. So, it was no surprise when Pyatt was added as a free agent last spring. 
On May, 24 the Senators signed the 29 year old Pyatt to a 1-year, two-way NHL/AHL contract that would pay him $800,000 (while playing) in the NHL and $200,000 (while playing) in the AHL. 
Pyatt is making a good case to keep his NHL roster spot as he is off to a great start this season. He scored his first goal on October, 15 against (his old team) the Montreal Canadiens, and followed with his best game of the season, scoring a goal and an assist, to lead the Senators to a 7-4 victory over the Arizona Coyotes last night. 
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