-Bryan Murray does not have a great track record with free agency. In fairness to Murray, Ottawa isn’t the easiest sell on the market so he has to overpay to bring talent here. A brief review of some of the signings:
Jarkko Ruutu – a decent signing, but the tank was nearing empty
Shean Donovan – a great guy, but the tank was empty
Alexei Kovalev – need I say more?
Sergei Gonchar – he was better this past season, but definitely not all they hoped for
-The Sens signed Mike Lundin for a cap-friendly one-year deal at 1.15; the 27-year old doesn’t take penalties and doesn’t score, but plays a safe, defensively solid game. I’m not excited by the signing, but having only seen him play occasionally I don’t have a strong opinion to share. Mark Parisi thinks “At first glance, he seems to be a replacement for the departed Brian Lee, or perhaps he’s just insurance in case none of the team’s young prospects are ready to step in to a full-time NHL role just yet.” Scott says “this may actually prove to be a decent signing for a depth defenseman, especially if the alternative was brining back Matt Carkner.”
-Ottawa also signed Guillaume Latendresse (pending a physical) for one-year, 1.25 (with .75 with of bonuses). He’s only played 27-games over the last two years and has struggled with conditioning as a pro. He’s a guy with only one good (half) season on his resume and I think it’s unlikely a player at his age is suddenly going to change his habits. Regardless, it is a low-risk signing, as Mark Parisi succinctly comments, “Latendresse has demonstrated strength, hands, and intelligence to be a useful forward in the league, but he has not been able to demonstrate that with any kind of consistency.”
-On the Binghamton side of things the Sens brought back Andre Benoit after his year in the KHL (with Spartak Moscow). He’s a welcome addition to an AHL blueline with very little offensive punch.
-The Minnesota Wild did Ottawa a favour by signing Zenon Konopka. A good guy, he just doesn’t bring enough to the table. Wild fans can look forward to a lot of staged, meaningless fights.
Colorado Avalanche New York Islanders also did the Sens a favour by signing Matt Carkner.
-Is anyone else irritated by the tendency in the media when reporting on a signing to give the players total salary over the life of the contract rather than just the cap hit? The latter information is what’s useful to fans.