Free Agency Update (part two)

-Yet more Sens’ news has come down the pipe.

-Like most people I’m confused by the Nick Foligno trade for Columbus blueliner Marc Methot.  I understand parting with Foligno and as an unsigned (but qualified) RFA there isn’t as much value to be gained in the return, but I’m not sure what to make of the return.  I have not seen Methot play much, but he’s a big defensive blueliner who doesn’t put up many points.  He has three years left on his deal (3.0).  Bryan Murray talks about Methot here.  Scott writes “he’s only really played on a bad teams, in this case Columbus – and like Lundin he’s played against hard competition the last few seasons. His past season was marred by injury, most noticeably by an “exploded thumb” impacted by a puck. There was also a plunge in his possession numbers which seems logically related to that injury, for Ottawa’s sake let’s hope so.”  And adds an interesting point, “While the Senators defensive depth-chart isn’t exactly great now, it is considerably improved from where it stood three hours ago. Also interesting to take note of the kinds of players moved out today, all skaters you wouldn’t exactly call disciplined. The Senators were among the most penalized teams in the league last year, is this an indication they’re taking remedies to correct that?”  Surely the other conclusion from this trade (confirmed by Murray) is that there are enough forward prospects in the organisation to replace Foligno and I think that’s without question even if it does not come to fruition this upcoming season.

-Murray also indicated in the press conference that the team has enough forwards and isn’t specifically looking to add any.

-The Shane Prince signing has been confirmed (no Capgeek numbers yet).

-Here’s Guillaume Latendresse talking about signing with the Sens.

Filip Kuba signed a two-year deal with the Florida Panthers.

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Free Agency Update

-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:
2008
Jarkko Ruutu – a decent signing, but the tank was nearing empty
Shean Donovan – a great guy, but the tank was empty
2009
Alexei Kovalev – need I say more?
2010
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.

-The 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.