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.

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3 Comments

  1. Do you have any issue with losing both Konopka and Carkner? I know the role of the enforcer is diminishing, but you saw how important both of those players were in the playoffs.

    Losing Foligno as well seems to make for a fairly soft group of forwards. Terrible trade though. A guy of Methot’s calibre can be had for a lot less than a 24 year old guy who should be able to put up 50 points and is good in the locker room and community. Would have offered them someone like Da Costa at most.

    • Not really. I think you need an enforcer who can play and both players struggle to stay in lineups. The Sens have plenty of guys in the lineup who can fight (Neil, Smith, Cowen, Greening, etc), so all they are really missing is a top-heavyweight and virtually no one will fight Carkner anymore anyway.

      I don’t know enough about Methot to criticise the trade. How good will Foligno be? I can’t tell that either, but there’s plenty of forward talent in the pipeline for the Sens.

  2. […] Free Agency Update […]


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