Free Agency Day One Recap

-Reactions to the Sens’ moves have been filtering in from the disappointed (Crozier), mixed (Jeremy Milks and the The 6th Sens), yet to be determined (The Silver Seven), and contented (Stefan G:son).  Gone from the roster are Nick Foligno (T- Clb), Filip Kuba (FA – Flo), Matt Carkner (FA – NYI), Zenon Konopka (FA – Min), Matt Gilroy (FA – unsigned), and Jesse Winchester (FA – unsigned).  Only Foligno‘s departure was somewhat unexpected, so most of the reaction is based on who the Sens have brought in.  The four players who weren’t regulars only played 130 games combined last seasonFilip Kuba is on the wrong side of 30 and is unlikely to replicate his success from this year.  Nick Foligno is a tangible asset, but with so many forward prospects in the wings (Zibanejad, Silfverberg, Stone, Noesen, Puempel, etc) I think the clock was ticking on him regardless.  Given that, I don’t think much has been lost.

What about the players added?  Mike Lundin (FA – Min), Guillaume Latendresse (FA – Min), and Marc Methot (T – Clb)?  Ottawa has added between 5.515-6.265 million to their payroll (depending on Latendresse‘s bonuses), while losing 6.85.  Other than Methot there’s no term attached to the contracts, so the team hasn’t made a big commitment to them.  I find it difficult to assess the acquisitions given how little I’ve watched all three players.  Regardless, here are the bare bones (stats) and a few thoughts.

Guillaume Latendresse (RW/LW, 6’2, DOB 1987, 2-45/05)
2009-10 Mtl/Min 78-27-13-40 16pim +3
2010-11 Min 11-3-3-6 8pim +2
2011-12 Min 16-5-4-9 20pim +6

Jonathan Willis is a fan of the signing, saying “He’s young, big, often physical, and more importantly he’s a pretty good possession player who has consistently been a high-percentage goal-scorer over his NHL career (on 568 career shots, Latendresse is a 14.3% shooter; he’s never been below 12.0% in a single NHL season).”  Talking about himself, Latendresse said “It’s going to be a new, fresh start. If I look at top six (forwards), I think that could be a good spot for me. I’m not the coach, so maybe you can ask him, but I think I’m an offensive guy and I can bring that (scoring) for sure. I know what kind of player I am. I know what I can bring to a team. I think Ottawa is a really good fit for me. As far as my injuries go, I’m 100 per cent now. I know I can be the player I was when I first went to Minnesota. I can bring a lot to this team.”  I think management is going to expect Latendresse to be a top-six forward, but the question remains open if he can provide that.

Marc Methot (DL, 6’3, DOB 1985, 6-168/03)
2009-10 Clb 60-2-6-8 51pim -8
2010-11 Clb 74-0-15-15 58pim +2
2011-12 Clb 46-1-6-7 24pim -11

He’s played for Team Canada at the last two World Championships.  Bryan Murray said “We felt that getting a quality guy that everybody in our organization thought a lot of … He’s a big guy, he’s a local guy, he plays really good defence and he’s very happy to get on board with us. There’s a price to be paid when you have to do something like that.”  Bruce Garrioch (via the link) says the Sens tried to get Methot last year, but couldn’t get the deal done.  The general sentiment is that he’s a solid player, but not flashy.  If he can fill top-four minutes then I think the deal to get him is worth it.

Mike Lundin (DL, 6’2, DOB 1984, 4-102/04)
2009-10 TB 49-3-10-13 18pim -4
2010-11 TB 69-1-11-12 12pim -3
2011-12 Min 17-0-2-2 4pim -1

He played for the US World Championship team in 2010 and was one of the NHL’s “young stars” in 2008.  Describing himself, Lundin said “I’m more of a defensive specialist, I’m not real flashy. I’m thrilled, it wasn’t one of the greatest year for me last year with injuries and everything. I’m excited to come and play for a Canadian team, with the potential they have following last season and only looking to get better.”  He’s a low risk acquisition and seems capable of filling a hole in the bottom pairing.

Andre Benoit was signed after a year in the KHL (53-5-12-17) and needs no introduction given his previous stint in 10-11 (73-11-44-55) with the organisation.  He’s a great acquisition for Binghamton.


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