While the Ottawa Senators are enjoying their great 2009-10 NHL season, they may be in economic trouble in the off-season regarding the thing called the salary cap. They have 3 UFA’s and 5 RFA’s due for free agency this coming off-season. With half othe regular season gone, you can bet that Bryan Murray is already talking to some key players on their status. Here’s my take on them.
Anton Volchenkov (UFA)- Without a doubt the most important player headed for free agency this summer. He is the team’s best defenseman and plays like a warrior. There should be no reason why Murray can’t re-sign this guy. If you you’re looking at money being thrown around, the range of $4-4.5 million a year is reasonable. Rememeber that last time these two inked a contract, Anton took a hometown discount, so that may play here. I think the two will likely agree to paper before April.
Ryan Shannon (UFA)- Shannon’s had an off-yeear. Although his speed and skill is big on this team, he’s scored 5 goals this season, which isn’t what I expected. I still think Ottawa should re-sign him, because he’s a guy that could potentially play a 6-pivot role. And guess what, we don’t have much of those. I’m going to say maybe $800,000 to $1 million a year.
Shean Donovan (UFA)- I’m torn on Donovan. Even though he’s a very valuable guy to the team in terms of hard work, grit, and leadership, I don’t think he and Cory Clouston meet eye to eye. If I were GM I would try to re-sign him but I think Murray will let him go or he will retire on bases that Zack Smith is already knocking on the door.
Nick Foligno (RFA)- Another important guy the team needs to re-sign. Even though Foligno has been streaky this season, he’s an asset to the team. I think Bryan Murray will keep him in spite of some guys saying he’s not worth it. Look for somewhere around $1-1.5 million to be a base for contract talks.
Peter Regin (RFA)- He’s likely to be locked up in the next week or so according to a source. The two are looking at somewhere of $1 million/year. There won’t be much discussion on this guy, that’s a fact.
Jesse Winchester (RFA)- Another guy that’s a so-so. I personally don’t see the role Winchester plays on this team, and it’s likely Zack Smith would take his spot for a much cheaper price. I think he’s gone.
Chris Campoli (RFA)- Bryan Murray has to make a decision between Campoli or Picard, and I’m, told he will likely learn towards Chris Campoli, because of course Bryan Murray wasted a 1st round pick for the guy, and he would rather chop of his balls than admit to his mistake. Campoli’s got a lot of potential going for him, a fluid puck mover and a strong shot. I think you’re looking at around $1.5-2 million dollars in play.
Alexandre Picard (RFA)- I’m positively sure this guy will be gone by at least July 1st. He’s a clone of Campoli, but as mentioned before, Murray gave up a 1st rounder for Camps, while Picard was part of the package deal for Andrej Meszaros. Plus, coaching seems to lean more towards Campoli than Picard.