It wasn’t quite the impact day that the Ottawa Senators fans were hoping for. A day after losing out to the Edmonton Oilers in the Justin Schultz sweepstakes, the Ottawa Senators made 2 signings and a trade in the opening hours of NHL Free Agency.
The trade was with the Columbus Blue Jackets, but it was far from the trade that was hoped for. Rick Nash wasn’t involved, but instead it was a former Sens first rounder who went Columbus way. Coming off a career season of just under 5o points, Nick Foligno was sent packing in exchange for defenseman Marc Methot. Methot is an Ottawa native who has spent his entire NHL career (parts of 6 seasons) in Columbus, posting 51 points in 275 career games. Methot has 3 years and $9M remaining on his contract.
Also joining the Senators blue line is former Lightning and Wild defenseman Mike Lundin. The oft-injured Lundin inked a 1 year deal for just over $1M, and is coming off a season where he played only 17 games due to injuries, most notably his back, Lundin hasn’t played a full NHL season since his rookie year, 5 seasons ago. He has 35 points in 241 career games.
Up front, the Senators seemingly replaced Foligno (a restricted Free Agent) with former Montreal Canadien and Minnesota Wild winger Guillaume Latendresse to a 1 year deal reportedly worth $1.25M with potential to earn another $750K with bonuses. Latendresse has been a bust so far in his career as his dedication to fitness has been in question his whole career. He had a career high 39 points split between Montreal and Minnesota three seasons ago, and injuries have limited him to a total of 27 games in the past 2 seasons.
All in all, I think the first day of Free Agency has to be incredibly disappointing to Senators fans. Patchwork pickups while watching Matt Carkner (New York Islanders), Zenon Konopka (Minnesota Wild) and Filip Kuba (Florida Panthers) all leave for supposedly greener pastures.
In can’t say that I like any of the acquisitions, and I am disappointed that Foligno has been dispatched after putting up decent numbers. There are too many question marks surrounding the new players to be confident in their abilities to contribute to a playoff contender.
Hopefully GM Bryan Murray has some other larger irons in the fire and these moves are just the setup to something bigger. Although I can’t imagine what those could be. These moves lack the oomph that I was hoping for, and I firmly believe any of these acquisitions will be occupying spots that could easily have been filled from within the system.
A terribly disappointing day for me.