Perhaps nobody on the Ottawa Senators, except maybe Jason Spezza, was targeted for criticism as much as defenseman Jared Cowen. He started out rubbing Senators fans the wrong way with a short contract impasse that cost him a few days of training camp. He did sign a 4 year, $12.4M contract but never seemed to reach the expectations that he, the club and the fan base all had for him.
Jared Cowen started the season in the second pairing with Patrick Wiercioch, but the duo didn’t work out as expected. He played 68 games this season, missing 8 due to injury and was a healthy scratch for 6 others. Perhaps it was lingering problems from the hip injury that derailed his 2013 season, but mobility was really an issue especially in his own end.
Still, for all the criticism and struggles, Cowen finished with a career high 6 goals and was even in the +/- rating, on a blue line where only one member was in the positives.
- Six goals was a career high, beating the 5 set in 2011-13
- Played his best when paired with Erik Karlsson
- His mobility wasn’t where it was expected to be
- Decision making in his own end needs to improve
Jared Cowen just finished the first year of his 4 year deal with a cap hit of $3.1M. Fortunately the salary was lower in the first year and escalating, as the Senators hope his performance does.
Jared Cowen may have taken a step back in his development due to a summer of rehab instead of training. Hopefully a full summer of training and getting better will get back on the learning curve that he was on before his hip injury and avoid the path of another highly touted big defensive prospect, Tyler Myers of the Buffalo Sabres.
GRADE – D : He didn’t get his level to where the Senators needed on a nightly basis to compete. The Senators needed a solid second pair and Cowen was supposed to be a part of that.