Welcome to the day where NHL GM’s lose their minds, and those players who have put the time in and have earned the status of unrestricted free agent cash in. The NHL free agency period opens at noon today, and you can bet that almost every contract signed over the next few days will be for too much term and too much money.
Matt Niskanen, Paul Stastny, Matt Moulson, Thomas Vanek,, Ryan Miller, Christain Ehrhoff are among those players who will be highly sought after and probably by the end of the day will have their names on multi year, mega-Million dollar deals.
As for the Ottawa Senators, don’t expect them to throw their hat in the ring on the big names. It wouldn’t surprise me if Bryan Murray picks up the phone and inquires about the availability of someone like Derek Roy, a local player who isn’t in the top tier but might still have something to give.
The Senators are also likely to officially lose Ales Hemsky and Milan Michalek
Last season it was a tumultuous day for the Ottawa Senators, starting with the departure of Daniel Alfredsson at the opening of the period followed by the big trade to bring in Bobby Ryan and then the fortunate, almost afterthought singing of Clarke MacArthur that actually panned out better than anyone expected.
If the Senators are going to be active this season, it will likely be for a mid-range forward, because they will be forced to spend money anticipating the removal of Jason Spezza’s $7M cap hit. The Senators are just over $1M over the cap floor, so either the return for Spezza is going to cost them $6M next season or they will have to sign a free agent in the $3 or $4M range, although their preference is likely to bring Michalek back for a deal in that range or just above.
Whatever Ottawa does, don’t expect a big splash coming in, because the Senators have decisions to make on 4 of their top players who will need new contracts after next season – Ryan, MacArthur, Marc Methot and Craig Anderson.
Is there another MacArthur to be had this season, and if so who is it?