Over the past few weeks it looked like the Ottawa Senators were turning a corner to lock up a few players. At the time of the Robin Lehner signing it was made aware that contract talks for both Bobby Ryan and Clarke MacArthur were in the preliminary stages. To go along with the contract talks of Ryan and MacArthur, Marc Methot and the Ottawa Senators were also progressing well on a contract extension for the defenceman who is set to be an unrestricted free agent come the end of the 2014-2015 season. It is being reported by Ottawa media that Methot, who is represented by local lawyer Larry Kelly and the Ottawa Senators have hit a wall in the negotiation process and talks are at a standstill. Methot reached a career high in goals and points last season and was an even 0 in the plus/minus column. It is being reported that Methot is looking for a similar deal as Brooks Orpik got from the Washington Capitals this past offseason, meaning he is looking to get an average salary of $5.5 million a year.
By no means is the thought of a contract extension out of the realm of possibilities, this is just a normal part of negotiating contracts. As I see it, and as most people do. If Marc Methot is not signed to an extension he will most likely be traded by the NHL trade deadline, which would be no surprise. Why would you lose a quality NHL defenceman for nothing? Though it is a while before decision has to be made has to be made on Methot’s future, it is interesting to think about what Methot would fetch in return?
The Ottawa Senators acquired Methot from the Columbus BlueJackets for Nick Foligno in the 2012 off-season, but would a deal like that be a sufficient enough return for the organization? I don’t think it is.
Over the past off-season we have seen some defenceman move around, but for nothing too big return. Josh Georges was traded from the Montreal Candiens to the Buffalo Sabres for a second round pick, Jason Garrison was in a package that saw him leave the Vancouver Canucks to the Tampa Bay Lightning for a second round pick. I understand that each trade has its different circumstances such as a team trying to dump salary, but in relative terms defencemen haven’t who have been traded over the past couple seasons haven’t brought to much back in return. In all likelihood, if Methot is dealt it will be at trade deadline, because this is where the Ottawa Senators can maximize the return if they the two sides cannot come to an agreement. There is no question what Marc Methot can bring to the table, and at that time of the year he could be very valuable to a team making a playoff push and a desperate team can overpay. Is it possible he could fetch something in return like what the Toronto Maple Leafs got for Francois Beauchemin when they traded him to the Anaheim Ducks? In short, probably not since Methot will be a rental player, where as Beauchim had term left and Anaheim was very comfortable as he was on the Stanley Cup championship team in 2007. It’s always hard to predict what a team might get in return, but depending on the situation I think the Ottawa Senators can get a pick and a prospect in the deal, but there is always a possibility for a one for one swap.
In my opinion Marc Methot is an underrated defenceman in the National Hockey League and does not get enough recognition as he should. The 6’3”, 230 lbs defenceman is a big part of this team. I would have no problem giving Methot the money he is asking for. For his size, Methot has good mobility and speed, he brings great character to that dressing room and provides a tremendous amount of leadership on and off the ice. Not to mention Marc Methot is this teams second best defenceman right now, and after losing Daniel Alfredsson and Jason Spezza it is important to stabilize the organization and keep core players around.
In my opinion a deal will get done. Methot brings too much to this organization to give up and can be a solid part of the core moving forward.