Well, we are here. The start of the Regular Season and the start of a new era with Erik Karlsson at the helm. In retrospect, here is a complete off-season review for the Ottawa Senators
April 14: Locker Clean-out Day
It’s locker clean out day in Ottawa. Jason Spezza rumours are rampant at this time and Ales Hemsky‘s future with the club in an unknown. The team knows they have a big summer ahead as Robin Lehner, Milan Michalek, and Eric Gryba all need contracts and Ottawa starts to look at possibilities of re-signing their 2015 UFA’s.
May 1 – 30th
Not much develops in may, The NHL playoffs are in full swing and more has come out about Jason Spezza and the team’s future.
Ottawa signs Mikael Wikstrand and Max McCormick to ELC’s and Re-ups Patrick Mullen for one more.
June 1 – 27th
Apr 13, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Ottawa Senators center Jason Spezza (19) scores against Pittsburgh Penguins goalieJeff Zatkoff
(37) during the shootout at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Senators won 3-2 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
It comes out that Jason Spezza has discussed with Bryan Murray about his future and is reported that he has asked for a trade. Leading up to the deadline Ottawa looks at their options to trade Spezza. St. Louis is mentioned as the front-runner with teams like Anaheim and Dallas as potential dance partners as well.
June 27th – 28th: NHL Entry Draft
Without a first round pick, Ottawa watches as Anaheim selects F Nick Ritchie 10th overall on the first day of the draft. Spezza rumours are at a peak at this point as it appears as though a deal is in place to send Spezza to Anaheim.
Spezza isn’t dealt and Sens fans are left hanging as GM Bryan Murray cannot find a deal that satisfies
Day 2 is where Ottawa starts picking. Selecting Andreas Englund with their 2nd round pick. Following that up with Miles Gendron, Shane Eiserman, Francis Perron, and Kelly Summers. The Hockey News likes what they see in Ottawa’s choices and gives Ottawa and A+ rating for the weekend.
July 1st: Free Agency
Jason Spezza is traded to the Dallas stars. F Alex Chiasson, prospects Nick Paul and Alex Guptill as well as a 2015 2nd round pick. The return was underwhelming for some Sens fans even after Bryan Murray had made it clear that you don’t win a trade when you trade a player of Spezza’s caliber.
Milan Michalek decides to re-sign in Ottawa later in the day, agree-ing to a 3 year/4 million AAV contract that comes as a small cap hit for him.
Benoit Pouliot, a player who had considerable interest in coming to Ottawa and vice versa decides to sign with Edmonton on a 5 year/4 million dollar contract.
July 2nd – 31st
A few days after free-agency opens, Ottawa tests the open market and acquires the services of David Legwand, a veteran centerman. The contract has a term of 2 years with an AAV of $3,000,000.
Eric Gryba gets his RFA contract signed, agreeing to a 1,250,000 AAV, 2 year contract.
On July 7th, it is revealed that Bryan Murray has been diagnosed with Cancer and is seeking treatment.
Robin Lehner is signed to a 3 year “bridge contract” worth a hair over 2,000,000. Lehner will look to solidify himself as Ottawa’s starter within these 3 years.
RFA Stephane Da Costa is seeking a 1-way contract, Ottawa retains his rights but does not offer a 1-way deal. Stephane heads overseas to the KHL with CSKA Moscow in a move that is beneficial for both parties.
Jan 23, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Ottawa Senators left wingClarke MacArthur
(16) reacts after defenseman Erik Karlsson (65) (not pictured) scored a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period at Tampa Bay Times Forum. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Out of nowhere comes some Sens news. Mark Borowiecki signs a 3 year contract extension, with a 1-way AAV of 1,100,000.
Ottawa also re-ups F Clarke MacArthur on a 5-year deal worth 4,600,000 and Craig Anderson is extended at an AAV of 4,200,000 over 3 years.
October rolls around with a Rookie tournament in London and training camp just around the corner. No big surprises or news stories, but Ottawa has a productive training camp which includes a trip out east to Newfoundland and a trip to France for the rookies.
Nothing Major happened in October and here we are. (They signed Bobby Ryan and announced Erik Karlsson as captain)
Ottawa’s regular season begins on the road in games against Nashville, Tampa Bay, and Florida.