Colin Greening’s Contract Becoming A Big Problem


It’s no secret that Bryan Murray and the Ottawa Senators want to get rid of Colin Greening. If he was making less than one million dollars then perhaps he’d be given another chance, but his cap hit is at $2.65 million and there are still two years left. He is 29 years old, and Ottawa has better players available for a lot cheaper.

The problem is, they can’t seem to get rid of him and it’s becoming a big problem. The Senators have an abundance of bad contracts that add up to a lot of dead weight, and Greening is one of the more obvious ones. If they actually want to contend, they will need some more cap space and that means ridding themselves of bad players/big cap hits.

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Greening’s contract certainly isn’t massive, but for someone who has 18 points in his last 102 games it is a massive over payment. If Murray is able to get rid of players like Chris Phillips, David Legwand, Jared Cowen, etc. then having Greening on the books won’t look as bad. However, moving Greening should be priority number one right now because it will be the hardest off-season move.

There are a few options, but none of them are perfect.

Option 1: Buy him out

This seems like the most logical choice, as most players who have underperformed that aren’t worth their contract simply get bought out. It’s a move that I would make, as the other options either are not likely or undesirable. Here is a handy chart made by Nichols at The 6th Sens showing what a Greening buy out would look like:

So the first two seasons that would be a big bonus for the team. In years three and four it’s a bit of an albatross, but it shouldn’t be too big of a deal especially if some bad contracts are expired. Considering nobody will take him, this looks like a solid option. However, it looks like a buyout might not be happening.

Bruce Garrioch said this morning that it’s “unlikely” that Greening’s contract is bought out. Furthermore, our own Jack Leiper has stated his reasons why a buy out doesn’t make sense for Ottawa, and he does have some good points. If it were up to me, I think I would still make the move but it looks like that isn’t an option. So we can talk about a buyout all we want, but that likely won’t happen.

Which gets us to…

Option #2Include him in a goalie trade

To me, this makes no sense. But I have heard it many times, and Murray has even said so himself that he may look to add a bad contract in a goalie trade to shed some salary. The obvious candidates would be Greening and Legwand, but with an extra year on his deal it looks like Ottawa would try to attach Greening.

The thing with adding a bad contract is, it will almost assuredly get them nothing in return. Greening has been on the market for about a year now, and nobody wants him. If he was making the league minimum, then I’m sure there would be a bit of interest.

I would rather keep him than package him with Anderson or Lehner because I would like to receive something of significance.

But his contract is too big, and if a team like St. Louis is adding him in the deal with Craig Anderson then there’s no way they are giving up a top forward of interest. TJ Oshie’s name has been mentioned in rumours, but the only way he is coming to Ottawa is if they add more in a package, not less.

Murray has made it clear that he wishes to get a top six forward this summer, and I don’t know how he’ll do that if he’s including Greening in a deal. A goalie trade looks to be the only avenue in which a top six player is attainable, but adding a bad contract won’t help that at all. They can get rid of his contract by simply buying him out, and if they try to attach him with Anderson or Robin Lehner then the Senators will get nothing interesting in return.

I would think that they might be able to receive a second round pick and a prospect, but they will not get any kind of player that is NHL ready. This route seems like a bad way to say goodbye to Greening.

Mar 28, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson (41) against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre. The Maple Leafs beat the Senators 4-3 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Option 3: Keep him

Obviously this isn’t what fans want. He isn’t good enough to be on the team, and it showed this past season because he only played 26 games scoring one measly goal. But if there is zero interest around the league and Ottawa doesn’t want to buy him out, what other options do they have? They can send him to the minors, but that only opens up a roster spot.

I would rather keep him than package him with Anderson or Lehner because I would like to receive something of significance. But this still isn’t a good option, which is why his contract is a real problem for Ottawa right now.


The issue with this whole scenario is that there isn’t one obvious plan that alleviates the team short-term and long-term. I would do the buyout without question, but that seems to be off the table. So that worries me because if he’s traded, there is basically no chance that Ottawa trades for a top forward or prospect.

Perhaps the most likely option is him staying with the team. If that’s the case, I hope you can endure another two seasons of this.

Next: Buying Out Colin Greening Makes No Sense For Ottawa

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