The Ottawa Senators’ Poor Contracts: An Off-Season Rant


There are only so many things that can be written about the Ottawa Senators. I personally believe that some roster changes are coming in the near future. Changes must be made.

Why do the Senators have so many bad contracts? Why do the Senators have so many defenceman? Which goalies will be around at the start of the season? Who will the Senators sign/let go this offseason? Who will the Senators draft?

My opinions on these matters echo many of the sentiments share by my fellow writers and fans.

Poor Contracts

Something must be done about the contracts of several Ottawa Senator players. David Legwand will be a 3.5 million cap hit. What does Legwand do on the Senators? He plays as a third or fourth line centre. Jean-Gabriel Pageau does the same thing for significantly less money and he does it much better.

Colin Greening is a 2.75 million dollar cap hit and does not even play in the NHL. Jared Cowen is a 3.7 million dollar cap hit and is constantly sitting in the press box. Chris Phillips is a 2.7 million dollar cap hit and does not play many games. Chris Neil is a 1.5 million dollar cap hit and his job is to check and fight people.

Bryan Murray has shown foolish loyalty to veterans and grit players. Some of the figures above are disturbing. Some of these contracts must be moved in order for the Senators to a) sign the players who are RFA’s and actually contribute b) Sign new players from Free Agency or have cap room in trades.

Murray must address Legwand’s contract. I believe it is the worst one out of the forwards on the team. There is far too much money tied up in players who do not make meaningful contribution. Eugene Melynk has never been one to spend to the cap so the contracts are even more detrimental.

Jan 13, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Ottawa Senators defenseman Eric Gryba (62) skates against the Dallas Stars during the game at the American Airlines Center. The Stars defeated the Senators 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

A Defensive Log-Jam

There are way too many defenceman on the Senators. I used to be a Cowen fan but the numbers indicate it may be time to give up on him. In baseball they say you can’t teach size, in some ways I believe you can’t teach skill. Either Phillips, Cowen, or Eric Gryba must be taken out of the fold. The other defenceman on the team have all done things to solidify their spots on the team, the aformention trio have not. Phillips has in the fact that he has played the most Senators games and been in the league for so long but that is it. Phillips has lost his effectiveness.

The Senators have Robin Lehner, Craig Anderson, and Andrew Hammond under contract. Hammond allowed the Senators to go on their miraculous surge to the playoffs last year. The moment he faltered many fans jumped ship and said Anderson should have been playing in the playoffs. Anderson played unbelievable in the playoffs and had a remarkable regular season before his injury. Robin Lehner was drafted by the Senators and has always appeared to be Murray’s “guy”. They have never given up on Lehner. Lehner has looked both very good and very marginal throughout his career. You never know what you are going to get from Lehner and he has never been able to estabilish himself as the starter in Ottawa.

Murray is once again on the hunt for the elusive phenomenon known as the “Top 6” forward. I believe Ottawa has a fairly solid group of forwards, but a defenceman (or two) and goalie must be moved.

I am not sure who the Senators will draft this year, but their recent drafts have given me some hope. I believe the Senators draft well but do not make good decisions in regards to free agents or trades. It will be interesting to see what unfolds. Who will be drafted? Who will be signed who will be released? Who will be traded? Only time will tell.

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