Ottawa Senators Sign Center Nate Thompson to Two Year Deal

EDMONTON, AB - MAY 3: David Desharnais
EDMONTON, AB - MAY 3: David Desharnais /

The Ottawa Senators have started the off-season with a series of small moves, most notably the signing of center Nate Thompson.

General Manager Pierre Dorion has approached free agency with caution. Making a series of depth signings for the minor leagues, the only NHL player he has signed thus far is center Nate Thompson. Thompson, a 32 year older center, signed a two year, 3.3 million dollar deal with the Sens on July 1st. This comes to an average of 1.65 million per season. He will be the replacement of Chris Kelly on the fourth line, who made 900,000 dollars last season.

Who is Nate Thompson

A fairly unknown name, many Sens fans seem to wonder who this guy is and what they can expect from him over the next two years. After scoring just two points in 30 games last season with the Anaheim Ducks, the answer certainly isn’t scoring. However, he is known to be a stable defensive player. As he’s someone will play on the fourth time and will likely get many of his minutes from the penalty kill, that’s all he needs to be.

A Connection with the Coach

In what seems like a slightly expensive contract for a fourth liner there’s more to this deal than stats. Thompson will be reunited with former coach Guy Boucher. Thompson played for Boucher during his time in Tampa Bay. These were arguably the best years of Thompson’s career and this wouldn’t be the first time the Sens signed someone because Boucher made a recommendation. Tom Pyatt had been out of the league for two years before being brought back following a recommendation from Boucher. Now Pyatt has become a stable member of the Senators bottom six forwards. Thompson could very well be another Pyatt for Ottawa and for 1.65 million per year that’s a reasonable deal.

Next: Ottawa Senators Team Needs Entering Free Agency

Final Thoughts

Early on in free agency the Ottawa Senators are taking things slow. Thompson is a solid addition to the bottom six but is also a bit of a question mark. In order to improve on last season the Sens will need to make a move to improve their scoring. It’s still early in the summer, but Dorion has a lot of work to do.