Grading the Senators' July 1st Performance

Moves:

  • Signed Erik Condra, Martin St. Pierre, Mike Brodeur to two-way contracts to boost the depth of organization. All three will likely stay in Binghamton with the B-Sens for the year, barring any emergency call-ups.
  • Signed Chris Neil to a 4 year deal worth $8M

Non-Moves:

GRADE: D

The only thing pushing this above a flat out F is that we nabbed some good players for the Binghamton Senators, who really could use some help. However, none of those players really address any needs for the Ottawa Senators in the 09/10 campaign.

And though Chris Neil does add something the Senators need in their lineup, he does so at what is one of the worst contracts signed this offseason. You do not spend $2 million a year for a fighter who put up career numbers 4 years ago - and that was 33 points - and has declined ever since. Some may argue that it was worth it, because other teams - Edmonton, Toronto, and NYR - offered more money (NYR offering 2.3M for 4 years), but they are wrong. They are wrong because you shouldn't be using Glen Sather as a guideline for a sensible deal. They are wrong because we will have 4 more years of bad penalties coming at a price that is far too much for a player who puts up far too few points. And finally, they are wrong because for the next four years, every free agent who is offered less than $8M over 4 years by Bryan Murray will say, "What, you don't think I'm as good as Chris Neil?"

At the end of the season, we knew we needed more secondary scoring. Well, we may have lost Mike Comrie, we didn't sign any strong UFA forwards, and we have a Dany Heatley who now believes that the Ottawa Senators have treated him unfairly by finding him a trading partner. As I mentioned earlier, if you thought things were looking grim before, it may just get worse - its hard to imagine many teams wanting to take a risk on Heatley putting them in a similar position down the line.

There you have it. To improve the Ottawa Senators team that did not make the playoffs, we have a more expensive Chris Neil, a more volatile Dany Heatley, and a more confused and depressed fanbase.

Well, there's always the 2010 NHL Draft to look forward to, right?

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