After looking at the opening salvo that occured today on the free agency market, let's take a look at the moves the Senators made, what they didn't make and why they made them.
Kuba 2yr @ 4mil/yr
Carkner 3yr @ 1.5mil/yr
Foligno RFA Estimated 2.5-3.5/yr
Lundin 1yr @ 1.15mil/yr
Latendresse 1yr @ 1.25mil/yr
Methot 3yr @ 3mil/yr
The Ottawa Senators decided to part with some players and in turn picked up some bargain bin replacements that have had injury problems in the last season (or two). Obviously at the very base of this seems to be Ottawa's commitment to reducing their payroll as well as reducing the amount of term they would have likely had to give the players that are leaving the team.
Lundin comes in as a replacement for Carkner at a slightly cheaper salary, but on a one year contract. This allows the Senators flexibility moving forward if they like Lundin or not, rather then committing more term to Carkner.
Methot comes onto the team to replace Kuba who left to Florida. This allows the Senators to save some money on the contract yearly and gets rid of a player who may deteriorate going forward.
Latendresse comes in and slots into the lineup to replace the loss of Foligno. The Senators again save money in replacing a player on their roster with a new face.
I do believe that the Methot for Foligno trade was actually in Columbus's favour but if you consider that the three player shuffle ended up a fairly even balance of player ability while saving some real dollars, we should consider the trade a success. Of this all hinges on if our new aquisitions can stay healthy.
All-in-all, this year in Ottawa it's all about the money. Murray was about to cut a few million from the payroll, and if he chooses to save that money or spend it on another asset I think on a whole the Senators managed to be successful on day one of free agency 2012.