I have always been a huge Bryan Murray fan. Even in the dark days before the rebuild, when many fans were calling for his head, I was always a fan. I think he is an incredibly smart hockey man. You don't stick around in the game for as long as he has if you aren't.
That did not stop me from being a little concerned yesterday when I saw two contracts handed out that I would have preferred Murray to hand out. One was the signing of forward Peter Mueller by the Florida Panthers for an exceptionally cheap 1-year $1.75 million. The other was forward Wojtek Wolski signing with the Capitals for peanuts, nearly the league minimum, 1-year 600k.
Both players have issues, but neither is particularly old, and with the clear need for scoring depth in the lineup, these cheap contracts would have been smart gambles. Sure, Murray already made a gamble on a similarly plagued Guillaume Latendresse, but in my eyes that was more a move to replace the outgoing Nick Foligno at a cheaper price.
Wolski, who is only 26 years old, would have been a slightly tougher sell to the Senators fans that still have not forgiven him for the elbow he hit Daniel Alfredsson with while with the Rangers. That said, paying 600k for a player 2 years removed from a 65 point season is like stealing. He will now fill Alexander Semin's shoes in Washington as a talented but enigmatic scoring forward, but he'll do it at 1/10 the price.
Mueller would have been a better option. He is only 24 years old and was once an 8th overall pick to the Coyotes. He scored 54 points in his rookie season, and when the Avalanche acquired him a couple seasons ago, he scored 20 points in 15 games to close out the season. He is a gifted offensive player who would have provided good scoring depth in the event of an injury to either Kyle Turris or Jason Spezza, though injuries are a concern for Mueller himself.
The ship has sailed on both of these players now, and there is no use crying over spilt milk, but it would certainly have been nice to sign one of these two players, as they have the potential to be the steals of the offseason.
Links after the jump.
- The Senators website has put out an article detailing the events the Sens organization will be involved with this month in the community if you care to check any out! [Sens]
- Brennan has decided that the Senators need more physical players. Water is wet, bears shit in the woods, and oh look at that he suggests a local player! But all in all one of his better efforts. [Sun]
- SensShot gives his season grade out to Milan Michalek. [Senshot]
- New feature from the Senators official site, a "ten questions" series. This week, they catch up with local boy Mark Borowiecki. He is a "big answers guy". [Sens]
- Everyone is loving Borocop today as the Citizen runs an article on him and about how he is already giving back to his hometown even before becoming a regular Senator. [SensExtra]
- The Club officially announces the Chris Neil contract today. [Sens]