Bryan Murray made some sensible, low-risk and potentially very smart moves on Sunday in the opening day of Free Agency. He didn't trade for Rick Nash, he didn't manage to land Zach Parise or Ryan Suter (though, as of this writing, no one has) (NOTE: SIGNED BY WILD), and he decided players like P.A Parenteau and Jason Garrison had priced themselves out of the Senators budget.
As Mark pointed out the other day, he made very solid transitionary moves.
The question now is, is he done? The Senators are currently about 5 million dollars below the NHL's cap floor. No one is entirely certain what happens to your team if you are below the floor to start the season, but I'm sure the floor exists for a reason. It is thought that perhaps the cap floor will be lowered or removed entirely in the next CBA, but if not, the Senators have to be prepared to either take on a big contract via trade, or sign one of the remaining free agents.
Matt Carle would command enough of a salary to get the team over the cap floor, but he is going to be heavily pursued by teams that lose out on Ryan Suter, and besides, Murray has already added two d-men in Marc Methot and Mike Lundin. Alexander Semin (who Adnan would love to see here) would also command enough salary to bump the Sens over the floor. However, the Murrays have shown they are likely to stay away from Russians in general, and most certainly one that comes with the reputation of Semin (note: I like Semin, I think he is wonderfully talented). Shane Doan is probably the only other name available that could command the type of salary necessary to get the Sens over the floor, but apparently the LA Kings are very interested in the veteran winger, as are a number of other teams.
That leaves trades. The Senators are rumoured to be in on Bobby Ryan (a player I'd MUCH rather see instead of Rick Nash, even at the same asking price) and that would solve their cap issues, but Ryan will be ruthlessly pursued by 30 teams in the league if he truly is available, especially by teams that miss out on Parise and Nash.
Bryan Murray has said he is likely done, but with the cap situation the team is in, is that possible?
Links after the jump.
- In a blockbuster move yesterday, Bryan Murray signed future face of the franchise Hugh Jessiman. He should provide needed experience in Bingo. Peter broke the story here, and provided him with a nickname we will never use in a game thread. [SSS]
- 6th Sens had some fun with the Jessiman signing as well. [6thSens]
- Peter writes a story in which he calls a fellow blogger a horse. He also asks this horse questions about Marc Methot. READ IT! [SSS]
- Solid fanpost from community member JVT about some observations from the development camp scrimmage and 3 on 3 tournament. Worth checking out as the article talks about Stefen Noesen, Michael Sdao and Cody Ceci! [SSSFan]
- A little note from Aaron Portzline, the beat writer from Columbus who says that the Senators got closer than any team to landing Rick Nash, and it was in those talks that Foligno-Methot deal was born. [SensExtra]
- Turns out that even if Nash expands his list, the Huge Euge has no interest in bringing him here. He says he doesn't mind bringing in salary, but if the player doesn't WANT to be an Ottawa Senator, then he can take a hike. [Sun]
- Speaking of a player excited to play in Ottawa, Marc Methot met with the media yesterday for the first time. He seems well spoken and if he can be an Andy Sutton- type partner for Erik, albeit with better discipline and skating ability, the Senators may find a good match there. [SensExtra]
- Nichols with some "reactions" to the Foligno trade from message boards. Honestly, I think the Sens will be a good team without Nick Foligno, and Methot fills a need. [6thSens]