The Ottawa Senators sure aren't letting a potential lockout slow down their activity this summer.
After signing both Chris Neil (three years, $5.7M) and Kyle Turris (five years, $17.5M) to extensions in July and August respectively, the Sens kicked off September by locking up another player to a multi-year extension before his current contract even expired: Zack Smith and the team put pen to paper on a four-year deal worth $7.55M this afternoon, which will take effect for the 2013-14 season. His cap hit will be $1.8875M per season.
Z. Smith was scheduled to become a restricted free agent next summer. He reportedly didn't even give a crap.
Although management has long been keen on Z. Smith, the deal seems like a pretty hefty commitment for a player who spent last season split between the third and fourth line. Although he started the season strong with 12 goals in the first half, he only had two goals in the second half. Fourteen goals isn't bad production for a bottom-six player, but the Sens must have an inkling that first-half Z. Smith is what they're getting, and that's why they've locked him up for another four years.
Tough to complain too much about the deal, though: A tough customer with good offensive potential will be around for the foreseeable future on this team. A good number of folks around here will be very happy with the deal.