Silver Nuggets: Some Thoughts on the Middle

They gave Smith HOW many years?

With the announcement Tuesday of a 4-year deal for Zack Smith, the Senators now have Jason Spezz, Kyle Turris and Zack Smith (three centres) locked up for the next three years at least (I'm assuming after that Spezza will be re-signed).

The Senators also have players like Jim O'Brien and Peter Regin who play the middle of the ice, and Stephane Da Costa who saw some time with the big club last year. But who am I missing?

Mika Zibanejad.

With Spezza, Turris and Smith locked up long term, where is the centre ice position for Mika? He is a natural centre, and was drafted to be the number 2 behind Jason. Of course, it is possible that he plays on the third line, bumping Smith to line 4, but that puts a player making almost 2 million per season on the 4th line. While that is not unheard of (Maxime Talbot for the Flyers or Gregory Campbell on the Bruins both come to mind) if is not necessarily great value.

The other option is that Turris or Smith could be moved to the wing, but it is most likely that Mika will find himself either on the left or right side of the ice long-term. This may suit his style of play better, but only time will tell. One thing is for sure, for the foreseeable future, centre is a position the Senators have wrapped up.

Links

Sens News

  • WTYKY provides some thoughts on the term of these latest Bryan Murray contracts. [WTYKY]
  • Nichols with some thoughts on the Zack Smith inking. [6thSens]
  • Ken Warren chats with Bryan Murray about contracts, lockout and a stacked Bingo roster in the event of a work stoppage. [Warren]
  • One way or another, Mika will be playing for the Senators this season, Bingo or Big Boys. [SensExtra]
  • Player Spotlight: Sergei Gonchar [Sens]
  • Player Spotlight: Kyle Turris [Sens]
  • Sportsnet announced the coverage of 53 games in the event of a full season. [Sens]
  • Lastly, there hasn't been a satire article on this site in quite some time, but this one was great. Poor Jared Cowen, literally. [SSS]
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