The Ottawa Senators announced today that Patrick Wiercioch was signed to a 3-year deal that carries a cap hit of $2M per year. They also tweeted a picture of the signing, with Wiercioch looking happier about it than Assistant General Manager/Team Curmudgeon Tim Murray.
Though scratched for most of the playoffs, Wiercioch had a very successful rookie campaign, as our own Turris' Ass Goals summed up last week:
41st in scoring amongst defencemen in the NHL beating out notables like Dougie Hamilton (rookie), Luke Schenn, Jonas Brodin (rookie), Niklas Hjalmrsson and Tyler Myers.
12th in Rookie scoring and tied with Silfverberg and Tarasenko. 6th in scoring on the senators with a +9 (tied for highest),
3 powerplay goals (tied for highest) and a 21.5 relative corsi rating.
Now I don’t know what the hell corsi is, but I do know it was higher than Gonchars.
This is all coming from a rookie who took a puck to the throat not too long ago. Amazing.
Not too shabby at all.
The contract is an interesting one, in that it's likely to be an overpayment in year one and a bargain by year three. Throughout his career, Wiercioch has demonstrated slow growth and then large leaps forward. It almost feels as if the team is counting on that trend to continue.
The deal also confirms suspicion that Wiercioch will be looked to as a replacement for departed defenseman Sergei Gonchar--his contract is more than double that offered to UFA defenseman Joe Corvo, who is also in the "puck-mover" mold. Money talks, and the Senators have just made a commitment to Wiercioch. Hope he's hitting the weight room, because he just became a key factor in next season's success.