With Marc Methot re-signing, the Senators now have ~$60M in cap space tied up for next season; way over the internal budget set by Eugene Melnyk for this season of around $56M. Now, the new Rogers TV deal in conjunction with the Senators new local broadcast deal with Bell helps offset the change in salary - make no mistake when you see that a number of the contracts below were heavily backloaded. However, I still think that the Senators would like to offload some salary, and if they choose the right players, I think it's the correct move.
The image above is from NHLNumbers, a good hub for salary information now that Capgeek is no longer around. The goalies aren't shown because it's already established, barring a trade, that Anderson and Lehner will be the tandem for at least the next two seasons.
In terms of salary commitments, the defense is set, but I'm not happy with the five healthy left-defensemen that are signed for next year now that Methot is re-signed, especially because I don't see a top-four option to play big minutes with Methot and Karlsson. Think of it this way - the Senators are going to be paying MORE money to hypothetically bring back the group of Cowen, Wiercioch, Phillips, and Borowiecki next year: $10.1M vs. $8M. When you consider that all four have been questionable this season for a variety of reasons, that's not "spending smartly".
At forward, the Senators have young players like Mika Zibanejad, Alex Chiasson, and the dynamic rookie duo of Mike Hoffman and Mark Stone, to take care of. All four are better than the group of David Legwand, Zack Smith, and Chris Neil that's making $7M next year, and that's without even considering Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Shane Prince as cheap replacements to feature in the Senators bottom six.
To me, it makes sense both in terms of the product on the ice AND salary that the Senators need to try and ship away some of the middling depth that they have - a group that's also partly responsible for the team's middling position the last couple of years. The injuries to Phillips, Neil, and Smith mean that the Sens may not be able to move them at the deadline, but the offseason looks to be a critical in determining if this team can take the next step, or whether they'll continue with the status quo. What do you think?
- Here are your recaps from last night's game against Carolina, including some ugly injury news [Silver Seven, Rank the Performances, Ottawa Citizen, SensChirp, SenShot]
- ICYMI, the Senators demolished the Oilers on Hockey Day in Canada. [Silver Seven, Rank the Performances, Ottawa Citizen, SensChirp, SenShot]
- After Saturday night's game, the Senators made an unexpected roster move by sending down Jean-Gabriel Pageau, who likely had one of his best games of the season. The reason.. [Silver Seven]
- ... is because they wanted to see what else they had in the system, and decided that BSens leading scorer and former 67s star Shane Prince was next in line. [Silver Seven, 6th Sens, SenShot, Ottawa Citizen, SensChirp]
- I feel weird putting this here but it's because surely everyone knows by now... MARC METHOT RE-SIGNED. The Scanlan column at the end touches on the notion of whether the Senators are still a budget team (they are). [Silver Seven, 6th Sens, SensChirp, SenShot, Ottawa Citizen]
- Last roster update, Chris Neil joins Chris Phillips on the injured list - likely meaning that neither will be moved. Really... strange (unlucky?) timing. [6th Sens]
- The Senators play two more games this week, one against the likely playoff-bound Habs and the other against a team trying their best to get in - the Florida Panthers. [Silver Seven - Week Ahead, Bonk's Mullet - Week Preview]
- With Methot signed, the Sens now have a defensive logjam they may want to fix. Here's Jack on the 8 healthy D. [SenShot]
- Bryan Murray may be staying on as GM for another year, but will wait until the offseason to re-evaluate his health. I don't want to speculate, but I think it's safe to say that he'll be running the Sens at draft time. [6th Sens]
- We celebrated Valentines Day with style here at Silver Seven, thanks to Sheer_Craziness + Mrs. O. [Senators Valentines, Senators Song Dedications]
- Varada has a column on Robin Lehner, who's started nine straight games after Craig Anderson got injured. [WTYKY]
- What do you mean Erik Karlsson still doesn't think his skating is back to normal? Can you imagine if he got... better? [Ottawa Citizen]
- Trevor debuted a new column that looks at a number of cool and not-so-cool things that happened to the Senators that week. [SenShot]
- You know who's had the A when Phillips/Neil have been out of the lineup? Bobby Ryan. Here's a feature on him relishing his new leadership role. [Ottawa Citizen]
- The BSens split their home-and-home with the Toronto Marlies. [SenShot I, SenShot II]
- There's also been a fair bit of speculation that BSens coach Luke Richardson may be joining the Sabres as head coach if Ted Nolan is fired in the offseason. It was Tim Murray, as the GM of the BSens, who appointed Luke as the BSens head coach two years ago. [6th Sens]
- As the trade deadline looms, check out our hub with all the stories on possible Sens trade bait [Silver Seven]