It has been extremely quiet on the Sens front lately and while many are still wondering what is going on with the Karlsson trade/extension status, the extensions of Cody Ceci and Mark Stone have been important issues lingering on every fan’s mind. While we are still awaiting news on Mark Stone’s extension status, today we got news via Elliotte Friedman that Cody Ceci will be heading to arbitration after the team offered him $3.35M (which was his qualifying offer). With the way the Sens have been overvaluing Ceci, I am honestly surprised their offer was such a sensible number. The shocking news comes from Ceci’s camp asking for $6M per year and while it is fair to say that asking for a higher number is normal arbitration practice, this number still suggests that Cody Ceci and his agent think he should be getting something close to $5M which (I think most would agree) would be a great over payment.
Cody Ceci was drafted 15th overall by the Ottawa Senators in 2012 and has played 366 regular season games and 25 playoff games since. In this time span, he has 25 goals, 67 assists for a total of 92 regular season points. His playoff numbers leave much to be desired as he is yet to score a playoff goal, while only contributing with 3 assists throughout his time with the Sens. While most players on the roster have had less than stellar performances for the 2017/2018 season, Cody Ceci was exceptionally bad for the Sens. In 82 games, he had an underwhelming 5 goals and 14 assists for a total of 19 points. He was also a -27 in the +/- category which some might attribute to him having the second highest ice time on the team but it really comes down to him being a liability for the majority of those minutes he was given. Ceci finished the season ranked 131st out of 133 defensemen in terms of even-strength puck possession with a negative 43.76 Corsi. He also held the honours for being the defenseman with the highest amount of shots attempted against with 1862. All in all, Cody Ceci has been on the decline for the past 2 seasons and has not been showing any signs of revival. At age 24, one could hope he is merely a late bloomer that will come into form soon, but nothing can justify giving Ceci any amount above $4.5M and the Sens would be extremely generous in such a situation.
It will be interesting to see how all this unfolds, but I don’t see Cody Ceci having much of a case for his demand other than maybe his ice time and relatively good health. It should be noted that the minimum walk-away rights this season is $4,222,941 as per Cap Friendly. I would personally like to see Ceci bounce back from the past 2-3 bad seasons he’s had but at a price over $4.5M, the Sens might be wise to give this opportunity on another roster.