Email Hot Stove: Free Agent Frenzy Follow Up

A Silver Seven staff email thread discussing free agent acquisitions around the league.

July 1st has come and gone, the dust has settled, and with re-signing Michalek as the only move Ottawa has the distinction of being the quietest team on the UFA market this offseason.

Any UFA you think was a fit for Ottawa (in terms of both lineup and contract terms) that we missed out on? How about bullets dodged?

Adnan: I don't know if Ottawa was the quietest. Boston did literally nothing...though they didn't need as much. ;)

Nashville also didn't do anything I think. And maybe one or two more.

B_T: Hah, whoops. Didn't notice Boston wasn't even on the list of transactions. Nashville has resigned Olli Jokinen and Carter Hutton so far this offseason.
Still, one move is pretty quiet.

Peter: There are lots of players Ottawa missed out on, but I'm not entirely surprised by that; there's so much negativity that even when Ottawa will offer market value for a player, that player would probably rather play somewhere else. I think the closest Ottawa got was Benoit Pouliot, but Murray said he wasn't willing to pay as much for as long as Edmonton did. I figured Ottawa would at least sign a player slightly more notable than Carter Camper just to get into the headlines, but their bottom-six forwards and the blue line are already so overcrowded that I'm kind of happy they didn't.

It would have been great to sign buyout guys like Christian Ehrhoff and Brad Richards to the short-term discounted deals they inked, but there was no reason for them to accept those discounts with a team that's expected to miss the playoffs.

Michael Del Zotto is the only player out there worth taking a flyer on, and rumours are out there that the Sens are talking to his camp. But before doing that, Ottawa might as well deal away a few of the surplus defencemen they've already got.

Adnan: A 9th defenceman!

B_T: Yeah, I don't see signing Del Zotto as long as we've still got the log jam on the blue line. No way we carry that many defense.

Maybe one of those deals that has been rumoured will free up some room (if any of them actually happen).

Ross: I have no interest in taking on Del Zotto. If he didn't fit for the Rags or the Preds, I doubt he'll fit here in Ottawa.
The number of deals Ottawa could have afforded and didn't is probably pretty high. If they could put $4-million into Michalek, that could've landed Hemsky, Pouliot, Ehrhoff, Raymond, and a bit more would've got Vrbata. I think it's clear that the Sens are not a destination that free agents choose right now. So as much as Ottawa could've afforded a better winger, they couldn't have actually got one without paying well above market value.

Honestly, I'm happy we didn't pay well above market value for someone like Robidas or Bolland just so the Sens could say they tried. I'd rather this team take its lumps and develop than put half-effort into competing.

Sarah: I think they missed out on a lot of players who could have come in and helped...unfortunately, those they did contact didn't want to come here. I think Murray is realizing that though, which is why he's trying to acquire via trade.
I will say I'm glad Murray didn't sign Pouliot given what he actually signed for.

Ross: Who do you think would've wanted to come here if they'd been asked?

I think the money for Pouliot is good, but the term's long. But like Ottawa, Edmonton pays a premium for UFAs.

Nkb: Eh he'll only be 32 when the deal's up. Let's put it this way: I'd much much rather Pouliot on his deal than MM9 on his

Sarah: Not entirely sure either is who I'd chip 4M in for...

Ary: I wish we ran the team and just used a majority vote via email thread to sign guys. I think we'd do pretty well - we seem to have a solid consensus when we rate players (grades, etc.). But first, everyone start playing the lottery!!! #GetLucky

Ryan: We don't have a ton of consensus with prospects.

You're all (well, the pre-Amelia Era people) going to feel so silly making fun of me for ranking Puempel 7th.

Oh yes you will.

Sarah: I'm excited about Puempel, mostly cuz he played for the Petes

Ross: I think Puempel's kind of had a U-shaped curve for hype. High when drafted, then missed some games and looked like he'd lost a step, and then went on to have a great rookie season in the AHL. I think people are cautiously hoping he gets some NHL time this coming year.

Also, he played for Kitchener too, so that's a plus in my books.

Sarah: I agree with U there. See what I did?

Brad: I guess the dust hadn't quite settled yet... So much for being the quietest team to actually sign anyone.
Legwand seems like a pretty good value though. He's no blockbuster, but I think it definitely is a desperately needed positive.


This Hot Stove was completed before the Legwand signing. How does the addition of the former Nashville and Detroit centre change your perspective on Ottawa's offseason compared to the rest of the league?

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