Ottawa Senators sign Ron Hainsey and Tyler Ennis
DJ Smith is already exerting his influence over personnel decisions
The theme of adding former Toronto Maple Leafs continues for the Ottawa Senators. After completing the Cody Ceci trade, Dorion has acquired a couple of their UFA cast-offs. When Dorion said he was aiming for a few veteran players, Ron Hainsey was not what most people expected, although perhaps we shouldn’t be shocked. Both players are now confirmed to be signed to 1 year terms.
Hainsey is poisted to act as a mentor for all of the young defencemen on the team, and if Smith can monitor his ice time to purely serve this purpose it might not be so frustrating. It should be noted that Melnyk mocked the Leafs defence last year only to acquire two of their most prominent members in the past 24 hours.
Let’s take a look at both of our new additions:
Tyler Ennis - $800K
The 29-year old was drafted 26th overall by the Buffalo Sabres, and since then has been with the Minnesota Wild and most recently the Toronto Maple Leafs. Over his 10 year NHL career, he has put up 276 points (117 goals, 159 assists) and has only scored 20 or more goals only 3 out of the 10 season he has played. After being bought out by the Wild, the Leafs gave him a chance to prove himself and he provided some depth with 18 points in 51 games played, I expect a similar rate of production here in Ottawa though perhaps he may exceed expectations with increased ice time.
Ron Hainsey - $3.5M
The 38-year old was originally drafted 13th overall by the Montreal Canadiens and has since played on multiple teams including the 2017 Stanley Cup winning Pittsburgh Penguins. In 1068 games played, he has amassed 299 points (58 goals, 241 assist). He had an up and down year for the Buds last season and primarily played on the right side, but is capable playing the left side as well. The expectation would be that he play heavy minutes until he is surpassed by one of the youngster or perhaps traded at the deadline. The biggest potential issue could be Hainsey taking a spot from a younger and better player/prospect such as Wolanin who never truly got a fair shot with this team. As for the new phenom, Erik Brannstrom it is more than likely now that he will spend at least part of the season in the AHL, which honestly is probably the best course of action. Like Brown and Zaitsev, Hainsey was extensively used in the penalty kill which is a good sign for the Senators.