In the days leading up to the Draft, it looked like it could be a busy off season for the Ottawa Senators.
And while there were some changes in the Nation's Capital, the off season has been surprising quiet for Bryan Murray and his staff. With that said, the Sens still have some work to do as they set their roster for the upcoming season.
As of the middle of July and under the league's current CBA, the Sens still find themselves well below the salary cap floor. Obviously that's a number that is likely to change so there's no real sense of urgency for the team to add contract right now.
With that said, the Senators could obviously still benefit from adding an additional top six forward. All the same names remain out there (Nash, Ryan, Doan, Semin) but things seem fairly quiet for the Senators on that front.
So while a big splash seems unlikely, they do have some of their own guys that still need contracts.
We know RFA Kaspars Daugavins is headed to arbitration and has a hearing scheduled for later this month. Jim O'Brien, Stephane Da Costa and Eric Gryba also need contracts for next season. All three of those players appear to be in the team's plans moving forward.
Meanwhile, Jesse Winchester and Matt Gilroy are both unrestricted free agents. Gilroy's time in Ottawa is done while Winchester remains an option for the club. Fact is, right now anyway, there is no room for him in the forward ranks.
And of course there is the news everyone is still waiting for and that's the status of Captain Daniel Alfredsson. All signs STILL point to Alfie returning to play another season but the organization is still waiting to hear for sure. Have mentioned this before but it sounds like the plan is to give Alfredsson a contract extension.
So while things certainly seem to have gone quiet on most if not all fronts for the Sens, there is still plenty that needs to get done this off season.
- If the rumoured asking price for Shane Doan is legit, you can guarantee the Senators won't get anywhere near those negotiations. Word is an Eastern Conference team is willing to back the truck up for the unrestricted Shane Doan with the offer believed to be four years for $30 million. That team is not the Ottawa Senators. It does, however, have the Winnipeg Jets written all over it.
- The news of the Sens brining back Andre Benoit has been rumoured for quite some time but became official late last week as Benoit was signed to a one year/two way contract. It's interesting to note that shortly after the signing, Tim Murray suggested that Benoit isn't automatically headed to Bingo and will have a shot at cracking the roster.
- The biggest hockey related news of the weekend came in the form of an initial proposal from the owners to the NHLPA in CBA negotiations. Among the items identified by the owners; player revenue share down from 57% to 46%, 5 year max contracts, 10 seasons before players can reach unrestricted free agency, no salary arbitration and 5 year entry level contracts. Certainly a lofty set of demands. Should be interesting to see where the negotiation goes from here.