If you’ve watched any of the World Championships currently underway in Belarus, you’ll know that Team France has quietly become one of the best stories in the tournament. With two wins in their first three games, the first a shocking upset of Team Canada and the second against another strong team in Slovakia, France has turned some heads at this year’s tournament.
And a lot of that has to do with the efforts of a familiar face in Stephane Da Costa. Da Costa scored twice against Canada and was a force in their 5-3 win over Slovakia. For Da Costa, it’s a good finish to a season where he made a name for himself in Binghamton while also proving he could play at the NHL level.
Yet despite his strong performance of late, the future remains a little cloudy for Da Costa.
A restricted free agent at season’s end, Da Costa seems to be at a bit of a crossroads in his career. He’s demonstrated that he can play a regular shift with the big team in Ottawa, but does he see room for himself on the depth chart moving forward? With the expected departure of Jason Spezza, there could be an opportunity there for Da Costa, depending on the return in that deal and whether or not the Senators make a minor splash in free agency.
Turris, Zibanejad and Smith have three of the centre ice positions locked up. Pageau is pushing for another one but right now, Da Costa seems a little more capable of taking on full time duties with the big club.
The organization is obviously high on Da Costa and would like to keep him in the mix. But does Da Costa want to stick around and risk another year in Binghamton or will some European teams make him an offer he can’t refuse? In a season ending interview, BSens Head Coach Luke Richardson talked about how he had spoken with Da Costa and urged him to stay in North America.
Where do you see Da Costa fitting in going forward? Would you be willing to give him a one way deal at this stage in his career or does a two way contract make more sense?
-Last night, TSN’s Scott Cullen gave his off season game plan for the Ottawa Senators and it included an interesting look at a projected roster for the team next year. I posted it on Twitter and fans were less than impressed with the lineup Cullen put together. First off, he had Spezza going to Anaheim for Palmieri, Sbisa and the 10th overall pick. He also had the Senators signing Mikhail Grabovski in free agency. While fans may not like the roster Cullen has put together, it’s within the team’s internal budget structure and not as unrealistic as some may think.
-The Summer of Jason Spezza continues. On Tuesday, Bruce Garrioch added the New York Rangers into the mix of teams interested. They join a list that officially includes St. Louis, Anaheim, Colorado, Nashville, Edmonton and Florida “officially”. I’ve also heard Phoenix, Calgary and Toronto. Maybe an easier list would be the teams that aren’t interested in Jason Spezza?