Defenseman Cody Ceci is Ottawa’s final remaining restricted free agent but new GM Pierre Dorion expects to get a deal done within the next few weeks. Dorion and Ceci’s agent J.P. Barry have been in contact regularly, as most recently as Thursday when both sides exchanged e-mails, according to TSN’s Ian Mendes.
Part of the delay in getting a deal done is the large variety of terms that are being discussed. Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun reports that Ceci is seeking a six year deal that would carry a cap hit in the $4MM range while the Sens prefer a two year bridge contract between $2.8MM and $3MM per season. The salary cap won’t be a factor in getting a new deal done as Ottawa has just shy of $8.8MM in cap space according to Cap Friendly.
In a discussion with local media on Friday, Dorion had the following to say regarding the term of a potential new deal:
“We’ve talked multiple years and situations, whether it’s one up to six (years). Those are all things we are still looking at. But we’re keying on a certain number of years and we’ll see what happens from there.”
Ceci is coming off of the best season of his young career; he recorded 26 points in 75 games while averaging a career high 19:18 per game in ice time. It’s expected that he’ll start next season alongside veteran Dion Phaneuf on Ottawa’s second pairing.
[Related: Senators’ Depth Chart]
More news and notes regarding the Senators:
- Dorion stated that the team is currently attempting to add another veteran defenseman to bolster their NHL depth. He has reportedly been in contact with several free agents as well as some teams who may have some excess at that position. Another potential alternative would be to wait until training camp and see who hits the waiver wire as there are often NHL-caliber depth blueliners exposed by other teams.
- In a separate piece from Garrioch, Dorion also spoke on Friday about Derick Brassard, who was acquired by Ottawa last month in a package involving Mika Zibanejad. He noted that he got the ball rolling on that trade in one of his first days as GM and that the deal was close at the draft but the asking price was still a bit higher for Ottawa’s liking at that time. Many believe that the Senators could lose the deal long-term but Dorion felt that getting Brassard makes them a much better team now which was important as he believes the team can win in the short-term. The GM also said that another key element to the deal was the fact that Brassard is a left-shooting center, something the team had been seeking for a while. Brassard is expected to begin next season alongside Bobby Ryan on Ottawa’s second line.