MacArthur was expected to be a keg cog for the Senators last season, fresh off signing a five year, $23.25MM contract (a $4.65MM AAV). However, recurring symptoms prevented him from playing in all but four games last year, where he was held pointless while averaging just 10:52 per night. Dorion expects that a healthy MacArthur will bring a lot more balance to Ottawa’s lineup.
“He’s the piece we missed the most last year. We missed his on-ice presence, we missed his off-ice presence. Having a healthy Clarke MacArthur from Day 1 — who could have played last year he had clearance from the doctors —will be a big thing for us. It solidifies our top six and it solidifies our top nine…”
In his previous two seasons with the Senators, MacArthur was a key contributor in their top six, picking up 40 goals and 51 assists in 141 games. It’s likely that he will reprise his role inside the top six, potentially alongside newcomer Derick Brassard.
[Related: Senators’ Depth Chart]
More tidbits from around the hockey world:
- Winnipeg’s Mark Scheifele will be under a lot more pressure in 2016-17, notes Pro Hockey Talk’s Cam Tucker. Not only has Scheifele made considerable improvements in each season, which has vaulted him into the discussion to be their top center, he’s also beginning the first season of a new eight year, $49MM contract he signed last month. On top of that, he’s also expected to be in the discussion to replace Andrew Ladd (who signed with the Islanders) as the Jets’ new captain. Scheifele has largely been under the radar in his NHL career but that’s likely to change next season.
- Many expected that the Wild would have to trade one of their young defensemen this offseason to bring in a core top six center. Instead, GM Chuck Fletcher opted to go for more of a short-term fix with the addition of Eric Staal, a decision that was largely made to keep their blueline corps intact, writes Dan Myers of NHL.com. Staal is expected to start next season alongside Zach Parise who played a part in recruiting the 31 year old to Minnesota.