The Ottawa Senators have reached an agreement with Victor Mete, avoiding arbitration with a one-year contract at $1.2MM. Mete was one of the 17 players who filed for salary arbitration earlier this week, but won’t need it with this new contract. GM Pierre Dorion released a short statement explaining the deal:
Victor was a really solid addition to our defence corps over the last month of the season last year. He’s mobile, poised and defensively aware. We’re looking forward to seeing his progression in our lineup in 2021-22.
The 23-year-old Mete was buried down the Montreal Canadiens depth chart to start the 2020-21 season, not even seeing a single game until his agent made some noise in the media. A few months later, he found himself on waivers and quickly snatched up by the rebuilding Senators.
In 14 games with the Senators down the stretch, the young defenseman saw increased minutes and was actually given a more defensive deployment. He contributed to the penalty kill and even saw a bit of time on the powerplay, suggesting the Senators saw a bright future for the fourth-round pick.
Now with this new contract, Mete will continue to be a regular part of the Senators blueline, but certainly isn’t guaranteed a big role. Five other defensemen are on one-way contracts worth more, and he’s tied with Josh Brown at $1.2MM. Still, for a rebuilding club, there’s a good chance that Mete could provide some excess value and set himself up for a bigger payday next summer.