With the Ottawa Senators’ post-season press conference occurring this morning, many players gave insights into their futures with the team. The most followed offseason storyline will undoubtedly be Alex DeBrincat, as the 25-year-old gifted sniper is a restricted free agent come July 1. The Michigan-born winger told reporters this morning he’d be “open” to a long-term extension but also noted he wants to take a few months to discuss his future with his agent and his family.
DeBrincat is due a $9MM qualifying offer this summer thanks to the backloaded structure of his previous contract, a three-year deal signed with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2019. If Ottawa and DeBrincat reach a long-term extension, the number wouldn’t seem likely to be much higher (if any higher at all) than that. DeBrincat took a step back offensively during his first season with the Senators, recording 66 points in 82 games after hovering at a point-per-game pace during the previous two seasons.
More from the Senators news cycle this morning:
- The team has informed defenseman Nick Holden he won’t be back next season, says Postmedia’s Bruce Garrioch. Holden told reporters this morning he plans to test free agency after completing the 10th full season of his NHL career. The 35-year-old played 141 games with the Senators after Ottawa acquired him via trade in 2021, recording seven goals and 28 assists for 35 points while averaging 18:24 per game. With the emergence of rookie Jake Sanderson and the late-season addition of Jakob Chychrun, there was little opportunity remaining for Holden in Ottawa after his role decreased significantly this season.
- Garrioch also says to expect Senators head coach D.J. Smith to join Team Canada’s coaching staff for the upcoming IIHF Men’s World Championship. This will be two years in a row for Smith on the national team’s coaching staff, also serving as an assistant at last year’s tournament. Before that, Smith’s only international coaching experience with Canada came as an assistant at the 2013 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup.
- Forward Austin Watson says he played games in March on a broken foot before the team shut him down for the season last week. The 31-year-old grinder amassed nine goals but just two assists in 75 games this season. Watson, an unrestricted free agent this summer, also told reporters “the door isn’t closed” on a reunion with the Senators, although the multi-year contract he desires may not be palatable to the team given his career trajectory.
- Defender Travis Hamonic clarified that his season-ending injury sustained at the end of March was a knee issue, and he would have attempted a return if Ottawa made it to the playoffs. Hamonic, who is also a pending UFA, finished fourth in scoring among Senators defenders with 21 points in 75 games and recorded a -5 rating.