A pair of former Maple Leafs appear to be on their way to Ottawa. The Senators are closing in on signing forward Tyler Ennis to a one-year contract, reports David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period (Twitter link). TSN’s Bob McKenzie adds (Twitter link) that defenseman Ron Hainsey is also expected to sign with the Sens. Financial terms of the contract for Ennis aren’t yet known while Pierre LeBrun of TSN and The Athletic reports (via Twitter) that Hainsey’s deal will carry a $3.5MM AAV.
Ennis spent last season with Toronto after being bought out by Minnesota in June of 2018. He fared relatively well in a limited role, managing to collect 18 points in 51 games despite averaging less than ten minutes a night of playing time, predominantly in a fourth line role.
It’s likely that Ennis will get a larger opportunity with Ottawa as he joins a roster that’s not as deep as Toronto’s. It could be a good fit for both sides as the 29-year-old looks to prove that he can still be more of an offensive contributor while the Sens could conceivably flip him in a trade later next season to a team looking for more depth for the stretch run. Ennis slotted in 41st on our Top 50 UFA Rankings.
Meanwhile, Hainsey wound up playing a big role with Toronto last season, averaging over 20 minutes a night on their back end for the second straight year. While they had hoped to limit his ice time considering his age (38), he wound up spending most of the year in their top four, something that’s likely to be the case with Ottawa. He’s expected to be a mentor on what’s a very young back end and, like Ennis, he immediately becomes a potential midseason trade candidate. Hainsey earned the 29th spot in our UFA Rankings.