Friday, August 12, 2005

Sens sign Spezza, Volchenkov, et al

The Senators made life a little easier on themselves today by signing five of their key restricted free agents. Signing new deals were forwards Jason Spezza (one year), Antoine Vermette (one year), Chris Neil (one year), and defencemen Christoph Schubert (one year) and Anton Volchenkov (two years).

No financial details are being released, but I suspect most of the one year deals were close to the qualifying offers issued by the team last week. It's been rumored that Volchenkov's deal was in the area of $2.5 million over the two years. That's probably more than they wanted to spend, but he had some leverage with the deal (of identical numbers) he signed with a Russian Super League team. And with the looming diaster of losing either Wade Redden and/or Zdeno Chara, Volchenkov will become an even more essential piece of the puzzle.

Spezza's qualifier was for less than a million, but you know he'll be in line for a hefty raise next summer if he has the breakthrough year everyone on Earth expects. I would think they'll try to work out a long-term deal at some point, but with all the other free agents they have on tap, Spezza shouldn't be a priority yet.

Schubert is also interesting. He's one of their better prospects, but there was a belief that he would return to Germany, his native country. The fact that the Sens parted ways with Curtis Leschyshyn likely means Schubert will be their seventh defenceman.

Now, let's get Marian Hossa signed, please.


At 9:52 PM, Blogger v said...

"...defencemen Christoph Schubert (one year) and Anton Volchenkov (two years)."

This is great news; I was getting pessimistic about Volchenkov, and I want to see what Schubert can do.

As a Sens fan I'd be ready to go with the Pre-Smoke trade lineup you listed a couple posts ago. Of course a trade or two might be better but Muckler just doesn't seem very active.

The thing about Eaves is I want him in the lineup as quickly as possible because I think he'll be a player who will burn brightly but not long. Apparently, the man is insane. From

"In the World Junior Championships gold medal game, Eaves blocked roughly 10 shots in the game, and half of them came in the final 90 seconds of play. In fact, his shot blocking has become a major part of his game. Eaves had one injury this year throwing himself in front of a slapshot by Boston University’s Kevin Schaeffer. This reckless style of his can often lead to injuries, but he seems to be playing more controlled hockey as he matures."

With the UFA age lowered to 27 I think it might make more sense to get the young guys in the lineup now rather than pick up a Gelinas-type player. So maybe Muckler's stand-pat strategy is sensible.

Muckler isn't shy about picking up players at the deadline, so we can factor in a Varada-calibre or better addition I think down the road.


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