*UPDATED: JUNE 2018*
What are the 15 best and worst non-entry level contracts signed by the Ottawa Senators in the salary cap era? Ottawa is a tight budget team so its common for them to squeeze money from their RFAs, but they’ve whiffed a few times on big ticket contracts. That Heatley contract did not end well, Bobby Ryan is way overpaid, etc.
1- Erik Karlsson, Jun 19 2012, 7 years $45.5M: Signed by Bryan Murray. He won a Norris trophy in 2015 and carried his team to a Conference final in 2017. He’s one of the best defensemen in the NHL. His next contract will be whatever he wants it to be.
2- Dany Heatley, Aug 23 2005, 3 years $13.5M: Signed by John Muckler. The Senators got two 50 goal seasons, 290 PTS in 235 GP, and a Stanley Cup finals appearance on this contract. That’s on the all-time best bargains list.
3- Kyle Turris, Aug 29 2012, 5 years $17.5M: Signed by Bryan Murray. Kyle obviously did not have an accurate assessment of his self worth when he signed this contract, costing himself millions of potential dollars. Maybe he was just grateful that Ottawa saved him from Phoenix. He began producing at the level of a $4M-$5M AAV player very early in this contract. Ottawa gambled and won.
4- Mike Fisher, Aug 10 2005, 3 years $4.5M: Signed by John Muckler. That’s a great price for 215 GP, 139 PTS, 558 shots, 1682 face off wins, 538 hits, 16 short handed PTS, and a Stanley Cup finals appearance.
5- JG Pageau, June 18 2015, 2 years $1.8M: Signed by Bryan Murray. When Pageau pulled off his playoff heroics in 2017, he did so making $900K AAV. The team spent $1.8M on 76 regular season PTS, 302 shots, 11 short handed PTS, and 1172 face off wins (53% W%). That’s an unreal bargain.
6- Jason Spezza, Aug 12 2005, 1 year $1.1M: Signed by John Muckler. They got 90 PTS in 68 GP for a little over a million dollars. Bargain.
7- Jason Spezza, July 3 2006, 2 years $9M: Signed by John Muckler. They got 179 PTS in 143 GP and a Stanley Cup finals appearance on this contract. That’s well worth the price.
8- Mark Stone, Jun 25 2015, 3 years $10.5M: Signed by Bryan Murray. In 3 seasons he collected 204 GP, 177 PTS, and 417 shots. Not the best skater in the world, but maybe among the best hands in the world.
9- Antoine Vermette, July 31 2008, 2 years $5.5M: Signed by Bryan Murray. That’s a great price for a 26-year-old who produced 161 GP, 101 PTS, 330 shots, and 1494 Face off wins (55.6% W%) under this contract.
10- Mike Hoffman, Aug 3 2015, 1 year $2M: Signed by Bryan Murray. That’s a good price for 29 Goals and 59 PTS. He had scored 27 Goals the season before to earn this contract, then improved on that total.
11- Mika Zibanejad, June 25 2015, 2 years $5.3M: Signed by Bryan Murray. The kid averaged 17.5 minutes per game and scored 88 PTS in 137 GP.
12- Craig Anderson, Aug 25 2014, 3 years $12.6M: Signed by Bryan Murray. The final season might have been a disaster, but year two was incredible (2.28 GAA, .923 SV%), with Anderson carrying the team deep into the playoffs.
13- Antoine Vermette, July 18 2006, 2 years $2M: Signed by John Muckler. That’s a good price to pay for 92 PTS in 158 GP.
14- Nick Foligno, July 21 2010, 2 years $2.4M: Signed by Bryan Murray. Foligno scored 81 PTS in 164 GP at a low-price tag.
15- Colin Greening, May 19 2011, 3 years 2.4M: Signed by Bryan Murray. For $2.4M they bought 205 GP, 73 PTS, 372 shots, and 536 hits. That’s a good price.
1- Bobby Ryan, Oct 2 2014, 7 years $50.7M: Signed by Bryan Murray. If he made $4M AAV I’d be happy to have him on my team. That’s just too much money. He had some big moments in the 2017 playoffs, but that’s not worth $7M AAV…not even close. Bobby won the title of the worst contract in the whole NHL for 2017.
2- Dany Heatley, Oct 3 2007, 6 years $45M: Signed by Bryan Murray. There were no 50 goal seasons on this contract. He was getting paid that way but his production started to decline until the last year of the deal when he scored 28 PTS in 72 GP for $7.5M AAV. He had a good first year in San Jose, but got considerably worse each season after that.
3- Jared Cowen, Sep 13 2013, 4 years $12.4M: Signed by Bryan Murray. I’m not too sure how the wheels fell off this bus, but his career was looking promising before it started to nose dive in 2015. He was eventually dumped on Toronto but played zero games with that team before being bought out.
7- Colin Greening, Sep 9 2013, 3 years $8M: Signed by Bryan Murray. He played more AHL than NHL games under this contract.
8- Ray Emery, July 24 2007, 3 years $11.1M: The Sens signed him to this contract after making it to the Stanley Cup final, and it was bought out after 1 bad season where he put up a 3.13 GAA and .890 SV%.
9- Martin Gerber, July 1 2006, 3 years $11.1M: Signed by John Muckler. The Martin Gerber experiment in Ottawa did not go according to plan. He was expected to become a legit #1 goalie, and instead posted a 2.81 GAA and .907 SV%.
10- Alex Burrows, Feb 27 2017, 2 years $5M: Signed by Pierre Dorion. That’s way too much to pay for 71 GP and 14 PTS. The Senators advancing to the Conference finals does kinda justify the trade, but the extension was just a bad idea, and contributed to last season’s failures.
11- David Legwand, July 5, 2014, 2 years $6M: Signed by Bryan Murray. By age 34 Legwand didn’t have much left in the tank. His point scoring rate declined by almost half in year one.
12- Jason Smith, July 8 2008, 2 years $5.2M: Signed by Bryan Murray. He scored 1 point in 63 GP before retiring. Ottawa missed the playoffs. He probably should have retired in July of 2008 to save himself some embarrassment.
13- Andrew Hammond, May 20 2015, 3 years $4M: Signed by Bryan Murray. Probably nobody in Ottawa thought this was a bad idea after the Hamburgler put up a sensational hot streak to carry the Senators into the playoffs. Over these three seasons he has mostly played in the AHL.
14- Chris Phillips, Mar 5 2014, 2 years $5M: Signed by Bryan Murray. He played 36 games and scored 3 PTS during this “thanks for your service to the organization” contract.
15- Bobby Butler, July 14 2011, 2 years $2.1M: Signed by Bryan Murray. He played just 56 games before the contract was bought out.