As Ottawa Senators fans head into the weekend, very few could have expected the breaking news that came out today. One of the top players that was available in free agency is now an Ottawa Senator. The general consensus was that while the Senators were already improved from last seasons team, goal-scoring was a glaring need. Pierre Dorion obviously recognized this and acted to bring in a proven goal scorer. Evgenii Dadonov is a three-time 25-goal-scorer with the Florida Panthers; and he’s only been in the NHL for three seasons total. He is also quite deadly on the power-play as he has put up 47 points with the man advantage over the last three seasons.
The contract comes in at three-years $15 million, which works out to an AAV of just 5 million. It can firmly be said that the Sens got a steal and tremendous value with this deal. It is very possible that Dadonov received more lucrative offers and from teams that are better situated to contend right now; yet Ottawa was still his choice. This speaks volumes to what Ottawa is looking to build for the future. Between this UFA signing, Matt Murray, Austin Watson and future Ottawa Senators superstar Tim Stutzle,
The Senators have quickly become a desired destination for players around the league. From Dadonov’s point of view, he gets to come aboard something pretty special. He will take on a larger role and have more focus on him than he had in Florida, and will play an important mentorship role to the younger players. The jump from sunny warm Florida to the frigid Canadian winters will be an adjustment for him, but then again he is Russian so there is some familiarity with the winter season.
There is no question about it, the Senators are firmly arriving at better days. With Eugene Melnyk’s recent comment that he expects a Stanley Cup within four years, it’s time that the spending reflected that. Another exciting piece of news from today is that Dorion stated the team might not be finished making moves. Fans could expect to see another signing from the free agency market, or even another trade. Buckle up, another eventful day could be on the horizon!