Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Sens sign Smith

Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray announced today that the club has signed defenceman Jason Smith to a two-year contract.

The 14-year National Hockey League veteran has acted as team captain in each of his last six NHL seasons, including 2007-08 with the Philadelphia Flyers and the previous five seasons with the Edmonton Oilers.
>> team release
It's a two-year, $5.2-million contract, which is reasonable given the circumstances. Ottawa has plenty of payroll room even with Smith onboard, although contracts for RFAs Antoine Vermette and Andrej Meszaros are still in the works.

Ottawa's defence is going to look mighty different next season after losing Wade Redden, Mike Commodore and Luke Richardson as free agents, and if youngster Brian Lee can make the team, it'll be a relatively young group, too:

Phillips - Volchenkov
Smith - Meszaros
Schubert - Lee/Nycholat

GM Bryan Murray could certainly add another blueliner via free agency, although the pickins are getting slim. The best bet would be to make a deal with the Ducks for Mathieu Schneider, depending on Anaheim's asking price.



At 4:48 p.m., July 08, 2008, Blogger ryanbatty said...

I like this signing. I got to see Smith here in Edmonton for a bunch of years and he's the kind of guy that'll give 100% every night. The guy is an absolute warrior.

At 6:18 p.m., July 08, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gator is an absolute warrior but his last two seasons have been far cry from his best days.

He will bring leadership and toughness but this will be a bad deal in the end.

Ottawa keeps making these mistakes and soon there's nothing left. They let Chara walk even when the big guy almoste begged to stay.

Chara was a Norris candidate last season. Redden was crap and now he's a Ranger.

They had to sign Gerber and then Emery, yeah right. No goalie, slow D and all of the sudden Chris Kelly is 2M sniper.

Here's hoping that Alfie can play until he's forty.

Gator for one year? Yes. Two years for total of 3M? Yes. But this deal? Nooooo.

At 6:35 p.m., July 08, 2008, Anonymous Klaus Fuchs said...

Lee will be on the team for sure, and could be pencilled-into the top four, playing with Phillips.

Any defence that can potentially have one of Smith, Volchenkov or Phillips on the ice at all times will be hard to play against... if they can find a way of getting the puck out their zone.

Even without a trade for a puck-moving offensive type defenceman, the team is good enough to make the playoffs... but anything more than that depends on a lot of growth from within and some magic from Hartsburg.


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