What are the 10 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- 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.
2- Erik Karlsson, Jun 19 2012, 7 years $45.5M: Signed by Brian 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.
3- 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.
4- 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.
5- 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.
6- Kyle Turris, Aug 29 2012, 5 years $17.5M: Signed by Brian 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.
7- JG Pageau, June 18 2015, 2 years $1.8M: Signed by Brian 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. He’s getting a big raise this summer.
8- Antoine Vermette, July 31 2008, 2 years $5.5M: Signed by Brian 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.
9- Mark Stone, Jun 25 2015, 3 years $10.5M: Signed by Brian Murray. Through 2 seasons he’s already collected 146 GP, 115 PTS, and 285 shots. Not the best skater in the world, but maybe among the best hands in the world.
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.
*- Colin Greening, May 19 2011, 3 years 2.4M: Signed by Brian 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 Brian 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.
2- Jason Spezza, Nov 2 2007, 7 years $49M: Signed by Brian Murray. He scored 404 PTS in 446 GP, but accounting for cap inflation that’s a $9M AAV in 2017 numbers. Ottawa wanted to dump this contract for a while but had trouble finding a buyer. That’s too much money for Jason Spezza.
3- Dany Heatley, Oct 3 2007, 6 years $45M: Signed by Brian 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.
4- Jared Cowen, Sep 13 2013, 4 years $12.4M: Signed by Brian 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.
5- Milan Michalek, July 1 2014, 3 years $12M: Signed by Brian Murray. He was among the highest paid AHL players in 2016/17.
6- 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%.
7- Colin Greening, Sep 9 2013, 3 years $8M: Signed by Brian Murray. He played more AHL than NHL games under this contract.
8- David Legwand, July 5, 2014, 2 years $6M: Signed by Brian Murray. By age 34 Legwand didn’t have much left in the tank. His point scoring rate declined by almost half in year 1.
9- Jason Smith, July 8 2008, 2 years $5.2M: Signed by Brian 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.
10- Andrew Hammond, May 20 2015, 3 years $4M: Signed by Brian 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 only played in 30 NHL games with a 2.83 GAA and .906 SV%. He has mostly played in the AHL.
*- Chris Phillips, Mar 5 2014, 2 years $5M: Signed by Brian Murray. He played 36 games and scored 3 PTS during this “thanks for your service to the organization” contract.
*- Bobby Butler, July 14 2011, 2 years $2.1M: Signed by Brian Murray. He played just 56 games before the contract was bought out.