Another defenseman has dropped off the trade market as the Ottawa Senators have supposedly signed Filip Kuba to a 3 year, $3.7 million per year contract. I can’t say that this is a bad deal, but if I was a Senators fan I would really question whether it is intelligent to lock up more players on a team that has been one of the worst teams in the NHL for nearly two full years now.
Also just in, the Senators have traded Antoine Vermette to Columbus for Pascal Leclaire and a second round pick. This trade makes more sense because the Senators so desperately need a top goalie, but the jury is still out whether Leclaire can be that guy. He had a very good year last year but has been mediocre otherwise and has been injured most of this season. This is a gamble that the Senators probably need to make, but is far from a sure thing. The second round pick makes the gamble worth while.
The bad news for the Senators is they now have 9 players signed through 2010-11 for about $38.6 million in cap space. If, as some expect, the salary cap drops significantly (possibly beloe $50 million) that won’t leave much cap space left to fill out a roster that still lacks a second line center and a top defenseman. The players signed are Alfredsson, Heatley, Spezza, Fisher, Kelly, Ruuttu, Kuba, Phillips and Leclaire.