On Tuesday, the Ottawa Senators finally came to terms with defenseman Cody Ceci, as the two sides signed off on a 2-year bridge deal, reportedly worth $5.6 million in total.
According to some reports out there, Ceci's side was looking for an immediate long-term deal, somewhere in the 6-year range, but one could argue that his numbers have been decent, but not where the team would him to be to secure him for the long haul. When this 2-year deal is complete, he will remain a restricted free agent and he will have arbitration rights, where he could really get a nice payday.
About his numbers, his 2016 season was good, but wasn't awesome. In 75 games, the 22-year old finished with 10 goals and 26 points, which was still good enough to be 59th overall in defenseman scoring, but wasn't going to earn him that long-term deal.
His potential still has some road to be reached and I think there is an upside to his game that the Senators haven't seen and this deal will help motivate him to get there. The current projection on him in my numbers is 30 points, a number that still has some play to it, for sure. Those projected 30 points would have him in the 11th or 12th round in my last mock draft and getting him there could be a real bargain.
|Bobby Ryan||7.250||Dion Phaneuf||7.000||Craig Anderson||4.200|
|Mike Hoffman||5.188||Erik Karlsson||6.500|
|Derick Brassard||5.000||Cody Ceci||2.800|
|Clarke MacArthur||4.650||Marc Methot||4.900||Andrew Hammond||1.350|
|Tom Pyatt||0.800||Mark Borowiecki||1.100|
|Mike Blunden||0.738||Thomas Chabot||0.894|
|Nick Paul||0.670||Chris Wideman||0.800|
|Logan Brown||0.925||Patrick Sieloff||0.894||Matthew O'Connor||0.925|
|Matt Puempel||0.900||Mikael Wikstrand||0.813||Chris Driedger||0.755|
|Casey Bailey||0.874||Michael Kostka||0.800|
|Buddy Robinson||0.750||Andreas Englund||0.776|
|Francis Perron||0.703||Fredrik Claesson||0.700|
|Phil Varone||0.700||Macoy Erkamps||0.655|
|Ryan Dzingel||0.700||Ben Harpur||0.653|
|Max McCormick||0.650||Cody Donaghey||0.617|
Pool worthy, non-pool roster players, assumed roster fill-ins, injured/retired cap hits, in the system
The cap hit on Ceci's deal is very reasonable, especially given the upside that this kid has offensively. The Senators will be prepared to pay him appropriately, but his $2.8 million right now is a much better reflection of what he has done, more than what he will be worth, but he'll get that in the Summer of 2018.
The 23-man roster, in colour above, is now coming in with $6 million and change before they hit the salary cap ceiling, which will leave them lots of room to make some moves, if necessary, closer to the deadline or even before. The Senators have some young players that could easily slip into those blue spots and really make this roster interesting.