Friday, August 03, 2018

Sens Sign Mark Stone For One

Friday morning saw the Ottawa Senators and forward Mark Stone avoid their arbitration hearing, which could have been an ugly one, since the two sides were well apart in their requested numbers from the arbitrator.  Stone was looking for $9 million and the Senators were only going in at $5 million.  The two sides met in the middle and agreed upon a 1-year, $7.35 million deal and that means that Stone will head to unrestricted free agency next summer, if he can't get an extension done in the New Year.

The 26-year old was the top player on the Senators last season and he now has the team's top cap hit for the coming season, which sounds about right.  He finished with 20 goals and 62 points in only 58 games for the team, finishing 78th overall in pool scoring and 59th among all forwards.  It would have been good to see what he could have done with a 75+ game season.

Even with Stone signed on for the coming season, it's exceptionally hard to get excited about the Senators, as a whole, for the 2019 season.  This team has a giant dark cloud hanging over top of them, even as their roster rounds out on paper.  Cody Ceci's arbitration ruling is to come down later today, the decision on whether or not to move Erik Karlsson weighs heavily and will Bobby Ryan be in a package that goes with the team captain in a deal?

The Sens are not hurting for cap space, rather their rebuild is going to be very cost efficient, especially since the team's ownership has been claiming hard times in Ottawa, with less than impressive crowds out to see the team.  I currently am showing the team with a 24-man roster, Clarke MacArthur set to start the year on the IR, and they still have a $10.3 million cushion under the cap ceiling.

Maybe more concerning is their summer next year, where free agency will run amok on this team, if things are not taken care of.  Matt Duchene, Ryan Dzingel, Mark Stone, Erik Karlsson and Chris Wideman are all set to become unrestricted free agents.  The Sens could be held over a pretty big barrel, if they're not careful.

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