I Know What You Did Next Summer: A Look at the Decisions of the Future

By Luke Peristy

[Editor's mullet's note: Please give a warm welcome to the newest member of BonksMullet.com, Luke Peristy. Check out his bio on our authors page.]

In case you missed it, on Monday the Senators announced that they have extended Colin Greening's contract for another 3 years at an AAV of $2.65MM. This news was met with a resounding "Meh" around the Sens Twittersphere (RIP "The Alfiesphere") and beyond. I, for one, am in support of the move. The contract is very much in line with the market value of a player of Greening's calibre. In addition, Greening is a useful "Swiss Army Knife" type player, i.e. able to play in a variety of roles in a pinch, but don't try to open a bottle of wine with him if you can help it. That metaphor might need some work. Anyway, Greening's new deal was the sort of move that has been typical of the Senators' Summer of Responsible Spending. Observe the subtle turnover that has been happening over past three months.


  • Sergei Gonchar - So long and thanks for the 6th round draft pick. Patrick says, "Hi".
  • Daniel Alfredsson - Sent to the farm where they send all aging Swedes. At least that's what you should tell your kids.
  • Geoff Kinrade - Only good enough to play in Switzerland. BERN!
  • Mike Lundin - He was moved to make room for Joe Corvo, which is a phrase no one has ever said before.
  • Andre Benoit - Picked up a sweet gig mentoring Nathan MacKinnon.
  • Guillaume "#Guyet" Latendresse - We'll always have that one picture of your face that we can tweet over and over again.
  • Roman Wick - He's a Poor Man's Nino Niederreiter. (Whoa! It's just a figure of speech, Eugene...)
  • Hugh Jessiman - More like "Who? Jessiman?" amirite!?
  • Peter Regin - Don't let the door hit you in the shoulder on the way out.
  • Louie Caporusso - I'm actually pretty sad Caporusso didn't work out, because I liked the idea of dressing a player who sounded like they could be a Mafia hitman. "Leave the gun. Take the shot from the point."
  • Pat Cannone - "Cannone Fired!", said someone who was immediately beaten to death by anyone who happened to be nearby.


  • Nathan Lawson - 1 Yr, $650M cap hit
  • Mark Borowiecki - 2 Yrs, $575M cap hit
  • David Dziurzynski - 1 Yr, $640M cap hit
  • Erik Condra - 2 Yrs, $1.25MM cap hit
  • Mike Hoffman - 1 Yr, $660M cap hit
  • Patrick Wiercioch - 3 Yrs, $2MM cap hit
  • Corey Cowick - 1 Yr, $625M cap hit
  • Stephane Da Costa - 1 Yr, $825M cap hit
  • Colin Greening - 3 Yrs, $2.65MM cap hit
  • Jared Cowen - ????


  • Buddy Robinson - 3 Yrs, $1.225MM cap hit
  • Ludwig Karlsson - 2 Yrs, $1.475MM cap hit
  • Clarke MacArthur - 2 Yrs, $3.25MM cap hit
  • Bobby Ryan - In exchange for Daniel Alfredsson, David Clarkson Noesen, Silfverberg, and a 1st.

The Future

Like any good organization, the Senators are employing an aggressive "Up-or-Out" strategy with their prospects. Players mostly expected to contribute at an AHL level have been extended for an additional year to keep them under organizational control until they max-out their development. The moderate term contracts to Wiercioch, Greening, Condra, and Future Jared Cowen in particular indicate that the Senators really like the way those players are fulfilling their roles and want more of that in the future. (Man, I am KILLING the analysis game so far.) That said, none of those players are particularly likely to lead the Sens deep into the playoffs, which brings me to a glaring omission in the "Players we should try to re-sign this summer before their contracts are up" column: Milan P. Michalek, Esquire.

Michalek is the last vestige of the infamous Dany Heatley trade (I still miss you, Andy Sutton! I'll be your expert any day!), and after examining their respective careers since then, I'd say the trade is best described as "mildly unfortunate" for Ottawa, rather than "the trade equivalent of the Treaty of Versailles" as it was thought to be initially. (Accepting Jonathan Cheechoo is the occupation of the Rhineland in this metaphor.) However, Michalek's knee is pretty much held together by string, hopes, and prayers at this point. He's missed 56 regular season games over the past 4 years, although that stat fails to communicate that Michalek has been prone to long periods of ineffectiveness when not at 100%. This past summer, he underwent a knee procedure similar to the one Kobe Bryant had last summer. I simply can't underscore enough how uninspiring a compliment, "He has the knees of a 17-year NBA veteran." is. In addition, Michalek's not a player you would often describe as "able to make his teammates better". His recent WOWYs are perfectly adequate, but hardly Karlssonian. Even his recent statement that he's "back to 100%" is less than encouraging as I seem to recall hearing similar things in the past. (This in stark contrast to the overwhelming joy and happiness present when Erik Karlsson says he'll be back to 100% because we are all desperate for any sign that Erik will be back to his Norris-winning form. He doesn't need to feel his foot to skate, right?)

Then again, Michalek is also prone to making sweet, sweet music with Jason Spezza. His 35G 25A 77GP effort in 2011-12 represents a high water mark from his time with the Senators, and is just the sort of production Michalek was thought to be capable of when he was drafted 6th overall in 2003. Put it all together and it spells "wait and see", which is exactly what's happening. I suspect management will have a fairly good idea of what they're going to do with Milo before the conclusion of this season. Maybe Jason Spezza, Bobby Ryan, and Milan Michalek will form an unstoppable triumvirate which will, by the utilization of their skill and light and singular wills, cause all the people of the world to unite in peace, harmony, and free pizza. If this admittedly utopian eventuality comes to pass, RE-SIGN ALL THE THINGS! (More on that in a second.) Alternatively, maybe Michalek's magical German incantations will fail to chase the evil spirits from his knee, or maybe his chemistry with Bobby Ryan will be like the chemistry between Eugene Melnyk and J.P. Barry (although I doubt this latter scenario will be the case). Regardless, I hope that the moment the organization decides Milan Michalek doesn't figure into future plans, they trade him like the Dunk-a-Roos in a 3rd grader's lunch, Hockey Prospectus predicted Cup runs be damned. Dunk-a-Roos are great, but they're no pudding cup. I'm not 100% sold on the Senators' ability to magically produce a 1st line winger from within the organization at the moment. Trading a guy we're nearly done with might help that situation, you know, assuming we're actually done with him.

The Slightly More Distant Future

Now that I'm done comparing first line players to schoolyard snacks, I'd like to point out that even after Michalek's future has been decided, more difficult decisions are in the offing. Jason Spezza and Bobby Ryan are slated to make a combined $20.125 MM over the next two years. After that, they are likely going to want much more money. First line/franchise player salaries have inflated faster than Nazem Kadri's ego, despite the lengthy lockout we just endured. If Ryan and Spezza put up the sort of gaudy point totals they are capable of, they could be in line to receive upwards of $7MM AAV in their next contracts. Now, I'm not sure if you've heard this, but Ottawa's not exactly backing up the Brinks truck to anyone these days ('Sup, Jared. Didn't see you there...), and even if they were, Jason Spezza's best years are likely behind him. If there's anything Ottawa's been consistent with in their recent dealings with players, it's their refusal to overpay for anyone's services. ('Sup, Daniel. Didn't see you there...) Ottawa's ability to re-sign their own star free agents will likely be directly proportional to the willingness of those players to take a hometown discount. What I'm trying to say is, if you see Jason Spezza or Bobby Ryan around the Ottawa area, make sure they're not paying for their own drinks.

I know you're all reading this and thinking, "This sounds like great fun!", and you'd be right, but I haven't even mentioned the possible extensions of Robin Lehner, Mika Zibanejad, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, and Marc Methot, all of whom will be due significant raises. Ottawa's going to have the cap space to be sure, but that #PeskyInternalBudget is going to have to be raised pretty considerably if the team is going to continue to reap the rewards brought to us by the scouting, management, and part-time law firm of Murray, Murray, and Dorion.

Amusingly, these future signings may not even be Bryan Murray's problem. He's now in the 3rd year of a 3-year extension, and no one would begrudge the septuagenarian if he handed off the reins of the franchise to his nephew and noted ray of sunshine, Tim Murray. Tim Murray don't take no shit, so we'll still be in good hands, but be prepared for a plethora of terse press conferences punctuated by healthy doses of frank reality, because as Kanye West's doctors once said, Tim Murray is sufferin' from realness. Sounds like just sort of fellow you want negotiating under the sort of brutal austerity budget you could confidently present on Angela Merkel's desk.

We live in fascinating times, friends. If you enjoyed this past summer, you're gonna LOVE the next two.
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