Captain Alfie

So the Sens signed their captain Daniel Alfredsson to a contract extension yesterday.

Although he’ll make $9 or $10 million next season, the cap hit is only around $4 to $5 million (depending on how the cap deals with bonuses) because that’s his average salary over the length of the contract.

Although I’m not a Sens fan, I do think this was a good move. This team is nothing without their leader.

That being said, there are a couple of things to point out.

First, the Sens have to much salary tied up in too few players. Dany Heatley will be have a $7.5 million cap hit next year, and Jason Spezza will be at $7 million. Mike Fisher will be $4.2 million. That’s $23.7 million for four players. Can anyone say Tampa Bay Lightning?

The Lightning had cap issues because they had all their money tied up in three guys, and ended up having to trade one of them. With a lot of people speculating that the cap might go down after this season, it’s probably not a good idea to have so much money on so few players.

Plus, next offseason, they’ll still need to sign a number one goalie (Martin Gerber is a free agent and won’t be back, and the team shouldn’t be hoping Alex Auld is the solution). So that will cost them at least $5 million.

Filip Kuba is also a free agent, and will be seeking a pay raise from what he makes now ($3 million). He is among the league leaders in points and assists, and Ottawa doesn’t have anyone else who can move the puck on the blue line. If they don’t resign Kuba, they’ll need to get someone else.

Then they still need a top six player or two. After the top three, Ottawa doesn’t have anyone who can score.

Just say the cap does go down, and it’s only down $2 million. That’s a $54 million cap. Ottawa already has $43 million signed for next season. That leaves only $9 million for a number one goalie, a top puck-moving defenceman, and a top-six forward. Doesn’t sound likely, does it?

My other problem with the Alfredsson signing is people saying he’s now an Ottawa Senator for life. It’s a nice statement, but there’s no guarantee of that. You never know what the future might hold. Look at Chris Pronger, bolting from Edmonton after getting to the Stanley Cup finals.

Maybe this team starts to struggle for the next few years, so Ottawa decides to do the right thing and trade Alfie to a Cup contender (such as what happened to Ray Bourque). Wayne Gretzky’s been traded twice. Patrick Roy as well. Superstars get traded. Alfie might. Who knows?

All in all, a good signing. But you have to consider what the impact this will have on the team’s future.

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