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Sens asst. GM says ‘we can weather the storm’ as Cowen negotiations drag

Sep 5, 2013, 3:31 PM EDT

Jared Cowen

Another day, another restricted free agent twisting in the wind.

This time, it’s Ottawa defenseman Jared Cowen, who’s without a contract six days from the start of training camp and now appears unlikely to report when the Sens take to the ice next Wednesday.

“We’d love to have him in camp, but we played a lot of games without him last year,” Sens assistant GM Tim Murray told Ottawa’s Team 1200 on Thursday. “We can weather the storm.”

For more on where the two sides sit with regards to financial compensation, here’s Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun:

The Senators and Cowen’s camp have looked at every scenario, but a one-year deal has been ruled out.

As reported by the Sun, the Senators tabled an eight-year, $28-million deal with a cap hit of $3.5 million per season. The two sides also talked about the seven-year, $28-million deal signed by Travis Hamonic of the Isles.

Sources say Cowen’s camp never officially turned down the eight-year deal. It remains on the table, but it’s not going to get the deal done and it’s doubtful this will be a long-term contract in the end.

Garrioch also adds a one-year deal is out of the question. Ottawa sounds determined to try and lock in Cowen long-term, especially since he’ll be eligible for arbitration rights if he signs a short-term or “bridge” deal.

Cowen — a towering presence at 6-foot-5, 230-pounds — missed almost all of last year recovering from hip surgery, as Murray alluded to. The hulking rearguard did play all 82 games in 2011-12 (his rookie campaign) scoring 5G-12A-17PTS.

Cowen also led all Sens defensemen in hits during that season, then upped the ante in a seven-game playoff loss to the Rangers, leading all skaters with 28 hits.

Murray indicated there’s been little recent movement from either side in terms of reaching a new deal. Garrioch reports they haven’t talked since last week.

“It’s a process,” Murray explained. “There’s really no progress because we’re a little bit far apart.”

  1. phillyphanatic77 - Sep 5, 2013 at 4:15 PM

    If I was a Sens fan I’d be somewhat worried about this. Because, with all due respect, their D corps is a lot less intimidating without Gonchars point production and Cowens size. Karlsson is obviously an all-world talent, but, outside of him, they’re pretty average. Methot is solid defensively but benefits a great deal from Karlsson. Phillips is a steady vet but certainly slowing down. Wiercioch is quality 3rd pairing guy, but not much else. And Joe Corvo is Joe Corvo. Cowen clearly has the most upside of anyone not named Karlsson. And their blueline could use that big, hulking presence. Unless Cody Ceci breaks through there’s not much upside there.

    I’m sure Sens fans will want to disregard my opinion bc of the Flyers blueline, but looking at it without rose colored glasses idk how you could be fully confident in that top-6. In fact, after Karlsson, I’d take the Flyers 2-6 dmen over Ottawa’s anyday.

    • canadianguest - Sep 5, 2013 at 5:32 PM

      It isn’t a bad analysis, and I am a Sens fan. My take on the Sens defense;
      Karlsson – Not quote Orr, but closer then anyone else.
      Methot – Decent 2/3 guy who is a perfect fit for Karlsson
      Cowen – Future 2/3 guy who thinks he is already
      Wiercioch – Will surprise you, will be a solid second pairing guy one day
      Phillips – Slowing but steady, calming, and still able to help out
      Gryba – Knows his role is a 6/7 guy
      Corvo – PP specialist who wont get tons of 5v5 time.
      Ceci – Future below avg first pairing, or above avg second pairing, offensive catalyst
      Borowiecki – Soon to be the 6/7 guy in Ottawa with Gryba
      Claesson – Possible 6/7 alternative to Borowiecki or Gryba

      • phillyphanatic77 - Sep 5, 2013 at 8:14 PM

        I think we were pretty close in our analysis of the Sens blueline. I have may have undervalued Wiercioch’s upside but other than that their Dcorps could be a weakness. Luckily you guys have a stellar goaltending combo and a new sniper in Ryan. Still, injuries could be a major concern on the backend. Ottawa did an exceptional job just chugging along after losing a lot to injury last season, but essentially exchanging Gonchar for Corvo makes the blueline a little more susceptible. I’d love to see what Ceci could do on The PP with Karlsson, but he’s probably not ready.

        Hey, if Ottawa needs a little depth they could always bring Meszaros in for a reunion. There’s no room for him here. And he’d cost Bryan Murray essentially nothing (7th or low-level prospect), other than his $4mil cap hit, but the Flyers would probably pay close to half.

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