Note: We'll keep this post up top for the time being. Check below for other free agent news around the NHL.
Darren Dreger of TSN is reporting former Penguins defenseman Sergei Gonchar has signed with the Senators for three years for an annual salary cap hit of $5.5 million. The deal includes a no-trade clause.
Last season, Gonchar appeared in 62 games and recorded 50 points (11 goals, 39 assists) and was a minus-4.
EN Says: Wow. Big, bold move by the Senators. They clearly felt they didn't have enough of an offensive presence on their blue line. Their top scorer among defenseman was Filip Kuba with 28 points.
And at 16.9 percent, the Senators had one of the worst power plays (even worse than the Penguins) in the league. During the playoffs, the Senators were using forwards like Matt Cullen and Daniel Alfredsson at the point.
Sergei Gonchar offers an immediate upgrade in that area.
It's no surprise Gonchar got what he wanted in regards to term and salary. He still offers a well-rounded game and puts up a ton of points. But he's definitely on the back nine of his career. He faded, particuarly in his own end as the season and playoffs wore on. He's 36 right now. What will he be like when he's 39?
The Senators are gambling their future with this deal. Additionally, this all but ends the tenure of Anton Volchenkov, one of the best defensive blue liners in the NHL, in Ottawa.
For the Penguins, they're a lesser team without Gonchar. They won't find a replacement for him. But this won't destroy this squad. This franchise is built around Sidney Crosby, Marc-Andre Fleury, Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal. They will still be a Stanley Cup contender without Gonchar.
With Gonchar gone, the Penguins must find someone, regardless of skill set, to eat up the 24-plus minutes Gonchar played last season.
(Photo: Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)