Three players the Senators should invite to camp
September 3, 2017, 10:18 AM ET [4 Comments]
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The Senators have been quiet on the free agency front this summer, with Johnny Oduya the only significant signing to mitigate the loss of Marc Methot.
If you aren't moving forward in this league, you are moving backward, and the only good thing about Ottawa's lack of action is that the entire Atlantic Division has remained fairly stagnant as well.
That being said, every year there are tons of veteran UFA's that spend most of September looking for a place to catch on, and in many cases that involves being offered a professional tryout (PTO). 'Tis the season for PTO's and while some teams have been active with their invites (Florida and LA for example, each with 3), there are still lots of names out there. Hell, even Jared Cowen got a PTO from the Avalanche.
There are not a ton of names of players that will make great impacts, but there are names of serviceable veterans that could come in and compete for what could be their last shots at an NHL payday.
There are 3 names in particular that I would not hesitate to bring in and see what they have left in the tank.
1) Jaromir Jagr - I kind of get it, he is old, he is slow, but it still boggles my mind that one of the greatest of all time doesn't have a contract yet. What he might lack in foot speed he more than makes up for with smarts, he keeps himself in great shape and he is still impossible to knock off the puck along the boards. If for no other reason than making the power play better, it would be worth a shot. He played all 82 games, and notched 46 points with the Panthers last season while being a leader on the ice.
2) Milan Michalek - He did the Senators a favor by waiving his no-trade clause to go to the Leafs in the Dion Phaneuf deal, and quite frankly he must feel like he got screwed by the Blue and White from that point on. He was shoved aside and basically shelved for the entire season in favour of younger players, despite having enough ability to play at the NHL level, and being one of Team Europe's best players in last September's World Cup.
He should come at a decent price tag, and should have a chip on his shoulder and be chomping at the bit to resume his NHL career. At age 32 he still has a couple of quality years left, and he is versatile enough to play anywhere in the lineup, on either wing. He would be a solid depth player with something to prove. Michalek did the Senators a solid, and not that the Sens owe him anything, but giving him the opportunity to show the league he still has something to give would be doing him a solid in return.
3) Cody Franson - You can never have too many defensemen, and if Thomas Chabot isn't ready to be a top 4 contributor then the Senators could be pretty thin on the blue line. Franson is a player who seems to be in this situation often, and is still just 30 years old. Inviting him to camp to push for a spot couldn't be a bad thing, and the Senators would have the chance to see what they have in not only him but the other candidates, and make a decision before the season starts.
So there you have it, three names I would bring in for a look. You could substitute someone like Jarome Iginla for Jagr, or Jiri Hudler for Michalek, but there is no risk in bringing in a veteran to compete for a spot.