NHL free agency for 2020 is underway!
For each key signing, Emily Kaplan, Chris Peters and Greg Wyshynski will be assessing the player’s fit with his new team, weighing whether the terms of the contract make sense and serving up an overall grade.
We’ll be grading the most notable offseason signings below, so come back for updates as deals are completed throughout the fall.
Free agency: Tracker | Preview | Top 60
Trades: Grading every big deal
Draft recap: Every pick | Grades | Takeaways
Note: Advanced stats via Natural Stat Trick and Evolving Wild, unless otherwise noted.
Terms: Three years, $5 million in average annual value
Where does he fit: The Senators were 25th in the NHL last season in goals per game, at 2.68. They’ve bid farewell to two of their top three goal scorers from last season: Center Jean-Gabriel Pageau (24 goals), who was sent to the Islanders at the trade deadline; and winger Anthony Duclair (23 goals), a restricted free agent from whom the team walked away earlier this offseason.
After the first wave of free agency, there were only a few accomplished goal scorers and offensive play drivers left on the market. The best of them was Mike Hoffman, but the Senators have been there and done that. The second best of them was Hoffman’s teammate with the Florida Panthers, Evgenii Dadonov.
The 31-year-old winger has scored 81 goals in the last three seasons, playing top-line minutes with Aleksander Barkov and, frequently, with Jonathan Huberdeau as well. There’s no question he benefited from that assignment, but he also earned the right to play with Florida’s top talents.
One assumes he’ll be a top-line player with the Senators, too, offering a veteran hand to third-year player Brady Tkachuk. In that sense, he’s an upgrade over Duclair.
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