The Ottawa Senators and forward Clarke MacArthur came to an agreement on Tuesday. MacArthur signed a five year contract extension with the Senators worth approximately $23.25m.
The 29 year old veteran forward will earn an average of $4.65m per season under the new deal. MacArthur came over to the Senators via free agency last season.
Impressive First Season
MacArthur had an excellent first year in Ottawa. He scored 24 goals and tallied 31 assists in 79 games for the Senators. That impressive point tally saw MacArthur finish fourth overall in points for the Senators last season. Clearly, MacArthur fits in perfectly and has adapted to the Senators style of play. He had great chemistry with guys like Kyle Turris all year long for Ottawa.
It’s because of this past year’s success that Ottawa Senators GM Brian Murray moved quickly to sign Clarke MacArthur long term. Now with the deal done, MacArthur can concentrate on helping the younger players improve their game and lead the Senators to great success. I believe MacArthur will be able to pick up where he left off last season and score 30 goals or more this season.
Tough Task Ahead
Based on the current Ottawa Senators roster, I believe it’s going to be a very tough season for this team. Out of all the teams in the NHL, the Ottawa Senators is the one that lost the most key players in my opinion. They’ve seen the departure of Jason Spezza, Ales Hemsky and Jakob Silfverberg.
Spezza was of course the biggest blow to the team’s morale. If this team hopes to get into the playoffs this season, several of the younger players need to step up and contribute. Erik Condra, Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Alex Chiasson are just a few examples. I really hope that Cory Conacher has a breakout year for the Senators as well. If these talented young players can begin accumulating points consistently, the Ottawa Senators will easily be challengers for a playoff spot this season.
The Ottawa Senators are building a roster on a foundation of young players with huge potential. I really believe this strategy can, and will, work. However, with only two experienced defenceman in Erik Karlsson and Chris Phillips, the team will have to lean on goalies Craig Anderson and Robin Lehner quite heavily this year.
Both these guys struggled at times last season in my opinion. Anderson ended the season with a record of 25-16-8 last season, while Lehner ended with a 12-15-6 record. Their save percentages were .911 and .913 respectively.
These aren’t very flattering records. Anderson has struggled with injuries and Lehner struggles with consistency. This is a cause for concern for the Senators this year. However, I believe if Robin Lehner can have a bounce back year and steal some games for Anderson, this team will be fine. Lehner has loads of potential and will continue to improve moving forward.
I can’t wait to see how this young Ottawa Senators team will do this season.