The Senators finally scored on the free agent market yesterday ... with a couple of their own.
Ottawa signed centre Mike Fisher to a three-year contract, while winger Martin Havlat has a new one-year deal. There's still work to do for GM John Muckler and assistant GM Peter Chiarelli, but the $4.5 million (all figures US) to Fisher and the $2.6 million given to Havlat are steps in the right direction.
As reported yesterday, defenceman Anton Volchenkov's signing to a new two-year, $2.5-million contract should be official soon.
Goalie Ray Emery, who will be the backup, is expected to accept his qualifying offer of $450,000 and winger Chris Neil is also closing in on a deal.
With a contract, Havlat won't have to go through arbitration and can spend the rest of the summer getting ready for Ottawa's training camp, which will open Sept. 13 at the Corel Centre.
"I'm not surprised, I'm just happy," said Havlat. "Arbitration was an option, but I'm happy with the deal. I don't have to think about this. I just have to think about hockey.
OK WITH LEFT WING
Havlat said he'll shift to left wing if he's asked.
"It is going to be up to the coach to use me wherever he wants to use me," said Havlat, who bounced around Europe with stops in the Czech Republic and Russia last season."Nobody had fun playing in Europe. If you are used to playing in the NHL, then Europe doesn't even compare because the NHL is the best league in the world and you want the chance to win the Stanley Cup."
Fisher was also pleased with his deal.
"I'm glad to be part of it with the three-year commitment," said Fisher. "I feel like we've got a good thing going here and I feel like we've got a chance to win the whole thing. I'm really excited that we can get this done and get ready for camp."