Senators sign Campoli

Sens Chris Campoli signed with the club today.

Sens Chris Campoli signed with the club today.

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:08 PM ET

A new contract means a longer vacation for Chris Campoli.

The Senators defenceman agreed to a one-year, $1.4-million (all terms US) contract on Friday, meaning he can keep enjoying his trip in Los Angeles knowing he doesn't have to go to Toronto for an arbitration hearing next week.

With both sides determined to avoid the arbitration process, the 25-year-old Campoli, who had four goals and 14 assists in 67 games last season, can spend the rest of the summer focusing on getting ready for training camp.

He also told the Ottawa Sun he is fully recovered from surgery he had seven weeks ago to repair a sports hernia that bothered him most of last season.

Campoli, who made $675,000 last season, more than doubled his salary.

"I'm really happy to have gotten the deal done," said Campoli, who plans to return to Ottawa in mid-August. "Obviously, that's a tough process to go through. I don't think it really helps when you have to settle things that way (through arbitration).

"I think (Senators GM Bryan Murray) agreed on that with me. We really didn't talk a ton, but I was pretty confident all along we would get something done. This is where I wanted to be and I'm really excited to be part of it. I think we've got a really good team."

Campoli said he is hoping to have a strong year after admitting he played most of last season hurt.

"I feel I'm 100% healthy now," said Campoli. "It was something that bothered me last year and it's been fixed. I'm going in with a very optimistic attitude and I really want to help the team have a big year.

"(The sports hernia) was something that I could play through and we made a collective decision that if I could do it, I would. At times, I was still able to help our team and that's why we made that decision. I'm going to come in with an open mind and a clear head."

With winger Peter Regin agreeing to a two-year, $2-million deal Thursday and Campoli signing Friday, the Senators can spend the rest of the summer getting ready for next season.

With the exception of a few minor-league deals, it would appear the Senators' roster is set.

Campoli is slotted in as the fifth defenceman on the depth chart, but he could push for more playing time with a strong showing in training camp.

Campoli, who was acquired from the Islanders with centre Mike Comrie in exchange for Dean McAmmond and a No. 1 pick in 2009, is determined to show he can be a consistent contributor. He was strong down the stretch last season and wants to pick up where he left off.

"Last year was a little bit of up-and-down year for me," said Campoli. "I was happy with the way it finished and I can be proud of the way I played down the stretch. I want to continue to build off that."

Murray said he was pleased to get the deal done.

"We knew we'd have to pay a reasonable price for him," said Murray. "I think Chris is happy and I know we're happy to get it done ahead of time.

"Obviously, we like him because of his mobility. Going to arbitration is never easy or fun. I'm really happy to get it completed."

bruce.garrioch@sunmedia.ca


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