Sens sign Da Costa, will play vs. Leafs
DON BRENNAN, QMI Agency
SUNRISE, Fla. — The ink will barely be dry on his newly signed contract when Stephane Da Costa gets the chance to show Senators and their fans what he can do in an NHL game.
The Merrimack College star will practise with the team Friday and suit up one night later when they host the Toronto Maple Leafs, GM Bryan Murray has confirmed.
Murray outmanoeuvered the other NHL teams interested in the highly coveted Da Costa — a right-handed shooting centre who had 45 points in 33 games as a sophomore this season — by getting him to agree to a two-way, two-year entry level deal Thursday. The wheels were in motion on this signing when Murray created openings by trading veteran centres Mike Fisher and Chris Kelly.
By playing Da Costa Saturday, the first year of the deal will be triggered.
“He was the top-rated college player that we had,” Murray said. “He’s got head and hands, that’s the biggest thing I can say about him. He looks like he has a chance to be a very good pro.”
“I think the fact that we’ve moved a couple of our centres out opened doors for a couple of young players here. We talked about that with him.”
Da Costa, who was born in Paris, will become just the sixth player from France to suit up in an NHL game.
“I heard a lot of good things about the city, the organization, management,” said Da Costa. “Ottawa was the best fit for me.”