Sens, Condra reach new deal

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:30 AM ET

OTTAWA - Money might not buy you love, but it can help pay for a bigger wedding.

Senators forward Erik Condra took time out from his vacation in Rhode Island — where he is looking for a site to get married next summer — to sign a two-year, $1.25-million deal on Wednesday.

After finishing the season with Ottawa, where he had six goals and five assists in 26 games, Condra returned to Binghamton to help the club win an AHL championship.

Condra, 24, will make $600,000 next season and $650,000 in 2012-13.

“It’s nice to get this out of the way so that I can just focus on training and getting ready for camp,” said Condra on a conference call. “I’m really excited about the deal. I think it’s a good fit.

“I felt that I could play (for the Senators). We’re going to be a young team. Hopefully, we’ll learn together. There may be some bumps, but we can make an impact on the league.”

Senators assistant GM Tim Murray said the experience Condra and the rest of the prospects got in Binghamton will be valuable down the road.

“It teaches them a couple of things: It teaches them how to win and that’s ultimately what we’re about here,” said Murray. “It teaches them night after night to prepare for a grind and that’s what the 82-game schedule is.

“So I have to think the guys that were down there should be better prepared night after night to be 100% and just be ready for anything that comes at them.”

Condra said the experience helped him.

“There’s a lot of guys — me, (Bobby) Butler, (Colin) Greening and a few other guys — who are in the same boat,” said Condra. “We showed we could jump up and play at the next level and make an impact, then coming back down, we learned how to win. The grind of the playoffs, the grind of a championship ... it was fun to go down there and win a championship, and I think we learned a lot about winning and the grind of the playoffs.

“We can take that and have the confidence to know that we’ve done it before, we can do it again and, hopefully, we can do it at the next level.”

Murray said contract discussions with Butler, a restricted free agent, are ongoing.

If the two sides can’t reach an agreement, Butler will sign his qualifying offer (a two-way deal) by the July 30 deadline and play on that contract next season.

“We’ve just been talking back and forth,” said Murray. “I’m sure that we’ll have more talks going forward. Hopefully, we can hammer something out that’s a little different than (the qualifying offer).”

Shannon stays patient

RW Ryan Shannon, an unrestricted free agent, hasn’t signed with anybody but he’s gotten lots of interest. He just has to be patient and he’ll get a job ... Free-agent D David Hale will likely play in Europe next season.

bruce.garrioch@sunmedia.ca


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