The Ottawa Senators have signed Russian superstar winger Alex Kovalev to a two-year deal worth $10 million.
The idea is for Kovalev to bring his scoring touch to the Sens, of course. While there have been some concerns over his inconsistent effort, the Senators seem to be okay with that.
“I think you always want your player to play 100%, and that’s difficult over 82 games and if you are judgmental you can find a hole,” Senators GM Bryan Murray said. “I think Alex, they claim, has been a little more inconsistent than he should be. I think the opposite. I think when he plays great he can win a game for you. In this organization we’ve got many hard workers and guys that will compete for us every night, but we needed something special to go with that and this guy’s a special player.”
Murray is now in full re-tooling mode, needing to take the Senators from a team that missed the playoffs to a team that once again threatens for the Stanley Cup and is among the league’s elite. While the Dany Heatley situation still looms over Murray and Co., the signing of Kovalev certainly sends a message that the team is ready to get going on next season.
Some might say that the signing was a way to force something out of Heatley and his crew, but Murray denies that this is the case. Heatley rejected a possible move to the Edmonton Oilers last week and forced the Sens to pay his $4 million bonus, a move that probably won’t endear him to fans or team management.
“I don’t care where (Heatley) plays. He can play anywhere he wants as long as I can get the right deal. All I care about is what comes back to our club,” Murray said.
With Kovalev, the Senators get a 16-year veteran with top-level skill. He’s a top-six forward and will fit nicely into the system in Ottawa. If he decides to turn on the jets, Kovalev’s among the fastest and most exciting players in the entire National Hockey League.
Posted by Jordan Richardson.