It wasn’t exactly a training camp soap opera with the Ottawa Senators and defenseman Jared Cowen. They two sides were talking. It was just a matter of a short bridge contract or something much larger.
In the end, they split the difference: four years at $12 million for the restricted free agent, as he reports to camp for the Sens.
Coming out of an entry-level contract, the two sides have had a hard time determining Cowen’s value. The Senators orginal offer was an eight-year, $28 million contract which would have paid him $3.5 million per-season. Cowen’s camp didn’t want to sign that kind of deal.
… “They felt they were leaving too much money on the table and that’s fair,” said [Senators assistant GM Tim Murray.] “It’s hard to gauge for them where he’s going to be in five years. We both started talking four year deals. I have no problem saying that.
“A four year deal is fair for both sides: He gets to establish himself what they believe as a top player. He’ll have one year of restricted free agency after the deal he could hit a home run. We’re both on the same side on the term.”
So it’s a $3.1 million annual hit for Cowen, which should be interesting news for the Cody Franson camp. The Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman continues to linger out of camp as an RFA. The Leafs want a 2-year deal north of $2 million per season; Franson wants a high yield 1-year deal.