Senators, Alex Formenton fail to reach contract agreement before RFA deadline

The Ottawa Senators failed to agree to a contract extension with forward Alex Formenton ahead of the NHL's Dec. 1 deadline for unsigned restricted free agents. (Getty Images)
The Ottawa Senators failed to agree to a contract extension with forward Alex Formenton ahead of the NHL's Dec. 1 deadline for unsigned restricted free agents. (Getty Images)

The Ottawa Senators and forward Alex Formenton have failed to reach an agreement on a contract extension by the Dec. 1 deadline, making the winger ineligible to play in the NHL for the remainder of the 2022-23 season.

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The 23-year-old forward became a restricted free agent this summer and has not played for Ottawa at all this season.

According to the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch, the Senators tried to trade Formenton in the days and hours leading up to deadline, but found no takers. He also reported that the 2017 second round draft pick has been skating near his home in the Toronto area.

Despite showing potential through three seasons with the Senators, posting 23 goals and 16 assists for 39 points in 109 career games, Formenton’s NHL future is now uncertain.

Formenton was a member of the 2018 Canada World Junior hockey team that is being investigated for a group sexual assault. Unlike some other members of the team, the 23-year-old has not publicly denied involvement in the incident.

The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun asked general manager Pierre Dorion in September if the ongoing investigation into the allegations against Hockey Canada were influencing contract talks with Formenton’s camp.

“With all due respect, I think they’re totally two different things,” Dorion told LeBrun. “One’s a contract issue and the other is a Hockey Canada issue that I can’t comment on until the NHL investigation is over.”

Formenton is now free to sign with a team in Europe, though his NHL rights remain with the Senators.

The last restricted free agents to not be signed by the Dec. 1 deadline were Edmonton Oilers' forward Jesse Puljujarvi and former Dallas Stars defenseman Julius Honka in the 2019-2020 season. Both elected to play overseas for the remainder of the year.

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