2011.03.29: In which being the 14th Sens blog on a story constitutes a scoop for us

Just wanted to link to a story that’s heating up a little bit, and some great reading on those Sens blogs who understand contract structures and the implications given the pending expiry of the CBA, etc. (i.e. not us.)

NCAA free agent Stephane Da Costa has declared his intention to go pro, and the Sens are considered a competitive destination with as many as all 30 teams having expressed an interest. He’s supposed to decide where he’ll go tomorrow, and Sens fans could see him in the lineup this season.

I don’t know much about Da Costa except that he’s a scoring center, is pretty small at 180 lbs, and is from Paris, France. No NHL player has ever come from Paris, but the city is the birthplace of post-structural literary theory, so you know Lessard is looking forward to some dense conversations with the young man while riding the Binghamton Bus. I guess his size, and perhaps propensity for quoting Derrida, is probably why he didn’t get drafted.

But we might see him as early as this season because playing time is one of the few things Ottawa can offer him that few other teams can’t. If he plays even one game, a year on his entry deal is used up and he’s one year closer to a real pay cheque (/check). Also, bonuses built into his contract will count against the cap. So the two things at the Senators disposal – cap space, and a lost season – give them an advantage in negotiations. No coincidence that the other teams thought to be competitive are Florida and Minnesota, who also stink horribly.

If Murray pulls this off, it will be notable, as we’ve caught glimpses of what Bobby Butler, a former NCAA alum, can do, and Winchester is a solid contributor. (I think Bozak in Toronto is another collegiate signee, and he centers Toronto’s top line. Not bad for a player Toronto didn’t even need to use a draft pick to get. Leafs suck.)

Anyway, a situation worth keeping an eye on. If only to appreciate some of the solid writing out there covering the developments.

Check here and here for some Ottawa blogger coverage. There’s also plenty being written through the trad media’s usual suspects.

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