According to a source, it sounds like former Gatineau Olympiques forward and Ottawa's 2011 fourth round selection (96th overall) Jean-Gabriel Pageau has signed a three-year entry level contract with the Senators. After allegedly inking his deal, he would join Mika Zibanejad, Fredrik Claesson, Stefan Noesen, Matt Puempel and Darren Kramer as members of Ottawa's 2011 draft class who have signed ELCs with the organization. (For what it's worth, the Senators still haven't officially acknowledged that Kramer and 2010 draft pick Jakub Culek have signed their ELCs.)
Frankly if true, news of the Senators had signed Pageau shouldn't be that surprising since Pierre Dorion mentioned last week on the radio that the organization was looking to get something done with him and Shane Prince.
Looking back that his draft selection, I'm reminded of Dorion's infamous video for Sens TV in which he admitted that Pageau was probably his favorite selection from the 2011 draft.
After fracturing his ring finger in a game in mid-November, Pageau's injury forced him to only in play 23 games for the Olympiques before being dealt to the Chicoutimi Sagueneens in January. Although his production slowed after joining his new club, Pageau did manage to accumulate 32 goals and 65 points in 46 total regular season games. For the first time since his 2009/10 QMJHL rookie season, Pageau fell below a point-per-game production rate in the playoffs. In 16 playoff games, he only tallied 4 goals and 14 points. (Only!)
While undersized, Hockeydb.com lists him as a 5'9" center who weighs 164 lbs, Pageau's offensive skill set is well documented. As a 20 year old, the possibility exists that he could be returned to junior as an overage prospect. However, as Tim Murray acknowledged back in March, because of the way that Prince and Pageau dominated junior last season, both will be expected to compete for a spot in Binghamton next season. Granted, Prince should have an edge as he's a little more physically mature.
For what it's worth, because the Senators will not qualify Craig Schira, he'll become an unrestricted free agent.
According to Capgeek, Ottawa has seven restricted free agents (this number doesn't include Schira - the Princess of Power). The list is as follows with each player's respective qualifying offer amount:
- Erik Karlsson: $826,875
- Nick Foligno: $1,550,000
- Jim O'Brien: $735,000
- Kaspars Daugavins: $660,000
- Stephane Da Costa: $850,500
- Eric Gryba: $577,500
- Nikita Filatov: $826,875
It's important to note qualifying offers have to be one-way offers if the player meets particular thresholds like: a) the player appeared in 180 or more NHL games in three previous seasons; b) the player appeared in 60 or more NHL games the previous season; and c) the player did not clear waivers during the previous season. Backup goaltender appearances count as games.
Under these circumstances, only Karlsson, Daugavins and Foligno would have to receive one-way contracts.
While the decision to tender a qualifying offer to Filatov may strike some fans as odd, especially in light of news that the Arya Stark doppleganger agreed to a contract with KHL's Salavat Yulaev, in the greater scheme of things, it means sweet fuck all. Without the guarantee of having a NHL job waiting for him, the likelihood of Filatov accepting Ottawa's qualifying offer or negotiating a new contract with the organization is small.
Well, let's just say that there's a greater chance that you'll see both Ryan Suter and Zach Parise sign long-term UFA contracts with the Senators on July 1st.
At the most basic level, what this low risk, two-way qualifying offer ensures is that for the foreseeable future, Ottawa will retain Filatov's NHL rights in the event that Filatov figures it out and commits his mind and body to becoming the player that many envisioned when he was selected as the sixth overall selection in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.
In the meantime.... Pffffffffffffffffffffffffffft.
Wake me up when Filatov tries to lure Andre Petersson to Russia on Facebook again or reboots his Formspring account. Or better yet, wake me when Salavat Yulaev inevitably tries to demote him to the junior KHL league, a league that he is now too old to be eligible to play in.