BREAKING: Ducks agree to terms with Corey Perry on eight-year contract extension. bit.ly/11ccV4R— Anaheim Ducks (@AnaheimDucks) March 19, 2013
So that happened.
8 years, 69 million.
The dream of many a Sens fan that Perry could land in Ottawa July 1st dashed. There was a sliver of reason to think it was possible too, what with Bryan and Tim drafting Corey in 2003, the whispers about Perry wanting to move "closer to home", a true number one playmaking center to line up alongside, and enough capspace to accommodate a contract sure to explode Ottawa's salary structure.
Of course that optimism easily brushed aside the franchises history of free agent signings, an inauspicious list headlined by a then 36-year-old Sergei Gonchar. The Hasek signing is up there too, even if it ended terribly. And the rest Kovalev, Gerber, Corvo, you get the idea.
Ottawa's really only had the means to target players in free agency for 10 years (ie. the Melnyk era), and in that span I'd argue they've never really been close on signing a premier player in or around their prime. If you believe Gene, the Sens had a "presentation" all made up for Parise, but the organization never made an offer once they saw the kind of term and dollars it was going to take (not that I blame them on that front).
So even though it'd be nice at this stage to add some elite talent to the team for nothing but money, chances are it's not going to happen. Talent in Ottawa arrives in two ways - through the draft and via trade. Maybe that fact changes sometime in future, but to this point that's been the history.
Hell with Perry struck from the list, there isn't much available this summer I'd want to commit to anyway.
During the depths of the lockout Elliotte Friedman appeared on the podcast and had this to say:
"Ultimately I think the biggest question the Senators are going to have going forward is, how are they going to replace Daniel Alfredsson when the time comes?"
It remains a question today, and I'm not sure it's even a fair question to ask. The organization might have that player in the system, or maybe it's years before they see another two-way winger with his skills. The blueprint Chicago laid down of augmenting their young core with Hossa is desirable, but those signings are so few and far between - you can't bank on them, especially in Ottawa.