In what might be classified as a case of mistaken identities, former Ottawa Senator forward Jesse Winchester has agreed to join Finnish second division team TuTo.
This development comes four days after reports claimed TuTo was close to signing another Winchester — Brad, formerly of the San Jose Sharks — to a lockout deal.
But rest assured, all four people who care about this: It’s Jesse Winchester that’s off to Finland.
Winchester, 29, spent the last five years with the Ottawa organization after a standout career at Colgate University. His best season came in 2008-09, when he appeared in 76 games and posted 3G-15A-18PTS.
Last season was a tough one for Winchester as he missed 44 games with a concussion. While he did recover and return for Ottawa’s opening-round loss to the Rangers, he was hurt once again (upper-body) and missed the final three contests of the series.
Compounding matters was his contract status. His two-year, $1.5 million deal with Ottawa expired this offseason, meaning he hit the market as a UFA coming off an injury-plagued campaign.
In July, Winchester told the Ottawa Sun he was remaining upbeat and was convinced he’d find a place to play.
“There will be a place for me at some point,” he explained. “I’ve just got to stay upbeat and positive. I’ll be ready when something happens.”