Another day, another restricted free agent twisting in the wind.
This time, it’s Ottawa defenseman Jared Cowen, who’s without a contract six days from the start of training camp and now appears unlikely to report when the Sens take to the ice next Wednesday.
“We’d love to have him in camp, but we played a lot of games without him last year,” Sens assistant GM Tim Murray told Ottawa’s Team 1200 on Thursday. “We can weather the storm.”
For more on where the two sides sit with regards to financial compensation, here’s Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun:
The Senators and Cowen’s camp have looked at every scenario, but a one-year deal has been ruled out.
As reported by the Sun, the Senators tabled an eight-year, $28-million deal with a cap hit of $3.5 million per season. The two sides also talked about the seven-year, $28-million deal signed by Travis Hamonic of the Isles.
Sources say Cowen’s camp never officially turned down the eight-year deal. It remains on the table, but it’s not going to get the deal done and it’s doubtful this will be a long-term contract in the end.
Garrioch also adds a one-year deal is out of the question. Ottawa sounds determined to try and lock in Cowen long-term, especially since he’ll be eligible for arbitration rights if he signs a short-term or “bridge” deal.
Cowen — a towering presence at 6-foot-5, 230-pounds — missed almost all of last year recovering from hip surgery, as Murray alluded to. The hulking rearguard did play all 82 games in 2011-12 (his rookie campaign) scoring 5G-12A-17PTS.
Cowen also led all Sens defensemen in hits during that season, then upped the ante in a seven-game playoff loss to the Rangers, leading all skaters with 28 hits.
Murray indicated there’s been little recent movement from either side in terms of reaching a new deal. Garrioch reports they haven’t talked since last week.
“It’s a process,” Murray explained. “There’s really no progress because we’re a little bit far apart.”