Jared Cowen

Sens asst. GM says ‘we can weather the storm’ as Cowen negotiations drag


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.”

Video: Eichel’s first career NHL goal

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Didn’t take long for Jack Eichel to make his mark at the NHL level.

The No. 2 overall pick at this year’s draft scored his first-ever NHL goal in his first-ever NHL game on Thursday night, cutting Ottawa’s lead to 2-1 in the third period of Buffalo’s season-opener.

Marcus Foligno and another new Sabre, Evander Kane, registered the assists on Eichel’s marker, which came on the power play.


Tough start: Lehner knocked out of Sabres debut, won’t return

Matt Puempel, Alex Chiasson, Robin Lehner
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Chances are Robin Lehner won’t look back fondly on his first game as a Sabre.

Midway through Buffalo’s season-opener against Ottawa, Lehner — facing his old team for the first time since getting traded this summer — suffered a lower-body injury, and was forced from the contest.

During the second intermission, the Sabres ruled out Lehner for the night.

It was a difficult turn of events for 24-year-old, who admitted he was keen to go up against the Sens. He had a bit of a chip on his shoulder about his time in the Canadian capital; Lehner felt he never got a full opportunity to run with the No. 1 gig, and probably wasn’t thrilled GM Bryan Murray opted to keep Craig Anderson and Andrew Hammond instead of him.

As for tonight’s injury, details are scarce. All that’s known is the ailment was serious enough for Lehner to leave and not return, forcing backup Chad Johnson into duty.

Prior to getting hurt, Lehner had stopped 11 of 12 shots faced.