Things are apparently not going well between the Ottawa Senators and impending free agent forward Ales Hemsky.
According to Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun, Hemsky and the Sens have broken off contract talks and may be headed for free agency on July 1.
Hemsky is reportedly seeking a contract that will pay him $5.5 million per season and the cash-mindful Senators aren’t willing to go that high.
Sources say the Senators were not prepared to make that kind of offer and there was also concerns he’s determined to test the market.”
The Sens acquired Hemsky at the trade deadline from the Oilers in exchange for a third-round and a fifth-round pick. Hemsky is coming off a two-year contract that paid him $10 million.
Hemsky had 13 goals and 40 points in 75 games with Ottawa and Edmonton this past season and had 17 points in 20 games with the Senators. If he was auditioning for a new deal with Ottawa he did a pretty good job showing what he can do, but if that contract demand is accurate, you can somewhat understand why Sens GM Bryan Murray may have an issue with it.
Then again, if Hemsky hits free agency, he’ll be one of the top offensive talents available this summer, along with Thomas Vanek, and could command a big deal. It’s not easy being a general manager.
As it is, the Senators could be looking at a drastic situation this summer if Hemsky signs elsewhere. The Senators have also been rumored to be looking to deal captain Jason Spezza. That’d be a lot of offense departing a team that lacked top-end talent at forward.