Tag: Ottawa Senators

Nick Foligno

Nick Foligno is having himself quite the contract year


During the contentious Ryan Johansen negotiations, Columbus president John Davidson said the following:

“We understand the make-up of our team, we understand the CBA, we understand players deserve money and players deserve to be paid the way they should be paid and we’ll continue to do that.”

With that in mind, it’ll be interesting to see what happens with Nick Foligno.

The 27-year-old is a pending UFA and playing the best hockey of his life. Through 28 games he leads the Blue Jackets in scoring with 14 goals and 27 points, is getting a boatload of ice time (19:10 per game, up from 16:04 last season) and sits sixth in the NHL with seven power-play goals.

It is, as many have pointed out, quite the contract year.

There’s no denying Columbus wants to keep Foligno and Foligno wants to stay in Columbus. Per the Dispatch, agent Pat Morris has started negotiations with GM Jarmo Kekalainen.

“I’m happy that they’re talking,” Foligno said. “Hopefully they can get something done in a timely manner.”

But two key questions remain: 1) What can Foligno get from Columbus, and 2) What can he get on the open market?

The first question is interesting. For all their bickering with Johansen and Kurt Overhardt, the Jackets do have a history of rewarding players that have, for lack of a better term, “earned it.”

Brandon Dubinsky’s a good example. Viewed as a heart-and-soul guy, he netted a six-year, $35.1 million extension this summer, one Kekalainen called a “well-earned contract,” adding that Dubinsky “plays like we want every Blue Jacket to play.”

Is Foligno held in the same regard? One would think he’s close. He’s been a good foot soldier since coming over from Ottawa in the Marc Methot trade of 2012, and actually played more games in a Blue Jackets uniform (144) than Dubinsky (109).

It’s also worth noting Foligno returned from a knee injury during last year’s playoffs to score this huge OT winner in Game 4 versus Pittsburgh, one of the biggest goals in franchise history:

The open market, though, will be tantalizing.

Foligno’s in the last of a three-year, $9.25 million deal that carries a $3.08M cap hit. It makes him the sixth highest-paid forward on the team; one expects all those figures will rise if he’s back next season.

Columbus shouldn’t have any issues paying Foligno. Even if it needs to break the bank for pending RFA goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, there still would be plenty of money left over — and there’s no telling what additional financial relief could come on the Nathan Horton front if he’s unable to return from a severe back injury.

On the open market, though, Foligno could also score huge.

There just aren’t many guys going to market anymore. Depending on what happens with Chris Stewart and Mats Zuccarello, Foligno projects to be one of the premier forwards under the age of 30 and given some of the deals from last summer — like the $20M Benoit Pouliot got from Edmonton, or $27.5M Florida paid for Dave Bolland — well, the idea testing waters has to be tempting.

And make no mistake, Foligno has value. Aside from career-high offensive numbers, he’s also showcased his versatility over the last few years, frequently shifting between wing and center.

“There have been a lot of times the last three seasons where Nicky has ended up down low in coverage playing the wing,” head coach Todd Richards said, per the Dispatch. “He’s comfortable down there.

“We need that depth down the middle.”

There is a final option to consider here, of course. If Columbus can’t strike deal with Foligno and the trade deadline draws close, would it be willing to risk losing an asset for nothing in free agency? Remember, this is the same club that traded away Marian Gaborik at last year’s deadline — in a year where it made the postseason.

Moulson’s shootout winner leads Sabres to fourth straight victory


Matt Moulson scored the shootout winner as the Buffalo Sabres edged the Ottawa Senators 5-4 Monday night.

Buffalo has now won four straight and 10 of 13.

The loss drops the Sens to 0-1-2 under head coach Dave Cameron.

After Bobby Ryan opened the scoring in the first, the Sabres scored three straight in the second.

Rasmus Ristolainen tied it 1-1, Moulson netted his seventh of the season and Marcus Foligno gave Buffalo a 3-1 lead.

Mark Stone pulled Ottawa to within one with 6:18 remaining in the second.

Curtis Lazar scored his first career NHL goal tying it 3-3 at 2:02 of the third.

Alex Chiasson gave Ottawa its’ second lead of the night just over three minutes later.

However, Brian Flynn tied it 4-4 to force overtime at 16:31 of the final frame.

Jhonas Enroth improved to 10-10-1 with a 29 save effort. Robin Lehner stopped 29 shots in the loss.

Goalie nods: Kinkaid gets another start for struggling Devils

Keith Kinkaid

All the latest from the blue paint…

New Jersey goes with Kinkaid

The Devils, losers in nine of their last 11, will turn to little-used Keith Kinkaid tonight when they take on the Islanders at Nassau.

Kinkaid has been up and down between New Jersey and AHL Albany this season and sat mostly behind Cory Schneider when up with the big club. Kinkaid has just four appearances on the season — and one start, a 3-2 shootout loss to Chicago — heading into tonight, but does have a solid 1.64 GAA and .943 save percentage overall.

The 25-year-old’s last outing came in relief of Schneider during Saturday’s 4-3 loss to Dallas, in which he stopped all three shots faced in just over 17 minutes of action (Schneider surrendered four goals on 33 shots.)

For the Isles, Jaroslav Halak will be in goal.


Lightning at Pens: Ben Bishop vs. Marc-Andre Fleury

Sens at Sabres: Robin Lehner vs. Jhonas Enroth

Bo won’t go: Canucks not lending Horvat for World Juniors

Bo Horvat, Jason Demers, Pascal Pelletier
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Shortly after Washington announced it wouldn’t be sending Andre Burkovsky to the World Junior championships, the Canucks did the same with their budding young talent.

Bo Horvat, the ninth overall pick at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, won’t be released to Team Canada for the Worlds, to be played in Toronto and Montreal from Dec. 26-Jan. 5.

“[Bo] is a solid two-way player,” Canucks GM Jim Benning explained, per The Province. “[He’s] strong in the faceoff circle and displays a maturity beyond his years.”

Horvat, 19, scored three points in seven games for Canada at last year’s tournament and was one of four NHLers pegged as potential selections for this year’s (along with Jonathan Drouin, Curtis Lazar and Anthony Duclair, the latter of whom is going.)

Horvat has acquitted himself nicely with the Canucks this season, though, and that’s why he’s staying put. The former OHL London standout has five points through 17 games and has been a lineup fixture ever since Zack Kassian was lost to a finger injury.

Bigras highlights Team Canada cuts at World Junior selection camp

Colorado Avalanche rookie camp
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Colorado Avalanche prospect Chris Bigras was one of five players sent home from Team Canada’s World Junior selection camp Sunday.

Bigras was a member of the 2014 Canadian squad, which lost to Russia in the bronze medal game in January.

Defenseman Travis Sanheim, a Philadelphia Flyers’ prospect, was returned to the Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League.

Forwards Remi Elie (Dallas Stars), Morgan Klimchuk (Calgary Flames) and Nick Baptiste (Buffalo Sabres) were also returned to their respective junior clubs.

Ottawa’s Curtis Lazar and Vancouver’s Bo Horvat are among those currently on NHL rosters who could possibly be added to the team, but a decision on their future must be made prior to the NHL’s roster freeze Dec. 19.

“It’s day-by-day. I haven’t heard anything, actually,” Horvat told ProHockeyTalk’s Cam Tucker. “Just trying to get better here and focus on trying to win here. If I keep doing that, eventually I’m sure they’re going to tell me what’s going on but for right now I’m just trying to focus on the Canucks.”

Team Canada’s roster currently consists of eight defencemen and 15 forwards and two goaltenders. The final roster, which needs to be finalized by Dec. 25, must be down to 22 players.