2010 NHL Free Agency: Sergei Gonchar signs with Ottawa Senators

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sgonchar1.jpgSergei Gonchar, unable to work out a deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins, has signed with the Ottawa Senators in the opening minutes of free agency.

Gonchar wanted a three-year deal with Pittsburgh at around $5 million per season — the Penguins were unwilling to make that commitment and he walked.

The Senators swooped in and signed Gonchar to a three-year, $16.5 million contract with a no-trade clause, and he’ll instantly upgrade a stale defensive corps in Ottawa.

If Gonchar is getting $5.5 million per season, it’s going to be a long day for teams out there trying to sign a free agent goaltender. This means a Dan Hamhuis and Alex Volchenkov will both likely make around $5 million per season, which they never would have other years. They’re hitting the free agency market at the exact right time.