There hasn’t been much in the way of negotiations between Ottawa and restricted free agent defenseman Jared Cowen.
But, according to Cowen’s agent, that’s by design.
“(The Senators) went through free agency, and they had a lot of things going on,” Octagon Sports’ Rick Valette told the Ottawa Citizen. “We agreed early in July that we’d wait for a week or three and let things settle out.
“We have talked a couple of times, and we are going to move the process along now.”
Cowen, 22, just wrapped the final year of his three-year, $3.975 million entry level deal, during which he emerged as key top-four defenseman for the Sens.
He also showed great resolve in 2013, recovering from what was thought to be a season-ending shoulder injury to appear in seven games down the stretch, and all 10 of Ottawa’s postseason contests.
Cowen was initially hurt on Oct. 19 while playing for AHL Binghamton. The injury was initially diagnosed as minor but, after missing seven straight games and showing no signs of improvement, the decision was made for him to go under the knife — a procedure that was supposed to finish his season.
At the time, it was a huge blow for the Senators.
The 6-foot-5, 230-pound rearguard played all 82 games in 2011-12 — his rookie campaign — scoring 5G-12A-17PTS. He led all Sens defensemen in hits during the regular season, then upped the ante in a seven-game playoff loss to the Rangers, leading all skaters with 28 hits.
Now, with veteran Sergei Gonchar gone to Dallas and journeyman Joe Corvo brought in on a one-year deal, it’s clear Ottawa is counting on Cowen for the long term.
Asked to classify the talks with Sens GM Bryan Murray, Valette said “it’s fine.”
“Nothing really to report at this time,” he explained, “oher than to say that there are different options that we can look at.”