All is seemingly quiet in the land of the Ottawa Senators these days, though GM Pierre Dorion did manage to take care of a couple small pieces of business over the weekend. The team announced on Friday and Saturday respectively that it has inked Rudolfs Balcers and Joey Daccord to contract extensions.
The Balcers extension doesn’t really lead to many storylines heading into the 2020-21 campaign; it was a simple, standard, one-year, two-way deal that will pay the forward $735,000 in the National Hockey League and $70,000 in the American Hockey League. It’s the definition of a “prove it” deal for the 23-year-old, as he seeks to transition his AHL production to the NHL level. Last year, he contributed at more than a point-per-game in Belleville, while struggling to generate much when with Ottawa. Given the dearth of options available to DJ Smith at forward, there should be plenty of opportunity for Balcers to make his mark next season.
On the other hand, the Daccord extension leaves lots of food for thought. The 24-year-old, coming off his first full professional season, penned a three-year extension that includes a one-way component in the third year of the deal. While the dollar value isn’t material against the team’s salary cap, the length of the pact sends a clear signal that the Senators believe they have something in Daccord. It certainly seems like there’s a decent chance we’ll see a Matt Murray/Joey Daccord tandem at some point in the near-ish future.
Of course, the natural question that flows from the Daccord extension is where that leaves Marcus Hogberg. Former HockeyBuzz blogger Trevor Shackles summed things up nicely:
Hogberg, 25, showed some promise in the Senators crease last season, despite underwhelming numbers on his stat sheet. Given the team’s long-term commitments to both Daccord and Murray, he really is in a pivotal year for his career.
The bottom line here is that Dorion got two promising young pieces locked up to extensions. Even if it’s not going to move mountains, it’s a win for the franchise.
As always, thanks for reading.