The Ottawa Senators hung on to a restricted free agent on Monday, signing Jean-Gabriel Pageau to a three-year NHL deal worth $9.3M. The General Manager of the Ottawa Senators, Pierre Dorion, claimed that the size of the deal was due to Pageau's playoff performance. Pageau did not have the strongest Regular Season in 2016/17, tallying just 33 points in 82 games. However, he was a part of Ottawa's playoff run that took them to overtime of game seven of the Eastern Conference finals before the Senators finally fell to the Pittsburgh Penguins. It was with that contribution in mind that Dorion offered what looks like a generous deal.

"Any player," he claimed in justifying the contract, "that has a history of raising his game, whether it was in junior playoffs or [AHL] playoffs or NHL playoffs, I think you have to give credit for what he's accomplished. We're really happy to have him on board for the next three years" (Dorion qtd. at CBC.ca on July 17th/no author listed).

Pageau not a strong scorer

Committing to a contract for the next three years based on a player's playoff history is a little strange, especially in the face of regular-season stats that are lacking. It seems to presume that the Senators will be back in the playoffs and that that's when Pageau will shine again. Certainly, a contract that averages out to $3.1M per season can't be viewed as a great one for Ottawa given that Pageau is a far less than half-point per game forward.

You have to wonder if the money could have been better spent or if part of the equation was just getting a player signed that is willing to play in Ottawa. Conversely, it could be that the Senators wanted to reward one of the players that helped the club generate a lot of extra playoff revenue last season.

From that point of view Pageau was a key player for the Sens in their recent history.

Overall, the Senators have been a team that has been pretty quiet in signings of late. They signed Patrick Sieloff about a week ago, but have otherwise done almost nothing since NHL free agency began. Certainly, other teams have been more active.

However, the Sens were a surprise team last year in both the playoffs and the regular season.

Other recent NHL signings

The Philadelphia Flyers were busy on Monday as well. They signed center Nolan Patrick to a three-year deal with $11.325M according to Spotrac. The team also signed goalie Alex Lyon to a one-year deal. Winnipeg was also involved in a low-key signing. They inked JC Lipon to a one-year deal worth $650,000.

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