Photo: Baguette? Baguette!
The Senators announced this afternoon that the organization has agreed to terms with their lone remaining restricted free agent, Stephane Da Costa, on a new one-year, two-way contract. The financial terms were not revealed in the official press release but the organization’s Twitter account mentioned that the contract carried a $800,000 NHL salary and an AHL salary of $80,000.
After an impressive training camp and some ridiculously premature comparisons to Adam Oates, the Parisian-born center started last season with the Senators but was eventually demoted to the team’s Binghamton affiliate on November 27th, so that the organization could take another look at the Russian flight risk known as Nikita Filatov.
Although Da Costa’s production — 3 goals and 5 points in 22 games — and noticeably deteriorating play despite playing sheltered minutes (averaged 12:09 time on-ice per game) against sheltered competition, didn’t help his cause. The acquisition of Kyle Turris on December 17th, approximately two and a half weeks after Da Costa’s demotion, cemented Da Costa’s place in Bingo as a potential injury replacement.
Like many prospects, the 22-year old center needs to work on his strength and conditioning level to perform at the NHL-level. Nevertheless, with 13 goals and 36 points in 46 AHL games, it’s quite obvious that the skill level is there. However, with more highly touted prospects like Jakob Silfverberg, Mark Stone, and Mika Zibanejad on the cusp of contributing at the NHL-level, Da Costa (along with players like Mike Hoffman and Andre Petersson) desperately needs a good camp next season so that he doesn’t get leapfrogged on the depth chart by these aforementioned names.
As much as he’ll be competing for a spot with the parent club, the forward corps already features 13 one-way contracts. If anything, he’ll be vying with other likely Bingo-bound players for the opportunity to be called up in the event of injury.