It was a dance that lasted nearly all season, but the Ottawa Senators finally were able to find common ground and get top-four defenseman Marc Methot signed Monday, removing him from the trade market.
Talks stagnated during the season when Methot wanted a five- or six-year deal.
"We didn’t want to go that term," Senators general manager Bryan Murray told ESPN.com Tuesday. "The big thing was that Marc really wanted to stay in Ottawa, there’s no question about that. He got close to the number he thought he realistically thought he could get anyway.
"When we got the term we wanted, we bumped [the salary] a little bit."
At four years and $4.9 million per season, it’s a nice deal for both sides, but it’s especially huge for a budget team like Ottawa that can’t spend to the cap to be able to keep Methot at a reasonable rate, because it would have been so difficult to replace him this summer.
"We couldn’t find a guy like that, financially, on the open market, it would have cost us more than we’d be willing to pay," Murray said.
Finding a top-six forward in the offseason will be the foremost priority for Ottawa.
In the meantime, trading one of the team’s lower-end defensemen is a distinct possibility before March 2. The Senators have eight defensemen on the NHL roster.