After losing top center Jason Spezza, the Ottawa Senators were in dire need of getting some veteran talent at the position. They did that Friday by signing David Legwand to a two-year deal. According to Aaron Ward of TSN, Legwand will make $6 million over the two seasons, making him a rather affordable replacement for Spezza, if not as productive.
Legwand, who spent all but the last few months of his NHL career with the Nashville Predators, had a solid 2013-14 campaign with 51 points. Though he underperformed for the Detroit Red Wings after he was dealt near the trading deadline, particularly in the playoffs, he remains an effective center who can get the job done at both ends of the ice.
He was the best remaining of the available free agents as the thin crop only got thinner. It was believed that Legwand had interest from multiple teams at this later stage of the free agent signing period.
The 33-year-old center, who will turn 34 before the beginning of the season, is a veteran of 977 NHL games. He has registered 577 points over that span including 214 goals, while being notable for his responsible two-way game. Though likely continuing a downward trend in terms of effectiveness, he has produced 40 or more points in six of the last seven full seasons in the NHL, so he can still contribute.
He is the Predators' all-time leading scorer and was the club's very first draft pick.
Legwand will join a Senators team that is in a bit of disrepair after losing two of their biggest stars in subsequent offseasons. Paul MacLean has a rather big job ahead with the number of young players that will have to play bigger roles this year. Getting a seasoned vet like Legwand could help in that regard, though.