This puts their current salary expenditure at about 67.5 million with a 23 man roster. I expect they will roll with 22 for most of the year, which should put them around 1 million below their season budget of 68 million. This will allow them to add a player now, and/or to add a player later on in the season.
Which begs the question - now that they have Ceci locked up and are below budget, will they pursue another bottom pairing DMan? Borowiecki/Claesson/Kostka are not an ideal 6/7/8 crew - all should ideally be one spot lower on the depth chart. At the very least, I think we need to shore up that #7 spot with a more dependable player.
I feel like they should have stressed term.
Ceci will now expire and make money while the Sens still have Methot/Dion/Karlsson under contract (unless Methot gets snagged by Vegas). Up front they will still have Ryan, Brassard, MacArthur and Hoffman signed. They will be handing out new contracts to Stone, Turris and Ceci (as well as a goalie potentially) all at the same time.
But it's also a typical "prove it" contract for a player who has potential but hasn't really shined to this point in his career. Deals like this seem to be fairly common for that purpose rather than for the purpose of trading him.
It's possible it's changed under the new regime but Ceci is an Ottawa darling, he's local, played for the 67's and now he's on the Sens if there's one guy other than Karlsson they want to excel and keep in Ottawa long term it's probably Ceci.
Maybe someone like Matt Dumba is a contract made to trade not because they don't like him but because of expansion concerns and even then I think it was more of a traditional bridge deal than ground work for a trade.
I just hope it doesn't hurt them. They need to be as best as possible for Battles of Ontario in the playoffs.