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2010 NHL Free Agency: Sergei Gonchar signs with Ottawa Senators

Sergei Gonchar

*** CORRECTS SCORE ** Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Sergei Gonchar (55) of Russia skates during the first period against the St. Louis Blues in an NHL hockey game in Pittsburgh Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2009. Gonchar didn’t play over the final 27 minutes because of an undisclosed injury. The Penguins won in 5-1. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)


Sergei Gonchar, unable to work out a deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins, has signed with the Ottawa Senators in the opening minutes of free agency.

Gonchar wanted a three-year deal with Pittsburgh at around $5 million per season -- the Penguins were unwilling to make that commitment and he walked.

The Senators swooped in and signed Gonchar to a three-year, $16.5 million contract with a no-trade clause, and he’ll instantly upgrade a stale defensive corps in Ottawa.

If Gonchar is getting $5.5 million per season, it’s going to be a long day for teams out there trying to sign a free agent goaltender. This means a Dan Hamhuis and Alex Volchenkov will both likely make around $5 million per season, which they never would have other years. They’re hitting the free agency market at the exact right time.