Heading into the trade deadline, many believed that the clock was running out on Marc Methot’s time as an Ottawa Senator. Early Monday morning, however, the two sides struck a deal.
Methot and the Senators came to terms on a four-year pact worth a reported $4.9 million per season and a total of $19.6 million over the contract’s duration. The deal comes just weeks before the NHL’s trade deadline and locks the 29-year-old blueliner up to a decent term at a good price.
The deal comes as somewhat of a surprise. During the offseason and throughout this campaign, the two sides have been unable to come to terms and it seemed a separation was in the offing. The Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch reported over the weekend that talks between the two sides were moving in the right direction, but there was a gap in salary the Senators' and Methot's representation had to bridge in order for the deal to work out.
Methot has been a steady defender for the Senators, and, heading towards unrestricted free agency, it was thought that he would be highly sought after if the two sides were not able to complete a deal before the March 2 deadline. Following Erik Karlsson’s Achilles injury in 2012-13, Methot averaged the highest time on ice of his career (22:14 per game) and tallied two goals and 11 points in 47 games.
Last season, in 75 games, Methot set his career highs with six goals, 17 assists and 23 points. He helped drive offense from the blueline and put 117 pucks on net, the first time in his career he had registered more than 58 shots in a season.
Locking up Methot to a four-year deal helps keep the Senators top defensive unit together. With Chris Phillips’ career winding down, Methot and Karlsson are the next generation of Senators defensemen and will be key to Ottawa’s performance in coming seasons.
A native of Ottawa, Methot has spent the past three seasons as a Senator after being acquired from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for Nick Foligno in 2012. In 139 games with the Senators, Methot has scored eight goals and 39 points while racking up 69 penalty minutes and skating an average of just less than 22 minutes a night. This season he has missed a considerable amount of time with a back injury, spending 36 games on the sideline.