The Ottawa Senators have decided to part ways with veteran defenseman Sergei Gonchar despite his impressive performance this past season. Gonchar, who is set to have his three-year, $16.5 million deal expire on July 5 and become a free agent, has had his rights traded to the Dallas Stars. If Gonchar decides to sign with Dallas, the Senators will receive a sixth-round pick in the 2013 NHL Early Entry Draft.
Senators general manager Bryan Murray confirmed the news late Friday afternoon in a statement that thanked Gonchar for his time in Ottawa.
“We thank Sergei for his efforts in Ottawa,” Murray said. “We felt that this trade will give Sergei the opportunity to extend his career in the NHL and we wish him success with the Stars.”
It is no guarantee that Gonchar will sign with the Stars, however.
There are some reports that he could choose to bolt for KHL club Metallurg Magnitogorsk for approximately $7 million per year. If that is the road he chooses, it would be hard to fault him for taking the money.
Last season, Gonchar finished second on the Senators with 27 points, so it could be a very solid addition to the team by new general manager Jim Nill.