Well that was fast

About four hours ago, we learned the Russians would not be signing the transfer agreement, meaning, for us anyway, no Alexei Kaigodorov. I wonder what the Sens course of action would be.

Seems like they had a Plan B ready, as they've inked journeyman forward Dean McAmmond to a one-year contract. No terms have been released, but it's probably a safe assumption the salary is close to what they would've paid Kaigodorov (700K).

It this good enough? Does McAmmond fill the second-line center hole? I'm not sure.

McAmmond's 33 and brings a ton of experience, which is good, but his stats paint the picture of a guy on the decline. He registered 37 points on an awful St. Louis team last season, but was also a -25, second worst on the team, ahead of only blueliner Steve Poapst. McAmmond did log second-line center minutes (averaged 16 per game) with the Blues, but I'm not sure I couldn't have been on the second line of that team.

Also somewhat alarming is the fact that despite his pedigree in the league, McAmmond is pretty inexperienced when it matters most, the playoffs. He's played over 700 regular season games, but only 19 post-season ones. A lot of that was because he's been on some really bad teams, however, if we're going to add a seasoned vet, don't we want one who's put some time in in May and June?

McAmmond is versatile in that he can play either the middle or the left side (where the team isn't especially strong), but I have to assume center is where they'll pencil him in for the time being. Unfortunately, adding him doesn't cure our little faceoff problem, as McAmmond over 50% in that category in four years.

All of that said, he's still got great speed and, if paired with one of our own fast skaters, could be a dangerous weapon. He's not known to be a finisher (only scored more than 20 goals once), but again, with the right player who has that ability (Alfie?), might be very useful.

All bets were off when the Russians wouldn't budge, and I guess this was the best Muckler and company could do. However, feels a lot like we've replaced Bryan Smolinski with a guy not much better, if at all.

Of course, I say all of having seen, at most, a dozen games he's played the last two seasons. People who pay closer attention to the Blues and Flames, feel free to chime in and tell me if my assetment is inaccurate.

UPDATE: Ottawa also signed Rockland native Serge Payer to a one-year deal. Payer's no stranger to the organization, having spent the 2003-04 year in Bingo with the Baby Sens, and he played 71 games for the lowly Panthers last season. Probably a depth move.