He will make $2.5 million in 2014-15 and $3.5 million in 2015-16. His NHL salary-cap charge will be $3 million per season.
"We had other options," Legwand said Friday, according to the Senators website. "I think Ottawa is a place where I liked the coaching staff, I played against Paul MacLean a lot when he was with Detroit, and obviously with Jason Spezza leaving I thought it was a good fit for myself. … It's an exciting time there and it should be a good season for us."
"[Playing for a Canadian team is] something that always intrigued me," Legwand said. "Being down in Nashville for 14 years, that's something I never really got a chance to do. I think it'll be exciting being in a winter city and a cold city and a hockey market; I think it'll be pretty fun."
Legwand had 14 goals and 51 points in 83 games with Nashville and Detroit last season, and had zero points in five Stanley Cup Playoff games for the Red Wings. Legwand holds several Nashville records, including games played (956), goals (210) and points (566).
"David is a good, veteran center, a guy that skates pretty well, gets up and down the ice. … He's an experienced guy that can fill the top or bottom of the lineup," Senators general manager Bryan Murray said. "We believe he has been a captain and a leader, so we know we're [getting] a good person. We just think the way things shook out for us that having an experienced center that can be a decent faceoff man, be a good defensive player, get points, was very important at this time."
Legwand signed with the Senators three days after they traded top center Spezza to the Dallas Stars. Legwand joins a group that includes Kyle Turris, Mika Zibanejad, Zack Smith and possibly 2013 first-round pick Curtis Lazar.
"Obviously what Jason Spezza did in Ottawa is pretty remarkable; he's a point-a-game guy and a very rare offensive talent," Legwand said. "I don't think you're going to fill his shoes. I'm going there to do some things that will help the overall game and those right types of things all around the ice and arena."
Ottawa finished fifth in the Atlantic Division last season, five points out of the second Eastern Conference wild card into the playoffs.
"I think we can contend for the playoffs [this season]," Legwand said. "That's got to be your goal, is to get into the dance, and then once you get in you never know what can happen."
The Senators announced the re-signing of defenseman Eric Gryba to a two-year contract worth $2.5 million, one the sides agreed to last week. Gryba, 26, had two goals and 11 points in 53 games last season.