OTTAWA (AP) -The Ottawa Senators made a splash in free agency, signing veteran defenseman Sergei Gonchar to a three-year contract worth $16.5 million on Thursday.
Gonchar spent the last five years playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins and won the Stanley Cup in 2009.
His agent J.P. Barry had extensive talks with the Penguins, but couldn't come to terms on a new deal. Gonchar says he's looking forward to a change of scenery.
"I'm very happy to be there because I'm going to play in Canada, which is pretty special for me," said Gonchar. "I believe Ottawa has a pretty good team. ... We played against them last year in the playoffs and it's not easy to play against that team."
The 36-year-old Gonchar is considered one of the league's top offensive defensemen. He had 11 goals and 50 points in 62 games last season.