Big news out of Sens camp this morning as it was confirmed that RFA defenceman Jared Cowen has come to terms with the team on a four-year contract to stay in Ottawa. Cowen had been the lone player absent at camp as he awaited the finalization of a new contract.
Sens assistant GM Tim Murray spoke with the media at the Bell Sensplex today after the deal was announced.
Here's what he had to say...
On the deal getting done:
He (Cowen's agent) called me last night and we discussed where we were and how we could close the gap and we came to the agreement we came to.
On if he's happy with the number:
Yeah, I'm happy. I think it's a number that we can live with and they can live with. I think it's a fair contract, I think it gives him the opportunity to really establish himself, like I talked about yesterday, and come in here and become the player that they say he is and we think he could be.
On retaining him:
It's great, you go through a hard negotiation and things are said, but we obviously love this guy as a player, as a person, he's what we want. He's kind of a poster boy of what we want here. He works extremely hard, he's low maintenance, he plays hard, he competes, we love him as a player. I'm just happy it's over and I hope he's as happy as we are.
On the importance of camp:
It is important obviously, we have a training camp for a reason, I've heard you guys every day how important it is so I believe you. What he's missed so far though is he's missed his medical and a couple of practices, and with some players you might be concerned but I know what Jared is doing at home. He's working as hard at home by himself as he would be here with his teammates. He's going to come in here, I believe, and not miss a beat. Again, he does everything right so I'm not concerned about the three or four days he has missed.
On the sense of urgency:
We wanted him here, but we had a number though. Certainly we wanted him here but there was more urgency coming down the pipe here, maybe more on their side. He's a young guy and you talk about missing camp, he doesn't want to miss camp, that's not his goal. His goal is to be the best he can be so, again, I think there was more communication late and the more you talk it out, in any situation, it's easier to come to a resolution.
On if he'll play in Saskatoon:
We'll have doctors travelling with us so he'll get his medical there and then he might even skate with the guys in the morning, but he'll fly back with us and be ready to go on Tuesday or Wednesday.
On if it's a bridge deal:
I always considered this a bridge contract, I know it's a long bridge contract, but I've called it a bridge contract with him and thankfully he agreed with that. You know, if you talk about a guy like this becoming a top player, I talked about hurdles yesterday and down the road you want Hockey Canada to recognize you as a top player, working on one or two year deals and maybe going to arbitration after that, you're always at loggerhead. That's what I explained from our point of view is, first of all the longer term deal didn't work, but a four-year deal, he doesn't have to worry about things for a couple of years. He can just come in and become the player he's supposed to be and if he does become that, as I said yesterday, after four years he could hit a home run. That should be his goal and our goal is to help him do that.
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