With just a handful of RFAs left unsigned, the Sens crossed another one off their list today as Patrick Wiercioch signed a three-year deal with the team at an AAV of $2 million. It's a bow on what has been a busy 2013 thus far for the 22 year old.
Upon completing his first NHL season with the Sens, he got married earlier this summer and now has his first post-entry level contract as an NHLer. Part of the reason the deal took until mid-July to complete is because of that wedding, as the Sens wanted to give him time to focus family and friends. Once Wiercioch arrived back into town, the terms were agreed upon and the contract was signed. Now his focus shifts to his future in Ottawa.
Here is what he had to say about the deal, his future and the summer...
On the new deal:
It's awesome. Honestly, there was never a doubt between both sides. The time it took so long was just the patience Ottawa and the organization had with the situation I had getting married, they didn't want to force the issue over the week of my wedding, then visiting with family over that time. The second I came back here we knew the term and everything was there we, just had to put it to paper.
On his growth going forward:
Honestly, I think just the length of the three years just allows me to grow into a role for this organization. It allows me to be a little bit more effective. There's still a lot of work to be done and I understand that, I don't think it's just going to be a smooth ride, coasting down hill. There's going to be some challenges and some obstacles and a lot of frustration on the way over three seasons, but I'm excited we get to call Ottawa home and have these fans support us for the next term. We're just fortunate we get to call this place our home.
On learning from Sergei Gonchar:
It was awesome having Gonch here last year. I don't think I learned enough from him. Everyday he's teaching you something more and I could have been by his side for another five years and still been learning so obviously it was awesome having here as that veteran to guide you along the way. I'm excited to accept the challenge of a new role with this organization and hopefully earn it and keep pushing forward to drive this team further into the playoffs.
On the Silfverberg/Ryan trade:
We were actually travelling back from the wedding to visit my family in Vancouver and it was probably the worst day to be in the United States without TSN coverage. Thankfully the phone was going off and everyone was letting me know but it's tough to see a guy like Jakob go. We were roommates, he's a phenomenal player and even better person off the ice, a great roommate. I haven't had a chance to get a hold of him and talk to him since he's been back in Sweden but I'm sure once he gets back to North America I'll wish him the best in Anaheim for him and his fiancée there. Bringing a guy like Bobby Ryan is exciting, though. I think our fanbase knows what he can do with the puck and score goals. We're a team that wants to score and be offensive and put on a good show for our fans. I think he's a perfect fit.
On his fit within the Sens' system:
I'm excited, the coaching staff is awesome. I think they're built for a young team that understands there's going to be mistakes made over the course of a game or a season but definitely promotes that catalyst style of offence where you've got to be aggressive, you can't sit back and hold on to leads. You always want to be the team that's going for the win rather than trying to go for a tie or that extra point. The coaching staff has been great in my first year up here, just teaching me what it takes to be a pro day in and day out, the consistency of it.
On his wedding:
We had it in Minneapolis at the Basilica of Saint Mary, which was unbelievable. We had phenomenal vendors with Vick Photography doing our photos and the Van Dusen mansion is where we had the dinner and reception and dance, which was a blast. We hung around Minneapolis because it was a lot of effort and time and money to get everyone out there for a few days at her parents place. We travelled back to visit my folks a little more one-on-one in B.C. On our way back we thought we'd catch Kelowna for three nights since we were already travelling east. We stayed there with my sister who works in Kelowna, we stayed in a hotel but we got a chance to see her a bit more. We kind of got a mini-honeymoon in just to break it up a bit.
On the remaining offseason:
I'm just looking forward to being back here, training and getting involved in the community. I think my wife and I really wanted to get back to Ottawa as soon as we could, we didn't have a place to stay, we were staying with family and here, we wanted to call it home and look to set up and establish ourselves here. We've got (Kyle) Turris' wedding, that's coming up in three weeks. Hopefully he's still in North America and not running, but we've got to head back to Minneapolis for that and then back to Ottawa.
In 42 games as a rookie, Wiercioch recorded five goals and 19 points to finish second amongst rookie defencemen in scoring behind Edmonton's Justin Schultz. That finish comes despite being the only defender among the top five in rookie scoring to average less than 17 minutes of ice time a game.
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