The Ottawa Senators have been a good team over the past few years, built upon a base of some very talented players. The likes of Daniel Alfredson, Wade Redden, Zdeno Chara, Jason Spezza and Marian Hossa have played a signinficant role in their success. But the team must now align itself in the new salary cap environment where it realized it wouldn't be able to hang onto all its good young players. So after avoiding arbitration by signing Marian Hossa to a 3 year $18 million deal yesterday morning, they traded him to the Atlanta Thrashers for Dany Heatley later that afternoon. The trade will also see the Thrashers pick up defenseman Greg De Vries and his $2+ million per year salary.
Parity is one of many buzzwords used liberally during the NHL's recent negotiations with the players union. In past years, the big free agent signings were almost always limited to teams like the Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers, Detroit Red Wings, Colorado Avalanche and Philadelphia Flyers. So far this year, the shoe seems to be on the other foot. The big market teams with large payrolls, who did not buy out their big contracts are feeling hamstrung while the previously low payroll teams are finding that they can get some real bargins as player salaries come down.