According to a report from Sportsnet analyst and NHL insider Elliotte Friedman, Ottawa Senators defenseman Cody Ceci is arguing for a $6 million annual salary ahead of Wednesday’s salary arbitration hiring. The Sens have countered back at $3.35 million and it’ll be up to an arbitrator to determine Ceci’s ultimate dollar value.
Arbitration for Ceci (OTT). Team offer is $3.35M. Player ask is $6M.
Yikes… that’s a bit of a gap to bridge.
The 24 year old Ceci had just five goals and 19 points for the Sens last season… how does that sound for $6 million per year?
Ceci has divided Sens fans for years. In particular, his advanced statistics and analytics paint him as a inept defender who gives up a TON of scoring chances.
The Ottawa native was chosen in the first round (15th overall) of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft and seemed to be on the fast track to NHL stardom early on in his NHL career, but he has stalled the past two seasons. Following a 10 goal, 26 point campaign in 2015-16, Ceci has failed to reach the 20 point plateau since.
His two year, $5.6 million contract which came with a $2.8 million cap hit expired on June 30th, 2018. His previous contract was signed with the expectation that he’d progress and work himself up to a long-term deal this offseason, but as previously stated Ceci has hit a wall in terms of his development. With his game where it is and with the Senators’ roster seemingly in the middle of upheaval, does it make sense for the two sides to commit to a long-term, big money deal?
For comparison sake, Winnipeg Jets defensman Jacob Trouba was awarded a one year, $5.5 million deal via arbitration last week. Trouba was seeking a $7 million annual salary, while the Jets argued that he was worth just $4 million. In the end, the arbitrator split the difference right down the middle. Now, the difference between Trouba and Ceci comes down to more than just dollars and cents. In just 55 games with the Jets last season, Trouba managed to out produce Ceci by a considerable margin.