On the deadline, Senators ahead Alex Formanton is ineligible to play this season

Thursday night’s signing deadline got here and went, leaving Ottawa Senators ahead Alex Foremanton as the primary restricted free agent of the NHL’s wage cap period and sitting out the complete season consequently. By not signing with the Sens or one other NHL group earlier than the 5 p.m. deadline, he was ineligible to play within the league for the rest of the season.

Buffalo Sabers captain Michael Peca was the final RFA to take a seat out a full season again in 2000-01, however that was earlier than the cap was instituted in 2005, and it occurred underneath utterly totally different circumstances.

The Senators moved with little intention of negotiating and/or signing a brand new contract as soon as he declined his qualifying provide final summer time.

That left the opposite 31 golf equipment questioning why an Ottawa group with loads of cap house and a necessity for extra depth would outplay their native, penalty kill minute-logging? There had been hypothesis in league circles that Formenton might face disciplinary motion for his attainable involvement within the sexual assault scandal involving the Group Canada 2018 World Junior Championship squad.

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Foremanton, now 23, is among the few gamers on the world junior group who has not responded straight or via a consultant to the allegations by members of the media.

Nonetheless, the Senators had been in touch with a number of groups that inquired a few potential commerce. Sources indicated the Sens had been in talks with a membership, believed to be the Vegas Golden Knights, within the ultimate hours earlier than Thursday’s 5 p.m. deadline — however a deal by no means materialized.

Sources mentioned the Senators had been initially searching for a second-round choose in trade for Formenton, who was chosen by the Sens within the second spherical in 2017 (forty seventh general). He collected 18 targets and 32 factors final season, however his potential off-ice involvement made him an entire nonstarter for a lot of entrance places of work.

“There’s rather a lot at stake at this level,” one NHL GM mentioned Thursday.

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What’s subsequent for Formenton? Though he’s ineligible to play within the NHL this season, his rights might nonetheless be purchased out or he might signal a suggestion sheet with one other membership, although he must wait till subsequent season to play once more. Foremanton continues to coach within the Toronto space. It’s believed he might signal an AHL-only contract to play within the American Hockey League this season. He’s additionally free to signal with a European-based membership to play this season; The Senators will retain his NHL rights. Messages left for Formenton’s agent Thursday weren’t returned.

Some NHL managers and brokers whispered Thursday about the opportunity of Foremanton pursuing a lawsuit towards the Senators for failing to barter in good religion. Many believed that the potential transfer wouldn’t achieve success because the Senators issued Formenton a qualifying provide and he refused to signal it as a substitute of negotiating for the next wage as was customary. What was talked about speaks to the unprecedented nature of Foremanton’s state of affairs.

After all, the story might change once more at any time when the outcomes of the NHL’s investigation and the London (Ont.) Police Service come out. TSN reported that the NHL’s investigation is “considerably full” and that the league is ready for the London Police Service to match notes earlier than exploring any potential self-discipline. There’s additionally a risk of submitting felony costs.

So far, different NHL gamers probably concerned in sexual assault circumstances have continued to play with out prejudice this season, whereas the wheels of justice proceed to spin.

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