Filip Forsberg Visiting Ottawa
In a great catch by @SensMonster, unrestricted free agent Filip Forsberg posted a story on the ol’ Instagram showcasing his view of the Byward Market and Parliament Hill.
The story carried the caption of, “@itsborocoprunning You weren’t making things up!! It’s real and it’s beautiful.”
@itsborocoprunning, of course, is former Senator and Ottawa native Mark Borowiecki who spent the past two seasons in Nashville as Forsberg’s teammate. From the location of Forsberg’s video, it looks like he’s staying at the Andaz Ottawa, a hotel across the street from the Courtyard Marriott on York Street.
That Forsberg would be in Ottawa or would publicly acknowledge conversations he’s had with Borowiecki about the nation’s capital only leads one to believe that he is in town for a visit as part of the Senators’ pitch to convince him to sign here as an unrestricted free agent.
Forsberg will rest unrestricted free agency for the first time in his career when the market opens on July 13th. The right winger turns 28 this August and is coming off an impressive campaign in which he scored an impressive 42 goals and 84 points in just 69 games.
He has been a productive scorer throughout his career. Forsberg has tallied more than 20 goals in seven of his 10 campaigns. In the three seasons in which he did not produce, his campaigns were reduced. As an 18-year-old during the 2012-13 season, he only appeared in five games. The following year, he appeared in 13 games. During the 2020-21 season, Forsberg netted 12 goals in 39 games played and would assuredly have surpassed the 20-goal mark had it been a normal year unaffected by the Covid-19 protocol.
There is obviously a lot to read into here.
It is no secret that the Senators are actively trying to add a top-six winger (or two) to their mix. The organization has previously been linked to the Minnesota Wild’s Kevin Fiala and hometown boy Claude Giroux.
For the Senators to kick tires on Forsberg and get to a point where the player obviously feels compelled to visit the city and get the lay of the land, that’s huge. I don’t know whether it means fans should get their hopes up or whether it means that Ottawa’s no longer in on the two aforementioned names. For all it’s worth, today’s visit could simply be the product of two parties simply doing their due diligence, and until the pen hits the paper, maybe that is all this is.
On the other hand, for Forsberg to publicly acknowledge that he’s visiting the city can only be taken as a positive and Forsberg can still play.
From an offensive and defensive impact, he positively contributes in both areas and if he can push a Connor Brown to a depth role, that only benefits the team and makes them more difficult to play against. And that this kind of acquisition would only cost the Senators money and would allow them to add a gifted player without having to move the seventh overall selection would be ideal.
Forsberg will be expensive, however. He is coming off his most productive campaign and a six-year contract that carried an average annual value of $6-million. He should be looking for a raise on that, but it remains to be seen whether Ottawa would be comfortable paying that price for a player about to enter the diminished returns stages of their career.
Another wrinkle is that it’s possible that Forsberg is only in town for an alternative reason.
Maybe winds up being true, but the image of Pierre Dorion canvassing social media, finding out that Forsberg is in town and has been charmed by its awesomeness and then scrambling to get a meeting with the player to gauge their interest in coming here can be funny too.