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Senators’ Mark Borowiecki to Test Free Agency

Ottawa Senators defenseman Mark Borowiecki is going to be testing free agency this offseason.

Mark Borowiecki Ottawa Senators
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After to close to nine full seasons with the Ottawa Senators organization, defenseman Mark Borowiecki  has said he’s going to explore his options in free agency.

Borowiecki’s agent says it’s not about the Senators or the team undervaluing him, but more about the defenseman taking the opportunity to see what’s out there.

In 53 games this season, Borowiecki set career highs with 18 points, 11 assists and seven goals. And while highs in production would normally indicate a good time to sign with the highest bidder, most accounts of how tight money will be for free agents suggests Borowiecki may have chosen an odd time to see what the market will bring.

The defenseman is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in October and Hailey Salvian of The Athletic (subscription required) reports, that Borowiecki has decided he’ll be “testing the waters”. Salvian adds:

Borowiecki’s agent, Steve Bartlett, said some contract talks took place with the Senators over the course of the regular season, but that discussions eventually led to the decision that Borowiecki would seek other opportunities.

What might make the blueliner stand out, isn’t the production on the ice, but the intangibles he brings off it. A true leader in every sense of the word, Senators GM Pierre Dorion told TSN radio last year he wanted Borowiecki to be a “Senator for life.”

Key in the community, committed to the team in every way (despite their being fairly lousy), his compete level and willingness to go to war for his team and his organization is a special quality. There are plenty of teams who could use that kind of player in their locker room. Those qualities could be useful for franchises who have a small window to win and need the push or a rebuilding and young team that needs to learn what it’s like to be a true professional.

Borowiecki May Want Something Long-Term

While those intangibles shouldn’t come at a huge cost — the defenseman made $1.2 million last season — the expectation is that he might be looking for a deal with some term attached to it.

Salvian writes:

He’s a new dad, and after the anxiety at the trade deadline, he likely wants to find a stable place for his family to call home. A one- or two-year extension in Ottawa, with its young defencemen, does not provide that kind of stability.

Borowiecki’s commitment to the Senators should not be overlooked. If he’s seeing what his options are, he’s certainly deserved that right.

Next: Wayne Simmonds Says He’s Looking at Leafs in Free Agency

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