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Da Costa deal gives Paris native more time to grow

Senators impressed by French forward's potential, agree to one-year contract

Wednesday, 07.25.2012 / 3:01 PM ET / Features
By Rob Brodie  - OttawaSenators.com
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Da Costa deal gives Paris native more time to grow

Stephane Da Costa is still very much a work in progress.

And the Ottawa Senators remain invested in seeing the finished product.

With that thought in mind, the club inked the Paris native to a new one-year, two-way contract today. The deal pays $800,000 if the 23-year-old forward stays with the big club in Ottawa and $80,000 if he returns to the Binghamton Senators of the American Hockey League for a second season.

Da Costa started the 2011-12 season in the National Hockey League and produced three goals and five points in 22 games before being assigned to Binghamton. In 46 games there, he totalled 13 goals and 36 points.

"He’s coming out of his entry level deal and he played some games in the National Hockey League, but he had to play in the American league to refine his game and get stronger," Senators assistant general manager Tim Murray said in reference to the only French-born player ever signed by the organization. "He still has a ways to go in that department, but we recognize his talent level and his offensive ability with the puck and his vision on the ice. It’s all first class."

The Senators originally signed Da Costa as a college free agent on March 31, 2011. He was hotly pursued by a reported 20 NHL teams after recording 30 goals and 60 assists over two seasons at Merrimack College in North Andover, Mass., where he led the school to its first-ever NCAA Division I Tournament appearance. In just his second game with the Warriors, Da Costa recorded a five-goal game, including a natural hat trick.

He has also represented his native France at the last four IIHF World Hockey Championships. In the 2012 tournament played in Finland and Sweden, Da Costa recorded a goal and seven points as the French placed ninth, their highest finish at the hockey worlds since 1953, a span of nearly six decades.

"We just feel if he can get stronger, get used to playing with higher competition and become a more consistent player away from the puck, that he’s got a chance to play in the National Hockey League," said Murray.

Da Costa was the last of the Senators' restricted free agents to come to terms on a new deal. Earlier this week, Latvian winger Kaspars Daugavins avoided arbitration by inking a one-year, one-way contract to stay in Ottawa.

SCHEDULE

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AWAY
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STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - MTL 77 47 22 8 203 174 102
2 x - TBL 78 47 24 7 250 204 101
3 DET 76 40 23 13 221 208 93
4 BOS 77 39 25 13 204 198 91
5 OTT 76 38 26 12 220 204 88
6 FLA 77 35 27 15 192 210 85
7 TOR 77 29 42 6 201 245 64
8 BUF 76 21 47 8 148 255 50

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Karlsson 76 20 42 7 62
K. Turris 76 22 33 -2 55
M. Stone 74 19 35 13 54
B. Ryan 72 18 35 8 53
M. Hoffman 73 26 21 18 47
M. Zibanejad 74 19 24 0 43
M. Michalek 66 13 21 3 34
C. MacArthur 56 14 14 -11 28
D. Legwand 74 9 18 2 27
A. Chiasson 70 11 15 -4 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Anderson 14 13 8 .923 2.49
R. Lehner 9 12 3 .905 3.02