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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.

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ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 75 46 21 8 197 167 100
2 TBL 75 46 22 7 244 194 99
3 DET 73 39 22 12 212 201 90
4 OTT 73 37 25 11 213 195 85
5 BOS 74 36 25 13 195 193 85
6 FLA 74 34 26 14 184 202 82
7 TOR 75 27 42 6 194 241 60
8 BUF 74 20 46 8 141 249 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Karlsson 73 19 40 10 59
B. Ryan 69 18 35 9 53
K. Turris 73 21 31 0 52
M. Stone 71 18 33 15 51
M. Hoffman 70 26 20 20 46
M. Zibanejad 71 19 24 3 43
M. Michalek 66 13 21 3 34
C. MacArthur 53 13 13 -10 26
A. Chiasson 67 11 15 -4 26
D. Legwand 71 9 17 3 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Hammond 14 1 1 .938 1.92
C. Anderson 14 12 7 .925 2.44