Stutzle agrees to eight-year, $66.8M extension with Sens


Because the Ottawa Senators head right into a season crammed with pleasure and excessive expectations, normal supervisor Pierre Dorion had some extra enjoyable for followers at Wednesday’s media availability. The staff agreed to an eight-year extension with Tim Stutzle, avoiding any restricted free company with the younger ahead. The deal is for a complete of $66.8M and can carry a mean annual worth of $8.35M. Stutzle is getting into the ultimate yr of his entry-level contract and was scheduled to be an RFA subsequent summer time.

It’s an eye-popping quantity for the 20-year-old, who has performed simply 132 video games on the NHL stage, however Stutzle confirmed final season that he’s on monitor to be a dynamic offensive participant for a very long time. With 22 objectives and 58 factors in 79 video games, he trailed solely Brady Tkachuk for the staff lead whereas making the transition to middle. The Senators are betting that his meteoric rise will solely proceed sooner or later, making this contract appear to be a cut price down the highway.

That guess, whereas an honest one to make on a participant this younger and gifted, additionally comes with a good quantity of threat. The Senators would not have limitless funds to throw round, and with Tkachuk, Joshua Norris and Thomas Chabot all signed for big-money offers, issues could get tight down the highway if any of them takes a step backward. Bear in mind, the Senators are additionally going to face a troublesome negotiation with Alex DeBrincat sooner or later, who has only one yr left of RFA standing after this season and can seemingly be in search of an enormous contract.

Nonetheless, for a staff that has had bother retaining its stars up to now, the concept of getting this core locked up by way of primarily its total prime is nice information for Senators followers. The drafted-and-developed expertise might be sticking round, no less than till the staff decides it’s the proper time to maneuver on.

Stutzle, the third general decide from 2020, is penciled in because the staff’s second-line middle for subsequent season and will discover himself between elite expertise like DeBrincat and Drake Batherson, making fairly the trio. For a staff that has been close to the underside of the league for the final a number of years, the Senators’ high six (and maybe high 9) appears to be like fairly formidable.

This contract will definitely be held up by different restricted free brokers as effectively, given how a lot it depends on projection over precise outcomes. Stutzle has simply 34 objectives to his title on the NHL stage, fewer than Norris scored final season alone. He’ll nonetheless be paid greater than his older teammate, who will begin his personal eight-year deal this season.

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