Stutzle signs eight-year, $66.8 million contract with senators

Tim Stutzel She signed an eight-year, $66.8 million contract with the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday. Its average annual value is $8.35 million.

The contract was announced by General Manager Pierre Dorion during the Senators kick-off event for the 2022-23 season.

The 20-year-old forward could have become a restricted free agent after this season. Stutzle, who was the No. 3 pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, signed a three-year junior contract on December 28, 2020. The new contract begins at the start of next season.

“It’s really important that everyone buys, and for me the numbers don’t matter,” Stazel ​​said. “It’s just the team we have and I’m really excited about that. I want to show the team that I’m committed to staying here for the long term. I think that’s really important too. It doesn’t really matter if you play another one a year and maybe get more money. It’s just about playing with The team and with the players and I just want to play the best hockey game.”

Stutzle scored 29 points (12 goals, 17 assists) in 53 games as a rookie in 2020-21 and has 87 points (34 goals, 53 assists) in 132 NHL games.

“Every time you sign a big contract, I mean, there’s pressure,” Stutzel said. “I knew that even if I didn’t sign this year, there would be pressure on me. I always expect to be the best hockey player I can, and I’ve been working hard during the summer, so I think I’m ready for this year. I think it’s been good and I feel better than I ever did in Ever “.

Dorion said negotiations with Stutzle’s agent, Ben Hankinson, began in early August. Hankinson told Dorion that he wanted to complete the contract. It was completed late on Tuesday and approved by senators on Wednesday.

“This is a fantastic day to sign the franchise perhaps our most skilled striker, and it’s a really key component of our future success, I think, up to eight years,” Dorion said. “He wants to focus on playing hockey. He wants to focus on winning.

“You look at every part of his game: he’s competitive, he’s dynamic, he has pace, he has skill, he’s got a great hockey instinct. He’s learned how to check. He’s learned how to play center. These leagues can devour you sometimes, and he did in some. The times when he was 18. Now, when he’s there, he’s so dynamic that I think he could be a superstar in the future. He could be someone who can be relied upon as a central to push the play, generate the attack, play a two-game and supply us with wins” .

Stutzel’s signing is the latest big step off the season for the Senators. Gain forward Alex DeBrinkat In a deal with the Chicago Blackhawks on July 7 and the goalkeeper Cam Talbot In trade with Minnesota Wild on July 12. Forward Claude Giroud He signed a three-year, $19.5 million contract on July 13.

Ottawa also signed a restricted free agent Josh Norris to an eight-year contract worth $63.6 million ($7.95 million average annual value) on July 15. Thomas Chabot She signed an eight-year contract worth $64 million (A$8 million) on September 19, 2019. Drake Patterson Approved a six-year, $29.85 million ($4.975 million) contract on September 3, 2021. Captain. Brady Tkachuk She signed a seven-year contract worth $57.5 million ($8.214 million in car prices) on October 17, 2021.

“These are five very important pieces of young players signed for the long term,” Dorion said. “They want to be here and they want to win here, so I think that tells us a lot about the organization and where we’re moving as an organization.”

The Senators (33-42-7) have not qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs since 2017, when they lost Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final to the Pittsburgh Penguins in double overtime.

“I try not to get too high when things are high and I try not to get too low when things are low,” Dorion said. “The matches are not played on paper. The matches are played on ice.”