Senators ink Stutzle to 8-year, $66.8M extension
The Ottawa Senators announced they signed center Tim Stutzle to an eight-year extension with an average annual value of $8.35 million on Wednesday.
Stutzle has one year remaining on his entry-level contract and would have become a restricted free agent after it expired. His new deal will kick in during the 2023-24 campaign, and he projects to be the highest-paid player on the team:
|Player||Cap Hit in 2023-24|
"It's really important that everyone was buying in, and for me, the numbers are not important," Stutzle said, according to The Athletic. "I wanted to show the team that I'm committed to stay here long term. I think that's really important, too."
Stutzle's pact includes a 10-team no-trade list in the final four seasons, according to CapFriendly.
The Senators took Stutzle with the third overall pick in the 2020 draft, and the German forward quickly cemented himself as a key part of Ottawa's young core. He enjoyed a solid sophomore campaign in 2021-22, logging a career-high 22 goals and 36 assists in 79 games while averaging just over 18 minutes of ice time per contest.
Stutzle also saw increased time on the power play and paced the Senators with 26 points on the man advantage.
"Reaching a long-term agreement with Tim represents another significant step forward for this organization," Senators general manager Pierre Dorion said. "Tim is a dynamic offensive player who utilizes an exceptional blend of speed and skill to be a consistent difference maker. He's electrifying and has quickly become a fan favorite for good reason."
The Senators went a similar route with Thomas Chabot in September 2019. Ottawa signed the defenseman to an eight-year, $64-million extension while he still had one year remaining on his entry-level contract after logging 55 points in 70 games in 2018-19.
Stutzle's big-time extension is betting on the youngster's potential and it's just the latest major move the Senators have made this offseason as they attempt to re-enter the playoff picture in the Atlantic Division.
Ottawa made waves by acquiring two-time 40-goal-scorer Alex DeBrincat, talented veteran forward Claude Giroux, and netminder Cam Talbot in July. The Senators also handed out another eight-year, $63.6-million pact to restricted free-agent forward Josh Norris earlier this summer.
All these additions have contributed to an air of excitement in Ottawa, and Senators president Anthony LeBlanc said the team has seen a "significant increase" in season-ticket sales.
Stutzle, 20, has 87 points in 132 career NHL contests. Back in August, Stutzle said expectations for the Senators are high, and the team is motivated to show fans it can play better than it has for the previous two campaigns
Ottawa has failed to make the playoffs for the past five seasons. The Senators ended up in seventh place of the Atlantic Division with a record of 33-42-7 in 2021-22 and finished 27 points out of the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.
DeBrincat will be a restricted free agent with arbitration rights at the end of this season, while Talbot will be an unrestricted free agent.
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