GARRIOCH: Senators sign Josh Norris to eight-year, $63.5 million contract with Senators

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Josh Norris wanted to hurry rather than wait and the approach paid off.

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On Thursday, the Ottawa Senators’ top center signed on the dotted line as the exciting moves continued off the ice for the organization.

General manager Pierre Dorion has been one of the NHL’s busiest executives and he continued his work by signing 23-year-old Norris to an eight-year, $63.5 million contract that will be worth annual average of $7.95 million per season.

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« We are very pleased to have entered into a long-term agreement with Josh, » said Dorion. “He’s a versatile forward who continues to be an outstanding NHL player. His goalscoring prowess has already proven to be a huge asset for us and will help us to reach the next level.

« His dedication and the pride he takes in his physical condition will serve as an example for our next wave of young players. »

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When the Senators held their exit meetings at the end of the season, Norris indicated he would like to get a deal done as soon as possible and they wasted no time. A restricted free agent this summer, he capped off the campaign with his 35th goal in a 4-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers.

Dorion hadn’t spent enough time on the phone with Toronto agent Craig Oster of Newports Sports last summer trying to secure a deal for captain Brady Tkachuk, it’s fair to say the pair moved on pretty quickly. on this one.

Tkachuk signed a seven-year contract with the Senators in October after missing training camp.

Talks heated up last week at the NHL Draft in Montreal when the two sat face-to-face because neither team wanted to resume that kind of negotiation.

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Brought here as part of the deal that sent captain Erik Karlsson to the San Jose Sharks in September 2018, Norris has been the gift that keeps on giving in this business. He has 52 goals and 90 points in 125 games with the club.

Norris also spent one season with the club’s AHL affiliate in Belleville. He finished with 31 goals and 61 points in the pandemic-shortened 2019-20 campaign. He has worked hard to establish himself at this level and is an integral part of the core of this group.

That means Drake Batherson, Thomas Chabot, Tkachuk and Norris have all signed long-term deals. Later, the club will try to reach agreements with center Tim Stuetzle and defenseman Artem Zub as well as DeBrincat.

You have to give Dorion credit because he did a lot of business in a short time and he helped improve the team. Signing Norris just serves as a reminder that the Senators want to get off to a quick start and push for a playoff berth in the spring.

The other restricted free agents are Mathieu Joseph, Alex Formenton and defenseman Erik Brannstrom. It is expected that these agreements will not take long to be concluded.

More soon.

Twitter: @sungarrioch


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