The Ottawa Senators continue to build and lock down a formidable group of forwards in the top six. Today the team announced an eight-year, $63.6 million extension for the center Josh Norris, carrying a cap of $7.95 million. The deal keeps him a senator until 2029-30, when he will be 31 and eligible for unrestricted free agency. The maximum duration extension, which is fully paid in base salary, is broken down as follows:
2022-23: $5 million
2023-24: $6.5 million
2024-25: $9.5 million
2025-26: $9.5 million
2026-27: $9.5 million
2027-28: $8.75 million
2028-29: $7.85 million
2029-30: $7 million
General Manager Pierre Dorion issued a statement on Norris’ signing:
We are very happy to have reached a long term agreement with Josh. 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.
After finishing fourth in Calder Trophy voting during the 2020-21 season, Norris has become a true frontline center in Ottawa. Originally acquired from the San Jose Sharks as part of the blockbuster Erik Karlsson trade, Norris scored 35 goals in 2021-22 to lead the team in just 66 games.
He will only rely on those point totals as he will return as part of a fortified top six that includes a Drake Bathersonplus off-season additions Alex De Brincat and Claude Giroux. If Ottawa is able to make the jump to the playoffs for the first time since losing the 2017 Eastern Conference Finals, their role on the team’s first line will be a big reason.
The Senators have $10.8 million in cap space remaining with Alexandre Formenton, Mathieu-Josephand Erik Brannström need new contracts, by PuckPedia. While those contracts don’t push them directly against the salary cap, this Norris extension continues to mark a big-spending trend that’s been absent in Ottawa for the past few years. Committing financially to their talent on reasonable contracts like Norris’ is a clear path to lasting success, something the Senators organization will welcome with open arms.