Pierre Dorion is feeling it.
In a summer spent trading for Alex DeBrincat and Cam Talbot, shedding Matt Murray, and signing Claude Giroux, the Ottawa Senators general manager carved out some time to extend one of the team's core pieces, locking up Josh Norris on an eight-year, maximum-term contract on Thursday.
"We're very pleased to come to a long-term agreement with Josh," Dorion said in a press release. "He's a versatile forward who continues to mature into an exceptional NHL player. His scoring prowess has already shown to be a considerable asset for us and one that will help us reach the next level."
Norris will earn just shy of $8 million per season on a deal worth $63.6 million total. He stands to take in just fractionally less on an annual basis than both captain Brady Tkachuk and star defender Thomas Chabot on the team's internal hierarchy, with all three locked up on lengthy agreements.
— Sens Communications (@Media_Sens) July 14, 2022
It's most certainly a bit of a roll of the dice from the Senators, who have only two seasons of NHL data from the third-year professional. That said, Norris has been extremely productive in his 125 career games at the highest level, contributing 52 goals and 90 points to go along with a solid portfolio of advanced metrics.
Ottawa's core has become suddenly expensive, with Tkachuk, Chabot, Norris, Giroux, DeBrincat and Drake Batherson earning in excess of a combined $42 million, or what amounts to more than half the salary cap. This is with DeBrincat, the team's most reliable goal scorer on paper, owed a new deal at the end of this upcoming season.
Dorion cleared more than $8 million in salary by dealing Murray and winger Connor Brown earlier this weekend, creating the cap flexibility required to add Talbot and Giroux, and cover part of Norris's extension.
It's expected the Senators will be close to a cap team with over $11 million to spend and four or five contracts still to sign.
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