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DeBrincat’s Exit Linked to Lack Of Bigger Role on Senators Roster

Alex DeBrincat’s exit from the Ottawa Senators apparently centered around his desire for a more prominent role.

While it was thought that maybe Alex DeBrincat simply didn’t want to play in Ottawa and was looking for a way to get to the United States and back to his home state of Michigan, it sounds like there was a lot more going on behind the scenes than a simple case of wanting to relocate. As per a recent report, DeBrincat’s departure from the Ottawa Senators has been linked to his desire for a more prominent role within the team, particularly to be higher in the depth chart than team captain Brady Tkachuk.

According to a report by Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun, sources suggest that DeBrincat was dissatisfied with his role as a second-line winger behind Tkachuk, leading to his departure. It also sounds like DeBrincat simply wasn’t all that happy as a member of the team. In a recent interview on Sportsnet’s “32 Thoughts” podcast, Senators star Tim Stutzle indirectly hinted at DeBrincat’s discontent. He stated the team did everything they can to make him feel welcome and wanted him to stay, but added, “If he doesn’t want to be there, I don’t want to make him have to be there.”

DeBrincat’s Exit Linked to Need for Higher Role on Senators Roster

As a result of DeBrincat telling the Senators he was not going to sign a long-term extension, the forward was traded to the Detroit Red Wings by the Senators in July and promptly signed a four-year contract with his hometown team. Ottawa had acquired him from the Chicago Blackhawks in 2022, with one year left on his contract. The hope was that he would be a big part of their future success. But, he had no interest in extending his contract and this new report seems to give a hint as to why.

It wasn’t as if the Senators were going to elevate DeBrincat over Tkachuk either. Brady is the team’s captain, and had an outstanding season, recording 35 goals and 48 assists while ranking among the league leaders in hits with 242. In contrast, DeBrincat scored eight fewer goals and nine fewer assists, despite playing all 82 games in the regular season.

DeBrincat Is Good, But Tkachuk Is The Man in Ottawa

Understandably, DeBrincat probably felt he deserved a higher spot in the lineup and wanted to be with a team that would give it to him. To be fair, during the 2021-22 season, DeBrincat had an impressive performance, tallying 41 goals and 37 assists, tying his career-high in goals and setting a personal best in points. There’s reason for him to be confident and he has consistently played at a high level. But, Tkachuk is Tkachuk and he’s essentially the face of the franchise. He was named the team captain in November of that year and remains one of the team’s key players.

While the Senators wanted to retain DeBrincat, he wasn’t going to win out of Tkachuk. If he wasn’t willing to accept a lesser role — one that is arguably as important — it’s probably best the two sides moved on.

Next: Detroit Red Wings’ Yzerman: Playoffs Not Only Priority This Season

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