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Senators Won’t Seek Trade to Replace Injured Josh Norris

Losing Josh Norris is a huge blow for the Ottawa Senators, but is the team looking to a trade to replace his production?

After news that Ottawa Senators’ center Josh Norris could be out for the season after suffering an injury, speculation suggested the team might go out and try to find an upgrade over veteran forward Derick Brassard who has been left to fill the hole opened by Norris’ absence. But, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger, who noted during Insider Trading, the Senators aren’t going to look for a replacement on the trade market.

The results of Norris’ MRI are not good. Ian Mendes of TSN reports that Norris will be out long-term (three to five months was a rough estimate), though surgery has not been confirmed yet. According to CapFriendly, the Senators have $4.113 million in projected cap space, giving them a little wiggle room to make a move. Once Norris is put on LTIR, that’ll clear up around $7 million.

Josh Norris Ottawa Senators

Dreger suggests the Senators feel “that they are OK” despite the massive loss. And, while Brassard might be capable, he is not necessarily the player the club will look to in order to provide the production that won’t be there with Norris out. Dreger says there’s no easy but that holes will be filled by the committee. With the hot start of Shane Pinto, and with some prospects taking bigger steps, the Senators don’t feel the need to panic. Pinto has five goals and six points in seven games with the Senators while playing on the team’s third line. Consider he’s been playing with Tyler Motte and Mathieu Joseph and one has to wonder what he can do with more elite-level talent. Put him with Claude Giroux and Alex DeBrincat, and Pinto could be the No. 2 guy behind Tim Stutzle (who is the No. 1 center in Ottawa).

Dreger says it’s not quite a state of emergency in Ottawa. Mark Kastelic — the NHL leader in face-off percentage, has been terrific in a depth role — and Ridly Greig will be asked to take a step forward and the belief internally is that they’ll be able to do so. The Senators could also call upon Dylan Gambrell or slide Claude Giroux over to the middle, should they need.

Head coach DJ Smith said that Norris will be missed, but added, “But in saying that, we’ve got no time to worry about that. We’ve got to go and be better, everyone underneath has to be a little bit better.” So far, he’s getting what he needs out of his roster. Everyone playing the centre ice position has been excellent for the Senators, which makes it possible for the Senators to absorb the loss and not make a move out of fear that the season will get away from the team.

Next: Why the Boston Bruins Traded Jack Studnicka to the Canucks



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