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Tim Stutzle Anxious to Play: Planning for the Senators This Season

Tim Stutzle is anxious to play. He’ll be heading to Team Germany to get ready for the World Juniors. Then what are his plans?

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He really isn’t ready to play – at least that’s what his injury report says. However, from what the Ottawa Senators prospect says, you have to know Tim Stutzle is chomping at the bit to get going. He just wants to play.

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However, for the time being, the third overall draft pick from the 2020 NHL Entry Draft won’t be suiting up with the Senators in the NHL. Instead, because nothing is firmly in place that would allow him (or the Senators) to plan for the beginning of the 2020-21 regular-season start, Stutzle will be engaging in the next best thing.

And that next-best choice isn’t bad at all. He’ll be on his way to become part of Team Germany’s training camp held in Fussen over this weekend. Playing for your country is always a great feeling.

Stutzle’s Injury Is Healing Just in Time

Not long ago, it looked as if Stutzle might not be able to play after he broke a bone in his hand during an October practice and had surgery to repair that injury on Oct. 15. However, the injury looks to be healing well and the timing for Team Germany and Stutzle himself couldn’t be better.

The 2021 World Juniors will be a great place to play some real games. And, because it’s in Canada, it won’t be far to Ottawa – his ultimate goal for this season.

Although Stutzle has been shooting the puck for a week, he’s hasn’t recovered completely from his broken hand. But, he’s close. However, because he’s not yet 100%, he might have to hold back during the early practices. And holding back might be tough for a young player who’s so anxious to see what he can do. Fortunately, he has coaches and training staff around him to help ensure he doesn’t risk further injury.

Steutzle says the right words, “We’ll see what happens and I hope I can be with the guys on the ice for all the drills, but I don’t want to risk anything by doing anything too early.”

Stutzle also noted that he needs “to be smart in those situations. We have great physio people in Mannheim, and they’ll tell me when I’m back 100% can do all the drills. That’s not going to be a big deal but my goal is to play as soon as possible and do all the drills.”

Having someone whose job is to monitor your work is a benefit, and good for Stutzle for knowing enough to appreciate that.

Stutzle’s Plans After the World Juniors

After the tournament, Stutzle hopes to join the Senators. However, there are two issues – one minor and one more major. The minor issue is that the youngster hasn’t yet signed an entry-level contract with the Senators. Word is that negotiations are in their early stages; however, Ottawa must first get Stutzle released from his contract with the DEL’s Mannheim.

Those talks are taking place, and Mannheim general manager Jan-Axel Alaavara suggested that he wants to ensure the NHL will actually have a 2020-21 regular season before making a decision about Stutzle’s contract.

The major issue is just what Alaavara is waiting for. What will the NHL and the NHLPA actually and ultimately agree to do? The first plan to begin play on January 1 was revised during Thursday’s talks between the NHL and the players. So, things are still up in the air a bit.

The World Juniors Tournament is scheduled to begin Christmas Day and take place between December 25-January 5 at Rogers Place in Edmonton. Assuming Stutzle’s hand is completely healed, could join the Senators immediately after that.

Related: Ottawa Senators Prospect Tim Stutzle’s Class Act Honors Alex Trebek

What Are Stutzle’s Personal Goals?

Stutzle is adamant that playing in Ottawa is his immediate goal. “That’s my goal to play there next season. I’m hoping it works out like that. I’m expecting to be ready for the world juniors with Team Germany and after that we’ll see what’s going to happen.”

In fact, the youngster’s goal is to get to Ottawa “as soon as possible. Nobody knows when the NHL is going to start yet. Hopefully, everything works out the way I want it to.” (from “Sens top pick Tim Stutzle set to play for Germany at world juniors,” Bruce Garrioch, Ottawa Citizen, 03/12/20).

By the way, Stutzle will wear No. 18 in Ottawa because the No. 8 worn by Frank Finnigan is retired.

Just a note – there seems to be some differences between places who spell Stutzle’s name with or without an extra “e” – other’s spell it Stuetzle. I’ve chosen to spell it as he spells it on the back of his jersey.

Tim Stutzle, Ottawa Senators

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