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Tim Stuztle Contract Snag Mean Senators Could Lose Him 20/21 Season

According to a report, the Ottawa Senators might not have access to Tim Stutzle for the upcoming NHL season thanks to a contract snag.

If the injury to recently-drafted center Tim Stutzle wasn’t enough bad news for the Ottawa Senators, there is more potentially troubling news coming the organization’s way. According to a report by The Athletic’s Hailey Salvian, the Senators could actually lose the player for the upcoming NHL season.

Related: Senators Tim Stutzle Looks Good to Start the NHL 2020-21 Season

As per Salvian’s report, Stutzle might have trouble joining the Senators thanks to some fine print in his contract with Alder Manheim in Germany. Apparently, the European rule is that, as per The Athletic’s Corey Pronman: “a player with a valid European contract for the 2020-21 season cannot be signed to an NHL contract after Aug. 15.”

Salvian then writes that NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly confirmed to Pronman that this would remain true for this year and the signing window would reopen whenever the player’s respective international federation released him. In other words, if the German club doesn’t release him, the Senators can’t sign him to play.

The scribe adds that these rules are in place to ensure European teams have roster certainty once a season is underway. In this case, Mannheim’s general manager Jan-Axel Alavaara said the only way Stutzle could play for the Senators this season is if Mannheim releases him from his contract. Further to that, the German Federation has to sign off on it.

Technically, Stutzle’s signing window has closed and will not open until either the end of the DEL season or the World Championships, which could be as late as June 2021. But, because this season was so strange and things were pushed back to October, it’s difficult to know where things actually stand.

Salvian does note that a decision hasn’t been made on the matter and while the center is recovering from an injury, it’s not a pressing issue. But, at some point, this will need to be addressed.

Related: Duclair Turns Down Huge Offer, Did He Sabotage His Own Free Agency?

Should the DEL season be canceled, none of this potentially matters. But, if it goes ahead, some conversations need to be had.

Tim Stutzle NHL Draft 2020 2
Tim Stutzle NHL Draft 2020 2

Would This Have Changed Things For the Senators?

There is an argument that Stutzle might not have played anyways this season. The Ottawa Senators are looking at a long rebuild and there’s no good reason to rush the player. But, most scouts have deemed him NHL ready. It’s logical to assume the Senators believed he’d be suiting up for them this season.

There is still plenty of time for Senators general manager Pierre Dorion to continue to negotiate with Mannheim so there’s not a huge reason to be concerned, at least not yet.

Next: Andreas Athanasiou Shunning Oilers Before NHL Free Agency a Mistake

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