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Forums :: Blog World :: Sens Writer: The Josh Norris Dilemma
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Sens Writer
Location: Vancouver, BC
Joined: 08.19.2013

Jun 3 @ 8:47 AM ET
Sens Writer: The Josh Norris Dilemma
J35Bacher
Philadelphia Flyers
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Joined: 04.03.2014

Jun 3 @ 10:08 AM ET
I think Couturier would be the best option. Flyers could see what happens with Norris and if he is continually a LTIR person, they are not winning now anyways so can put him there. He is also young enough that he could recover well and be part of the future.

Couturier brings no issues and I think He could slide into the Ott lineup seamlessly.
jfkst1
Pittsburgh Penguins
Location: Clackety Clack
Joined: 02.09.2015

Jun 3 @ 11:12 AM ET
Unless they don't want to make payments on LTIR, they should be keeping him. Trading him for a high risk contract like Couturier is insanely stupid.
AxlRose91
Joined: 09.24.2013

Jun 3 @ 12:26 PM ET
$17.4M over 12 years feels quite reasonable to me. That’s the move to make, I would think

The trade candidates you’ve identified make a tonne of sense for Ottawa, but not for the other teams. If you can get Seth Jones or PLD for Norris, obviously you do that. But good luck. Same with Couturier and Huberdeau. Norris’s contract is on a different level of terribleness



HenryHockey
Season Ticket Holder
Detroit Red Wings
Location: Gwinn, MI
Joined: 01.26.2020

Jun 3 @ 1:03 PM ET
$17.4M over 12 years feels quite reasonable to me. That’s the move to make, I would think

The trade candidates you’ve identified make a tonne of sense for Ottawa, but not for the other teams. If you can get Seth Jones or PLD for Norris, obviously you do that. But good luck. Same with Couturier and Huberdeau. Norris’s contract is on a different level of terribleness

- AxlRose91
Huberdeau, Stützle, and Brady!!! YES!
Bartacus
Ottawa Senators
Location: Toronto, ON
Joined: 01.08.2019

Jun 3 @ 1:13 PM ET
Great article per usual khawk, comprehensive. If I'm new ownership I'd be giving the buyout option a long look, but there are underlying relational politics that make that dicey. Hindsight is 20/20, but it is truly unfortunate Norris wasn't signed to a bridge contract in the fives. Believe Dorion deified Brady to such an extent that he signed his best friend Norris to a contract that would extend past Tkachuk's so PD could then leverage a 'stick around and win a (or another) cup with your buddy' strategy to resign Brady in four years. Now we are stuck with an albatross who our captain won't likely appreciate see thrown to the curb. Don't know if there's any winning approach outside of keeping him, playing him, and hoping for the best/cashing insurance cheques when he's out of commission.
Bartacus
Ottawa Senators
Location: Toronto, ON
Joined: 01.08.2019

Jun 3 @ 1:24 PM ET
$17.4M over 12 years feels quite reasonable to me. That’s the move to make, I would think

The trade candidates you’ve identified make a tonne of sense for Ottawa, but not for the other teams. If you can get Seth Jones or PLD for Norris, obviously you do that. But good luck. Same with Couturier and Huberdeau. Norris’s contract is on a different level of terribleness

- AxlRose91


Dunno bout that. Huberdeau is comically overpaid as a winger on a team that won't sniff the playoffs for a few seasons. PLD has effectively shown he's locker room cancer. Couturier has been made of glass his whole career, progressively less reliable over time (3/12 82 game seasons, last played 82 in 2017-18, only 6/12 played over 70), and Seth Jones is the RHD version of Darnell Nurse, not a bad player but way overpaid. Frankly I wouldn't want any of those deals on my team over Norris, principally because they exceed internal ceiling and will push resign rate for the Stus, Bradys and Sandersons higher.
spatso
Ottawa Senators
Location: jensen beach, FL
Joined: 02.19.2007

Jun 3 @ 1:24 PM ET
Hockey is a business.

If you take all the fan emotion out of the calculus, a buy out Norris at 1/3 the contract value over 2x the remaining length of the deal is a no brainer. The actual cap cost is probably less than what the Sens will pay Joe Plug to skate on the 4th line over the next dozen years.

I was wondering if it is it possible for the Sens to trade Norris to another team (eg. to LA straight up for PLD) and the new team could exercise the buy out option.

A buy out is not as bad as it sounds for Norris.

He is guaranteed $17m. He would have a chance to kick start his career with another team and prove the Sens wrong. But, if he can't play, he can seek another career inside or outside hockey.
Crosside
Ottawa Senators
Joined: 08.14.2019

Jun 3 @ 1:30 PM ET
I think he will be fine. Staois said he have the surgery with the same doctor that surgery Tarasenko. I think last year he was not 100 % when he start to play.
OttawaB
Ottawa Senators
Location: Ottawa, ON
Joined: 08.02.2016

Jun 3 @ 2:05 PM ET
Wow. I'm just happy and excited to see all of you willing to kick in and spend Andlauer's cash. A buyout is an option that is not necessary. Before all of you doctors throw shovels of dirt on Norris's career, maybe we should wait for some medical and training updates on Norris first.
Andlauer just spent $900 million for the team, is trying to collect money to buy and build a new arena (another $1 billion potential) and is paying close to the salary cap for a non-playoff team, and still paying for the errors of the past regime. Why does a billionaire want to throw cash at a player to NOT PLAY FOR THE TEAM, when he/we/they have no idea what Norris's abilities and rehab will look like?

I'm okay leaving Norris as is and seeing where he fits in. Regardless, he can still be potentially an effective 2nd or 3rd line forward with exceptional scoring abilities. He just may not be a forward with checking abilities. But after losing some development time, it will take patience and time to bring him along. Maybe 10-15 minutes per game next season, and a very good strength and conditioning coach. But Norris still has the hockey mind and scoring ability to be that one element Ottawa lacks .... a pure goal scorer.
What we do know is that Norris fits into this locker room, he is not a cancerous presence, he is not too old and still potentially has his best years in front of him. Couturier is in his 30's and injury prone. Not someone we want now.
jfkst1
Pittsburgh Penguins
Location: Clackety Clack
Joined: 02.09.2015

Jun 3 @ 2:35 PM ET
Someone please correct me if I am wrong but isn't the new ownership group more than willing to spend on the team for an LTIR contract like Norris? I know insurance offsets matter a lot on this, but I can't see how it wouldn't be in their best interest to keep him and hope for full recovery if the ownership isn't concerned about the LTIR costs. A healthy Norris is fine value on that contract. It's just about his health.
OttawaB
Ottawa Senators
Location: Ottawa, ON
Joined: 08.02.2016

Jun 3 @ 5:01 PM ET
Someone please correct me if I am wrong but isn't the new ownership group more than willing to spend on the team for an LTIR contract like Norris? I know insurance offsets matter a lot on this, but I can't see how it wouldn't be in their best interest to keep him and hope for full recovery if the ownership isn't concerned about the LTIR costs. A healthy Norris is fine value on that contract. It's just about his health.
- jfkst1


I agree. If he is physically not ready, then pop him onto LTIR. Player does not have to agree to go on LTIR, if he is physically not ready to go. Besides, Ottawa should still have plenty of cap space left over, and even more if Norris is on LTIR. It would be foolish and reckless for the Sens to spend to the cap again and limit potential moves and callups. They are MAYBE a playoff contender at best so there is no need to spend to the cap again.
Bartacus
Ottawa Senators
Location: Toronto, ON
Joined: 01.08.2019

Jun 3 @ 8:05 PM ET
Funny seeing repeated click bait media posts about trading Brady Tkachuk popping up. Unsure how that rumour started.
Mithos
Joined: 04.14.2021

Jun 4 @ 5:36 AM ET
before we anoint Norris to be made of glass, lets not forget he busted his should hitting the center post of the Net goin almost/full speed, that would have screwed up anyone's shoulder, if he had hurt it during a hit then id be more concerned. also Norris came back from missing a whole year, he wont be potting 40G and 70 points asap he needed time to readjust and get into game shape, which he will need to do again next season.

Caps going up and next year might be in the 90Ms, Norris being overpaid wont hurt too much and his upside is huge if he overcomes his injury.
spatso
Ottawa Senators
Location: jensen beach, FL
Joined: 02.19.2007

Jun 4 @ 7:10 AM ET
before we anoint Norris to be made of glass, lets not forget he busted his should hitting the center post of the Net goin almost/full speed, that would have screwed up anyone's shoulder, if he had hurt it during a hit then id be more concerned. also Norris came back from missing a whole year, he wont be potting 40G and 70 points asap he needed time to readjust and get into game shape, which he will need to do again next season.

Caps going up and next year might be in the 90Ms, Norris being overpaid wont hurt too much and his upside is huge if he overcomes his injury.

- Mithos


You may be 100% correct. I hope you are.

But, the Sens can buy out Norris for $0.333 on the dollar and they have 12 years of cap time to average the buy out. They do not pay interest on the unpaid balance, so by the final year the actual buy out cost (when measured against actual inflation and increases in the cap) might be less than $.05 on the dollar.

Very seldom does any business get this kind of offer on a damaged asset.

Some commentators think the money guys might have difficulty with the numbers. Not even close. I can assure you that ownership is saying to the hockey guys that there are no money issues as it relates to a buy out. This is purely a hockey decision. The pressure from the money guys will be to buy him out if there are doubts about his future competitive capacity. This deal is available this summer. A buy out would be a lot more expensive next year.
Sens Writer
Location: Vancouver, BC
Joined: 08.19.2013

Jun 4 @ 8:51 AM ET
Funny seeing repeated click bait media posts about trading Brady Tkachuk popping up. Unsure how that rumour started.
- Bartacus

It's pretty sad to witness so many hockey podcasts and media outlets reduced to this kind of BS content to keep their numbers up. Tkachuk has become the default solution for every team's fanbase when they watch playoff hockey and realize they need to immediately add toughness to their lineup. Staios/Green will have at least a couple of seasons to prove the new direction of the team before there's any chance of a legitimate Tkachuk trade rumour.
Sens Writer
Location: Vancouver, BC
Joined: 08.19.2013

Jun 4 @ 9:10 AM ET
You may be 100% correct. I hope you are.

But, the Sens can buy out Norris for $0.333 on the dollar and they have 12 years of cap time to average the buy out. They do not pay interest on the unpaid balance, so by the final year the actual buy out cost (when measured against actual inflation and increases in the cap) might be less than $.05 on the dollar.

Very seldom does any business get this kind of offer on a damaged asset.

Some commentators think the money guys might have difficulty with the numbers. Not even close. I can assure you that ownership is saying to the hockey guys that there are no money issues as it relates to a buy out. This is purely a hockey decision. The pressure from the money guys will be to buy him out if there are doubts about his future competitive capacity. This deal is available this summer. A buy out would be a lot more expensive next year.

- spatso

There's no question that a buyout carries with it a lot of problems, especially with a 12-year term. But from a money perspective, the deal they gave Norris presumed that he would continue to develop and improve his value. If you believe that's still possible, then fine - but when you see evidence of both injuries and reduced production, it's a reasonable discussion to have about whether Norris will ever be worth the $52.1M they'll have to pay him over the next 6 years at $7.95AAV. Which is also the point where the $17.4M/12 years at $1.08M AAV starts to sounds a whole lot less ridiculous... as does imagining how the team might look with a less problematic ~$7M/yr player in the lineup, which is precisely what the buyout would enable.
spatso
Ottawa Senators
Location: jensen beach, FL
Joined: 02.19.2007

Jun 4 @ 11:20 AM ET
There's no question that a buyout carries with it a lot of problems, especially with a 12-year term. But from a money perspective, the deal they gave Norris presumed that he would continue to develop and improve his value. If you believe that's still possible, then fine - but when you see evidence of both injuries and reduced production, it's a reasonable discussion to have about whether Norris will ever be worth the $52.1M they'll have to pay him over the next 6 years at $7.95AAV. Which is also the point where the $17.4M/12 years at $1.08M AAV starts to sounds a whole lot less ridiculous... as does imagining how the team might look with a less problematic ~$7M/yr player in the lineup, which is precisely what the buyout would enable.
- khawk


I think you set the delemma out in clear terms. Thinking about a buy out does not mean you are against Norris. It is a hard and complex choice.

If you do a buy out, it would reduce the Norris cap hit (and the actual annual $000 cost) to less than what many 4th line skaters earn.

And, we cannot dismiss that Norris would instantly become a highly attractive trade candidate for cap pressured teams (eg., Florida, Tampa, Vegas) looking for cap space so they can resign a long list of their own UFAs. Multiple teams would find interest in trading for and subsequently buying out Norris while trading back a solid mid range player that does not fit into their cap calculations.
GrimmdaGoalie
Ottawa Senators
Location: Ottawa, ON
Joined: 01.07.2016

Jun 4 @ 11:57 AM ET
I think you set the delemma out in clear terms. Thinking about a buy out does not mean you are against Norris. It is a hard and complex choice.

If you do a buy out, it would reduce the Norris cap hit (and the actual annual $000 cost) to less than what many 4th line skaters earn.

And, we cannot dismiss that Norris would instantly become a highly attractive trade candidate for cap pressured teams (eg., Florida, Tampa, Vegas) looking for cap space so they can resign a long list of their own UFAs. Multiple teams would find interest in trading for and subsequently buying out Norris while trading back a solid mid range player that does not fit into their cap calculations.

- spatso

I was thinking the same thing, Norris having more value to ANOTHER team as a buyout option or to put on LTIR for the year.

Maybe the new Sens ownership doesn't have the stomach for a buyout, but another team would welcome it.

From the Sens: Norris, Forsberg, Brannstrom, Sokolov
From the Kings: PLD, Kaileyev, Clark


Bartacus
Ottawa Senators
Location: Toronto, ON
Joined: 01.08.2019

Jun 4 @ 12:39 PM ET
I was thinking the same thing, Norris having more value to ANOTHER team as a buyout option or to put on LTIR for the year.

Maybe the new Sens ownership doesn't have the stomach for a buyout, but another team would welcome it.

From the Sens: Norris, Forsberg, Brannstrom, Sokolov
From the Kings: PLD, Kaileyev, Clark

- GrimmdaGoalie


Think you're massively undervaluing Clarke here, not to mention he's an offensive D and not the brand of blue liner we need. Ottawa is missing an RHD stay at home that matches with our offensive lefties, which is why names like Pesce, Roy, and DeMelo are heard. Those guys will be coveted and expensive, but any one would look nice in a Sens jersey. Would also look at Jani Hakanpaa - dude shouldn't break the bank and possesses bucks of what this team is missing - a giant, physical, no nonsense, no frills 100% defensive RHD who hits but doesn't take loads of dumb penalties. There are options, the question becomes if Ottawa is able to lure any of these guys to sign here.
Gord_Wilson_2.0
Ottawa Senators
Joined: 10.11.2011

Jun 4 @ 3:21 PM ET
Dorion had some bad signings, but Korpisalo and Norris might be the worst.

Signing an injury prone player with only one season of NHL success to essentially a retirement contract was a remarkable decision. I really hope the Brady “friend” factor or “friend-factor” of any kind if squashed by the new management regime. Get rid of the country club vibe. You’ll never get 20+ guys who all get along, but they should respect each other and be working towards the same goal.

I don’t think anyone is trading Norris unless another big contract of another underwhelming player comes back. That doesn’t fix the problem and banking on new scenery for the guy brought in which is a bit chancy in today’s NHL.

I don’t think keeping him works either. Pinto and Grieg to me have better centre potential behind Stu than Norris has. Even if you move Norris to the wing, I am not sure his shoulder could handle work along the boards. This team has enough forwards that can score. They need more quality depth and defensive minded players. When he reinserted into the lineup last year, he just looked unnecessary most of the time.

I think a buyout is probably the best way to go. It will hurt the cap a little bit in the first couple of seasons, but as the cap goes up over the 12 years, it will be less and less intrusive. You will relive yourself of cap and can sign a legitimate free agent or two and/or use the funds towards a Pinto contract.

I anticipate the next blog will be what to do about Dorion’s other blunder, Korpisalo. Going to be an interesting summer.
Sens Writer
Location: Vancouver, BC
Joined: 08.19.2013

Jun 4 @ 3:29 PM ET
Think you're massively undervaluing Clarke here, not to mention he's an offensive D and not the brand of blue liner we need. Ottawa is missing an RHD stay at home that matches with our offensive lefties, which is why names like Pesce, Roy, and DeMelo are heard. Those guys will be coveted and expensive, but any one would look nice in a Sens jersey. Would also look at Jani Hakanpaa - dude shouldn't break the bank and possesses bucks of what this team is missing - a giant, physical, no nonsense, no frills 100% defensive RHD who hits but doesn't take loads of dumb penalties. There are options, the question becomes if Ottawa is able to lure any of these guys to sign here.
- Bartacus

They definitely need at least 1 physically imposing D in the lineup, and it's possible Kleven is ready to play this role. Even then, they'd still have a clear lack of physical/defensive play in their top-4, which they need to address with another top-4D. To give a sense of the physical gap between the Senators and a team doing well in the playoffs like the Oilers, look at their top-5D comparison:

Senators Top-5D
- Chabot - 6'2, 195, 44 Hits
- Sanderson - 6'3, 195, 49 Hits
- Zub - 6'2, 200, 139 Hits
- Chychrun - 6'2, 220, 72 Hits
- Bernard-Docker - 6'0, 190, 62 Hits

Oilers Top-5D
- Ekholm - 6'5, 225, 136 Hits
- Bouchard - 6'3, 195, 71 Hits
- Nurse - 6'4, 215, 168 Hits
- Ceci - 6'3, 210, 91 Hits
- Desharnais - 6'7, 225, 134 Hits

Basically, they're giving up 2.5" of height, 15lbs of weight, and nearly 50 hits... PER D-man.

Nobody's saying they have to bring back Gubranson, Brown, and Coburn, but if they could focus on bringing in a UFA like Matt Roy it would certainly check several boxes as a 6'3 RHD with defensive awareness and a physical edge. In fact, he finished 2nd in LAK last year for total ice time (20:54) and hits among D-men (152), and was 1st in SH ice time (2:51) and blocked shots (197). Bringing in a player like that to complement one of Chabot/Sanderson and moving Kleven onto the 3rd pairing would go a long way to making the D tougher to play against.
GrimmdaGoalie
Ottawa Senators
Location: Ottawa, ON
Joined: 01.07.2016

Jun 4 @ 3:53 PM ET
They definitely need at least 1 physically imposing D in the lineup, and it's possible Kleven is ready to play this role. Even then, they'd still have a clear lack of physical/defensive play in their top-4, which they need to address with another top-4D. To give a sense of the physical gap between the Senators and a team doing well in the playoffs like the Oilers, look at their top-5D comparison:

Senators Top-5D
- Chabot - 6'2, 195, 44 Hits
- Sanderson - 6'3, 195, 49 Hits
- Zub - 6'2, 200, 139 Hits
- Chychrun - 6'2, 220, 72 Hits
- Bernard-Docker - 6'0, 190, 62 Hits

Oilers Top-5D
- Ekholm - 6'5, 225, 136 Hits
- Bouchard - 6'3, 195, 71 Hits
- Nurse - 6'4, 215, 168 Hits
- Ceci - 6'3, 210, 91 Hits
- Desharnais - 6'7, 225, 134 Hits

Basically, they're giving up 2.5" of height, 15lbs of weight, and nearly 50 hits... PER D-man.

Nobody's saying they have to bring back Gubranson, Brown, and Coburn, but if they could focus on bringing in a UFA like Matt Roy it would certainly check several boxes as a 6'3 RHD with defensive awareness and a physical edge. In fact, he finished 2nd in LAK last year for total ice time (20:54) and hits among D-men (152), and was 1st in SH ice time (2:51) and blocked shots (197). Bringing in a player like that to complement one of Chabot/Sanderson and moving Kleven onto the 3rd pairing would go a long way to making the D tougher to play against.

- khawk


Excellent post.

The size issue is why I want them to shy away from any D under 6.2 in the draft this year.
AlfieisKing
Ottawa Senators
Location: Canada, ON
Joined: 11.05.2007

Jun 4 @ 8:47 PM ET
They definitely need at least 1 physically imposing D in the lineup, and it's possible Kleven is ready to play this role. Even then, they'd still have a clear lack of physical/defensive play in their top-4, which they need to address with another top-4D. To give a sense of the physical gap between the Senators and a team doing well in the playoffs like the Oilers, look at their top-5D comparison:

Senators Top-5D
- Chabot - 6'2, 195, 44 Hits
- Sanderson - 6'3, 195, 49 Hits
- Zub - 6'2, 200, 139 Hits
- Chychrun - 6'2, 220, 72 Hits
- Bernard-Docker - 6'0, 190, 62 Hits

Oilers Top-5D
- Ekholm - 6'5, 225, 136 Hits
- Bouchard - 6'3, 195, 71 Hits
- Nurse - 6'4, 215, 168 Hits
- Ceci - 6'3, 210, 91 Hits
- Desharnais - 6'7, 225, 134 Hits

Basically, they're giving up 2.5" of height, 15lbs of weight, and nearly 50 hits... PER D-man.

Nobody's saying they have to bring back Gubranson, Brown, and Coburn, but if they could focus on bringing in a UFA like Matt Roy it would certainly check several boxes as a 6'3 RHD with defensive awareness and a physical edge. In fact, he finished 2nd in LAK last year for total ice time (20:54) and hits among D-men (152), and was 1st in SH ice time (2:51) and blocked shots (197). Bringing in a player like that to complement one of Chabot/Sanderson and moving Kleven onto the 3rd pairing would go a long way to making the D tougher to play against.

- khawk


This is a terrible post.

Jk. Great points
OttawaB
Ottawa Senators
Location: Ottawa, ON
Joined: 08.02.2016

Jun 4 @ 10:41 PM ET
Coaching staff is now set .... Green, Yeo, Baumgartner, Sexton, King, Peters, and Alfredsson.

New ownership .... check
New front office staff and GM etc. .... check
New coaching staff ..... check

Now its time to get down to business and improve the on-ice product by this team.
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