Ottawa Senators’ rising star, Tim Stutzle, is confident that his team is on an upward trajectory within the Atlantic Division, despite the franchise missing the postseason for six consecutive seasons.
In a recent interview with Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek, Ottawa Senators star Tim expressed his unwavering confidence in the team’s future despite a lack of postseason success in his last three seasons.
Tim did not mince words when discussing DeBrincat’s departure to the Detroit Red Wings after just one season in Ottawa. He emphasized that if DeBrincat didn’t want to be part of the Senators’ journey, he wouldn’t force him to stay.
“If he doesn’t want to be there, I don’t want to make him have to be there”
Tim also added,
“You know, like, that’s fine to us. I think the whole group, we’ve been saying it, we want him to stay. We want him to be part of this group and he’s a great guy, great player.”
Stutzle’s sentiments reflect the team’s unified stance, with a desire to retain DeBrincat’s talent but an understanding that commitment is a two-way street. He said:
“If you don’t want to be there, then good luck on your way out.”
The young Senators’ core has clearly bought into the long-term vision of the franchise, as evident by the contract extensions of key players like Stutzle, Brady Tkachuk, Claude Giroux, Thomas Chabot, Jake Sanderson, and Jakob Chychrun, all signed through the 2024-25 season.
DeBrincat’s Departure and Stutzle’s Commitment
DeBrincat’s departure, however, highlights that he did not fully embrace the Senators’ vision. Despite his impressive offensive contributions, characterized by 27 goals and 66 points in 82 games during his single season in Ottawa, DeBrincat’s decision not to commit long-term to the team suggests a lack of alignment with the Senators‘ long-term goals.
Stutzle himself solidified his position as a cornerstone of the franchise by signing an eight-year, $66.8 million extension in September, firmly establishing his commitment to the team that selected him third overall in the 2020 NHL Draft.
As the Senators and Red Wings prepare for the upcoming season, both teams are viewed as quiet risers in the Eastern Conference, showing growth during extended rebuilding phases. Stutzle’s candid remarks about DeBrincat’s departure have the potential to ignite a dormant divisional rivalry, setting the stage for a changing of the guard within the competitive Atlantic Division.