Norris injures shoulder vs Coyotes, Expected to be out long-term
Ottawa Senators prized centreman Josh Norris suffered a shoulder injury against the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday and after D.J. Smith’s comments at today’s media availability, the initial outlook doesn’t look good. Norris suffered the injury after taking a face-off and immediately crumbled to the ground in pain, eerily similar to the injury that Shane Pinto suffered last season.
D.J. Smith said he expects Norris to be out long-term and that the team would be lucky to have the 23-year-old forward back before the end of the season.
The Norris camp will have to make a decision on whether or not to have surgery over the coming weeks or to take the path of rehabilitation. Either way, this will be a lengthy recovery for one of the key pieces of this Senators roster.
This brutal news all around, Norris had been one of the few reasons Senators fans tuned in the last couple of seasons, it’s unfortunate that he will not be able to contribute as the team aims at making the playoffs. In 5 games this season, Norris has been held to just 1 goal and 2 points, however, he was starting to develop some chemistry with linemates Alex DeBrincat and Claude Giroux prior to the injury.
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This is where the signing of Derick Brassard pays off. The veteran forward made his first appearance with the team since the 2017-18 season and he was able to fire one home in transition, helping the Senators defeat Dallas 4-2 on Monday night.
Norris’ absence should also provide rookie Shane Pinto with even more opportunity than he’s already had this season, potentially moving up into the top-6 at some point for Brassard. His 5 goals in 6 games make him an early favourite in the Calder race and with an even bigger role looking forward, he could be the winner at the season’s end.
The Senators also have Dylan Gambrell at their disposal and could look to use the veteran centreman in a limited role if Brassard starts to struggle or wear down with the heavy deployment.