The Ottawa Senators and forward Connor Brown have reached an agreement on a three-year contract extension worth almost $11 million, avoiding their arbitration hearing scheduled for Tuesday morning.
— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) October 22, 2020
It’s a healthy raise for Brown, who will earn $3.6 million on an annual basis with the Senators after raking in $2.1 million last season. The agreement helps the Senators move comfortably over the salary cap floor after the recent signings of goaltender Matt Murray and free-agent scorer Evgenii Dadonov.
There’s a bit of insurance built into the backloaded deal for Brown, who will earn $8 million in final two seasons. The idea is to have those payments unaffected when the NHL is, hopefully, functioning as normal after this season, which is to see salaries potentially impacted in a shorter schedule amid the pandemic.
Brown was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season.
It’s believed that Brown’s ask in arbitration was $4.8 million, while the Senators had countered at $2.25 million, so the number agreed upon does slightly favour the player.
Thrust into a more featured position after coming over at the beginning of last season in a trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Brown is coming off his most productive NHL campaign to date, scoring 17 goals and 43 points in 71 games. He’s also a reliable penalty killer for D.J. Smith, who coached him in Toronto for several seasons before they both joined the Senators.
It’s expected that Dadonov will bump Brown down in the lineup, which may have factored in his decision to forfeit two unrestricted seasons on a longer-term agreement in Ottawa when his value was potentially at its peak.
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