The Ottawa Senators have come to another relatively hefty extension for a veteran player, agreeing with Chris Tierney on a two-year contract according to Bruce Garrioch of Postmedia. The deal will carry an average annual value of $3.5MM, with Tierney earning $2.8MM in 2020-21 and $4.2MM in 2021-22. The 26-year-old forward was a restricted free agent with an arbitration hearing scheduled for November 8. That hearing will no longer be required.
While many players are able to post career-highs when they move from a good team to a bad one and are given more responsibility, since arriving in Ottawa, Tierney still hasn’t been able to match the 17 goals he recorded during his final season in San Jose. He did post a career-best 48 points in 2018-19, but it came with just nine goals. This season he increased that number to 11, but the points dropped down to 37 in the shortened season.
Averaging more than 17 minutes a game, Tierney has become a core piece of the Senators forward group that trailed only Connor Brown, Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Brady Tkachuk in ice time. While he likely should settle into a lesser role when Ottawa wants to compete, for now, he can continue to help the youngsters find their game while providing solid middle-six production.
The question that comes with almost every Senators signing these days is whether or not Tierney will actually finish this two-year deal in Ottawa. The contract is heavily back-loaded, allowing the team to move a good chunk of the salary owed if they decide to flip him at some point. With several top prospects pushing up the lineup and even more on the way, Tierney’s spot won’t be there forever. With no trade protection, he will be a valuable asset at the deadline if the team decides to move on.