Injury troubles have been a persistent issue for Ottawa Senators center Joshua Norris, as since his 35-goal breakout campaign he’s only managed to play in eight NHL games. Despite undergoing shoulder surgery all the way back in January, Norris’ status remains in question as the Senators prepare for an extremely important 2023-24 season.
Sportsnet’s Wayne Scanlan relays word from Senators head coach D.J. Smith that there is currently still no timeline on Norris’ recovery, though the hope remains that he will be back shortly. At this point, no LTIR placement is being considered and Scanlan adds that Norris will travel with the team to Carolina for its game against the Hurricanes. The Senators’ center depth is currently in somewhat rough shape, as Rourke Chartier and Ridly Greig are the team’s projected middle-six centers (they combine for just 39 games of NHL experience) so getting Norris back in action is going to be a major priority for the team as they look to start the season on the right foot.
Some other notes from the Atlantic Division:
- Another Senator currently battling injury is winger Zack MacEwen. Scanlan reports that MacEwen is currently unavailable on a day-to-day injury timeline, and as a result, the Senators may be forced to start the season with an opening-night lineup short a player. Ottawa currently does not possess the necessary cap space to recall a replacement player from the AHL’s Belleville Senators, so the club could be forced to play with just 11 forwards tomorrow in Raleigh.
- According to The Buffalo News’ Mike Harrington, Buffalo Sabres forward Casey Mittelstadt “tweaked something” in his upper body yesterday and as a result sat out of practice today. Head coach Don Granato reassured reporters saying that Mittelstadt’s absence is not expected to extend into the team’s opening-night contest Thursday against the New York Rangers. Mittelstadt is an important cog in the Sabres’ offense, and is coming off a breakout 2022-23 season where he scored 15 goals and 59 points.
- Just shortly after he cleared waivers and was assigned to the AHL’s Providence Bruins, Boston Bruins forward Patrick Brown was recalled back to the NHL roster today. The 31-year-old veteran forward will likely be in the TD Garden press box for the Bruins’ opening-night contest against the Chicago Blackhawks, though he could end up claiming the fourth-line center role on the team should rookie John Beecher fail to carry over the momentum he built in the preseason into regular-season action.