The Senators have officially removed defenseman Thomas Chabot from long-term injured reserve, per CapFriendly. Chabot can now officially return to the lineup Friday against the Blue Jackets, where he’s expected to comprise the team’s second defense pairing alongside Artem Zub.
Tomorrow will mark Chabot’s first appearance since October 26, when he sustained a right-hand fracture in a game against the Islanders. The team immediately announced he would miss four to six weeks and placed him on LTIR, freeing up precious salary cap space for a team that had to open the season short a skater due to cap constraints. Just a few days into his projected return window, Chabot is ready to go.
His recovery has forced some cap gymnastics, as CapFriendly notes. Forwards Ridly Greig and Mark Kastelic, who have been out of the lineup since early this month, were both retroactively placed on LTIR to free up cap space. Given that LTIR requires a player to miss at least ten games and 28 days due to an injury, Greig and Kastelic will miss at least two more games with their lower-body injuries. They remain listed as week-to-week and will be eligible to return on December 5 against the Rangers.
Even under LTIR, the Senators now have only $148K in available cap space with an active roster of 21 players.
Outside of the financials, this news is quite pertinent for a Senators team looking to dig itself out of last place in the Atlantic Division and get back into the playoff conversation by New Year’s Day. Injuries have limited Chabot over the past few seasons – he’s missed roughly 25% of Ottawa’s games dating back to the COVID-shortened 2020-21 campaign. When in the lineup, though, he remains an extremely valuable piece of the Senators’ puzzle. He routinely averages the most ice time of nearly any defender in the league, staying over the 24-minute mark for six straight seasons. He has a long history of positive relative possession numbers, too, and has produced at a 0.64 points-per-game clip since transitioning into a top-pairing role in 2018.
Before sustaining the fracture, Chabot had logged three assists and a -1 rating in seven appearances.