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(Article) Tim Stutzle on DeBrincat exit: 'If you don't want to be there, then good luck'

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Tim Stutzle on DeBrincat exit: 'If you don't want to be there, then good luck'

The Senators forward didn't hold back on his latest interview with 32 Thoughts the Podcast regarding his teammate's controversial departure.

Updated Fri, September 8, 2023 at 12:10 PM PDT

Ottawa Senators star Tim Stützle is confident that his team is on the rise in the Atlantic Division and provided some candid parting advice to a former teammate turned rival.

Stützle reiterated his belief in the Senators despite missing the postseason in each of his first three seasons, while also taking a parting shot at former linemate Alex DeBrincat, who was dealt to his hometown Detroit Red Wings in July after just one season in Ottawa.


“If he doesn’t want to be there, I don’t want to make him have to be there,” Stützle said of DeBrincat to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek. “You know, like, that’s fine to us. I think the whole group, we’ve been saying it, we want him to stay. We want him to be part of this group and he’s a great guy, great player.Learn More


“If you don't want to be there, then good luck on your way."

Ottawa Senators' Alex DeBrincat (12) celebrates with teammate Tim Stutzle (18) after scoring against the Montreal Canadiens during second period NHL hockey action in Montreal, Tuesday, January 31, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Tim Stutzle was not coy about his feelings on former teammate Alex DeBrincat after his refusal to re-sign in Ottawa this summer prompted a trade. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes


Stützle also demonstrated that there’s been a commitment from the Senators’ core to buy into their long-term vision, with Stutzle, Brady Tkachuk, Claude Giroux, Thomas Chabot, Jake Sanderson and Jakob Chychrun all signed through the 2024-25 season.

“I think you can just tell those guys who signed long-term, they really want to be here. And yeah, that’s the biggest part for us.”


It nevertheless remains telling that DeBrincat never bought into the vision with the Senators, ultimately deciding against a long-term commitment in the Nation's Capital. A microwave scorer prone to defensive lapses, DeBrincat recorded 27 goals and 66 points while playing in all 82 games during his lone season with the Senators.



Stützle, meanwhile, inked an eight-year, $66.8 million extension last September, reaffirming his status as one of the franchise’s pillars upon being selected third overall in the 2020 NHL Draft.

Both the Senators and Red Wings are expected to be among the quiet risers in the Eastern Conference this coming season, with each club showing growth and impatience amidst prolonged rebuilds. Stützle’s comments about DeBrincat are also poised to infuse a dormant divisional rivalry in what could be the first step towards the changing of the guard in the Atlantic Division.

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2 hours ago, Bob.Loblaw said:

We're blaming the Germans for everything these days

That's a line in Animal House, John Belushi. Haha!


Edit: Just saw the post above. 

Edited by BarnBurner
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Report: DeBrincat was unhappy being behind Tkachuk in Sens' lineup


Alex DeBrincat's exit from the Ottawa Senators appears to have stemmed from his desire to be higher on the team's depth chart than the cornerstone of the franchise.


DeBrincat didn't like his role as a second-line winger behind Brady Tkachuk, sources told Postmedia's Bruce Garrioch.


On Friday, Senators star Tim Stutzle strongly hinted at DeBrincat's apparent disgruntlement when asked about convincing players to stay during an appearance on Sportsnet's "32 Thoughts" podcast.


"If he doesn't want to be there, I don't want to make him have to be there," Stutzle said. "That's fine to us. I think the whole group, we've been saying it, we want him to stay. We want him to be part of this group and he's a great guy, great player.


"If you don't want to be there, then good luck on your way."


Tkachuk, the team's captain, posted 35 goals and 48 assists while playing all 82 games last season. He also ranked among the league leaders with 242 hits. DeBrincat collected eight fewer tallies and nine fewer helpers while also suiting up for every regular-season contest.

The Senators traded DeBrincat to the Detroit Red Wings in July, and he instantly signed a four-year contract with his hometown squad.


Ottawa acquired the previously productive forward from the Chicago Blackhawks at the 2022 draft with one year remaining on his contract. He was a restricted free agent this summer but reportedly wasn't interested in inking an extension with the Senators.


DeBrincat racked up 41 goals and 37 assists with Chicago in 2021-22, tying the career high in tallies he established with the Blackhawks in 2018-19, his second NHL season. His 78 points were a personal-best at the highest level, and the 39 helpers he registered last season represented his best total since he entered the league.


The 25-year-old poured in 32 markers over 52 contests during the abbreviated 2021 campaign. He's been durable as well, playing every regular-season game in four of his six seasons and all but four contests in that same campaign that was shortened due to COVID-19.


Tkachuk is a two-time 30-goal scorer, setting career highs in all three primary scoring categories last season. The Senators signed him to a seven-year, $57.5-million contract in October 2021 after he led the team in points and ranked second in the NHL in hits during the previous campaign.


Ottawa named Tkachuk captain not long after the two sides agreed on the extension, handing him the "C" in November of that year. He's now the club's second-highest-paid player behind Stutzle, who signed an eight-year, $66.8-million pact with the Sens in September 2022.

Edited by RWJC
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On 9/9/2023 at 4:10 AM, Bob.Loblaw said:

Why are all the Germans so straightforward in their interviews I love it

Has to do with the culture and the ability to express thoughts in a foreign language for Stützle. Main difference is for sure that Canadians are used to express their opinion in a more polite and friendly way aiming to not offend others. Secondly the english language is a foreign language for Stützle and therefore he tries to explain his opinion with the vocabulary he knows which is not very sophisticated most of the time. That's perfectly fine when you take into account that he's a young man that has been living in north america only for two years. I really think that we have something in common with the Americans who are also quite frank and straightforward in expressing their opinions and thoughts.

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On 9/9/2023 at 4:10 AM, Bob.Loblaw said:

Why are all the Germans so straightforward in their interviews I love it

Do you think Stützle should undergo a social media sensitivity training? I mean the court decided that Jordan B. Peterson has to undergo a social media sensitivity training because of his remarks he made on social media. He's really upset because he still thinks that freedom of speech is a universal principle in Canada.

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Latest On Alex DeBrincat

September 10th, 2023 at 11:00am CST • By Ethan Hetu


On paper, it seemed somewhat curious that Detroit Red Wings forward Alex DeBrincat would forgo a likely highly lucrative contract extension with the Ottawa Senators in order to play elsewhere. But not long after DeBrincat concluded his season in Canada’s capital, it became clear that the 2022-23 campaign would be DeBrincat’s only one in Ottawa.


Yesterday, Postmedia’s Bruce Garrioch shed some light on why DeBrincat decided to push for an exit from the Senators, writing: “sources say [DeBrincat] didn’t like his role as a second-line winger” behind Senators captain and face of the franchise Brady Tkachuk.


It’s not difficult to see why, going into the 2022-23 season, DeBrincat may have expected to receive top-line billing in Ottawa. The Senators surrendered the seventh-overall pick alongside second and third-round selections to acquire DeBrincat, who was coming off of a 41-goal, 78-point season.


Those numbers exceeded Tkachuk’s from 2021-22 (30 goals, 67 points) by a fair margin, and it’s understandable that DeBrincat may have viewed himself as the best fit for the coveted left wing spot next to number-one center Tim Stützle.


That didn’t happen, though, and DeBrincat ended up falling behind Tkachuk both on the depth chart and in terms of production. Although DeBrincat actually averaged slightly higher ice time per game than Tkachuk, Tkachuk is the one who got the bulk of time next to Stützle (a breakout number-one center) on the team’s first line.


According to Natural Stat Trick, Stützle had DeBrincat as his left-wing running mate for a total of 97:49 TOI and had Tkachuk in that role for 915:25 TOI in total. The trio only played 30:58 TOI together.


Part of the success DeBrincat had in Chicago was due to the fact that he got to play next to one of the most talented offensive generators in recent NHL history, Patrick Kane. This isn’t to say that DeBrincat isn’t a capable offensive generator in his own right, (one doesn’t hit 40 goals multiple times in a career without being an elite talent in his own right) just to note that DeBrincat is clearly at his best when his lethal finishing abilities are fed into by a strong playmaking partner.


Without someone of those capabilities to play next to full-time, DeBrincat’s production declined, and he scored 27 goals and 66 points. With Josh Norris locked in as the Senators’ second-line center thanks to a $7.95MM AAV contract extension through 2029-30, DeBrincat was staring down a future playing next to Norris were he to sign a long-term extension in Ottawa.


Norris is a quality player who scored 35 goals in 2021-22, but not someone regarded as a high-end playmaker and passer. With Tkachuk seemingly untouchable as Stützle’s running mate and the Senators’ first-line left winger, it’s unsurprising that DeBrincat began to more heavily consider a future elsewhere.


Detroit is where DeBrincat’s future, at least for the next few seasons, lies. There doesn’t appear to be a top-end playmaker on the Red Wings’ roster who can compare to Stützle, but captain Dylan Larkin (79 points last season) isn’t too far behind. But looking ahead to training camp and the preseason, it’s imperative that the Red Wings find a way to make a DeBrincat – Larkin pairing work.


Neither Andrew Copp or J.T. Compher profile as the type of play-driving passer that DeBrincat has excelled with in the past, so for DeBrincat to be able to reach the heights in Detroit that he reached in Chicago, he’ll likely need what he couldn’t have in Ottawa: a firm grip on the first-line left winger job next to his team’s number-one center.



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