Another restricted free agent avoids arbitration.
With the two sides set to go head to head in a hearing in the coming days, the Ottawa Senators and Mathieu Joseph found common ground on Thursday evening, agreeing to terms on a four-year contract extension worth an average annual value of $2.95 million.
The details of the deal, which now ties Joseph to Ottawa through the 2025-26 season, such as its salary structure or the inclusion of any trade protection have yet to be revealed.
Joseph fit perfectly with the Senators after coming over from Tampa Bay at the trade deadline, racking up four goals and eight assists for 12 points in 11 games for his new club down the final stretch of the season. That performance clearly made quite the impression on Senators' management, ultimately convincing them to issue the four-year commitment they just handed the 25-year-old to cap off a torrid offseason.
With the Senators having locked in their top-six with the likes of Alex Debrincat and Claude Giroux, Joseph gives them depth beyond the first two lines, adding speed and skill to the bottom of the lineup while also maintaining some defensive responsibility. Not to mention, Joseph brings with him two Stanley Cup rings in his short career, giving the Senators the experience they'll need to take their ascent to the next level.
The hardest part of the summer is now over for GM Pierre Dorion. With just two RFAs left to sign, the Senators are now ready to take another step this coming season and perhaps even compete for a playoff spot.
Anything is possible. It's an exciting time in Ottawa.