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Senators sign forward Connor Brown to a three-year, $10.8M contract


OTTAWA — The Ottawa Senators have avoided arbitration with Connor Brown by signing the forward to a three-year, US$10.8-million contract.

The Senators and Brown were scheduled to have an arbitration hearing Thursday.

Brown had 16 goals and 27 assists over 71 games for the Senators last season. His 27 assists and 43 points were career highs.

"I believe in what we're doing in Ottawa," Brown said on a video conference call with reporters Thursday. "I think there's nice pieces, I think I'm a good fit there.

"I'm glad we got something sorted out."

The Senators have been busy rebuilding the team this off-season after posting a 25-34-12 record in 2019-20 and finishing outside the playoffs for a third straight season.

New faces include sniper Evgenii Dadonov, goaltender Matt Murray, forward Austin Watson and defencemen Josh Brown and Erik Gudbranson.

"I've been following closely," Brown said. "I want to be a part of a team that I think can be in the mix and is trying to build something. And I think that we took a lot of good steps forward this off-season.

"We've done a really good job solidifying things we needed to (shore) up. We brought in guys that are going to play the way we want to play. We'll be a tough team to play against. It's just going to be about scoring enough goals."

The 26-year-old from Toronto was selected by the Maple Leafs in the sixth round, 156th overall, at the 2012 NHL draft. 

He was acquired by Ottawa along with defenceman Nikita Zaitsev in a July 1, 2019 trade that sent defencemen Cody Ceci and Ben Harpur to Toronto.

Brown has 142 points (59 goals, 83 assists) and 68 penalty minutes over 324 career NHL games with Toronto and Ottawa. 

"We're very happy to have Connor back under contract," Senators general manager Pierre Dorion said in a release. "He brings a veteran presence to our lineup and is a player who can play in different situations. 

"He's durable, has a strong work ethic with great practice habits and is regarded as a leader by his teammates."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 22, 2020.

The Canadian Press

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version had an incorrect reference to Brown having 37 assists last season, instead of 27.