Ottawa Senators forward Josh Norris will miss the remainder of the 2022-23 NHL season due to a re-aggravated shoulder injury, general manager Pierre Dorion announced Monday. Norris will undergo surgery on a "soon-to-be-determined" date.
Dorion called the injury to the budding star "crushing."
Norris had just returned to the Ottawa lineup on Jan. 18 after missing 38 games with a shoulder injury he suffered on Oct. 22. He also missed 15 games in 2021-22 with a shoulder issue.
The injury flaring up again after just three games will raise questions about whether or not the 23-year-old was completely ready to return, but Senators head coach D.J. Smith insisted last week that he was 100 percent. Norris admitted his road back had some mental and physical bumps along the way but that he was "feeling good."
"There were some tough days, obviously," Norris said, per NHL.com. "It's a long recovery. Some days you feel good and some days you don't. You have a good week and then you have not so great of a week. I think I was just trying to stay even-keeled and stay with it mentally. It was a long recovery. I had some really good teammates checking in on me and stuff, so I'm [grateful] for that."
Norris's season ends having appeared in just eight games, scoring two goals and adding one assist. He signed an eight-year, $63.6 million contract last summer on the heels of an impressive 35-goal campaign.
Ottawa's 2022-23 season hasn't featured the step forward the franchise was expecting when it made several big splashes in the offseason. Alex DeBrincat and Claude Giroux were added to the roster and in-house extensions were given out to Norris and Tim Stutzle. Instead of challenging for a playoff spot, the Senators are tied for last place in the Atlantic Division with 43 points.
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