Ottawa Senators sign Tyler Motte to one-year, $1.35 million deal

The Ottawa Senators have signed forward Tyler Motte to a one-year contract. according to Luke Fox and Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet. By daily face-to-face Frank Seravalli, the deal is capped at $1.35 million.

Motte is a depth forward who previously played for the Chicago Blackhawks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Vancouver Canucks and New York Rangers. Teams are finalizing their plans for the year as the NHL nears the start of the 2022-23 season. Along with Sonny Milano and PK Subban, Motte was among the few NHL-caliber free agents on the market.

The Blackhawks selected Motte in the fourth round of the 2013 NHL Draft. He blossomed as a player in the 2015-16 season when he played for the University of Michigan in the Big Ten. In 38 games that year, he scored 32 goals and 56 points en route to being among the 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Award.

He then played his rookie season in Chicago, scoring seven points in 33 games. During the 2017 offseason, Motte was part of a successful trade that sent Artemi Panarin to Columbus and Brandon Saad to Chicago. But Motte didn’t stay long at Columbus, as he was traded to Vancouver as part of a deal with Thomas Vanek in February 2018.

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It was in Vancouver that Motte found some consistency at the NHL level. He went on to play 196 games for the Canucks, posting 50 runs in that span while bringing major physicality with a whopping 555 hits in that span. At the end of the 2021-22 season, Motte was traded again, this time to the New York Rangers, who were preparing for a playoff run.

He ended up suffering an upper body injury that cost him the last 10 games of the regular season and the first five playoff games with the Rangers. He only played nine regular games for the Blueshirts, although he scored two goals in 15 playoff games.

Motte will be in a very competitive battle for a spot on the rising Ottawa Senators team. He will have to prove that he is a better player than Austin Watson, Parker Kelly, Mark Kastelic, Dylan Gambrell and Shane Pinto. Considering the $1.35 million AAV, however, Motte has the inside lane.

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