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Smith: No timeline when Norris (shoulder) will return to lineup


Ottawa Senators head coach D.J. Smith said Saturday morning there's no timeline on when centre Josh Norris will be ready to join the lineup. 

Norris missed most of the 2022-23 campaign with a shoulder injury and "tweaked" something during a captain's skate in Ottawa in mid-September before training camp opened. He started camp wearing a yellow non-contact jersey as a precaution but graduated to a contact jersey last week before suffering a small setback. He has yet to appear in a preseason game and will not be in the lineup Saturday night against the Montreal Canadiens. 

"The training staff and doctors are telling me that he’s not going to'd never think that possibly we'd start the year without him and it certainly looks that way," said Smith. "To be fair, Pierre (Dorion), myself, everyone involved never seen this coming. We all thought that Josh would go through a little bit of practice, take a few pumps, get an exhibition game and away we’d go. That just didn’t happen...maybe it didn’t rehab quite the way they had this point not willing to let him go out there and play,"

Norris had shoulder surgery in January and only appeared in eight games last season, scoring two goals with one assist. 

He had a career season in 2021-22, posting 35 goals and 55 points in 66 games.

The 19th overall pick by the San Jose Sharks in 2017, Norris has 54 goals and 93 points in 133 career games, all with the Senators.

Norris is in the second season of an eight-year, $63 million contract. He carries a cap hit of $7.95 million through the 2029-30 season.