Sports

All I Want for Christmas is Zub: Senators Re-sign Popular Defenceman Artem Zub

Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It’s no secret the Ottawa Senators would like to make improvements on their blue line,

ideally adding another player who could join Thomas Chabot, Jake Sanderson and Artem Zub in their top four. But Zub was in the final year of his contract, about to become an unrestricted free agent next summer, so there was no guarantee the club would even be able to keep what they have, let alone add someone new.

The Senators took care of that today, announcing that Zub has signed a four year extension, with an average annual value of $4.6 million. The deal also includes a 10-team no-trade list.

“Artem’s transition to North American hockey has been remarkable,” said Senators general manager Pierre Dorion. “He has worked hard to establish himself as an excellent NHL player and a strong defender. He consistently helps make us a better defensive team while he’s on the ice. We’re pleased to reach an agreement with him on an extension of this length.”

The Senators are currently loaded with left shot, offensive defencemen who like to jump up into the play, and Zub is exactly the type of strong, right-shot defender coaches like to pair those types of players with. D.J. Smith would probably like to have two more Zubs at his disposal to help insulate his free-wheeling lefties: Sanderson, Chabot and Erik Brannstrom. 

Zub has missed 18 of Ottawa’s 32 games this season due to injury, currently dealing with a jaw injury from a puck to the face. But he showed his resilience last season skating in all but one of the team’s 82 games. Zub currently has four points (two goals, two assists) over 14 contests in 2022-23.

Zub won a gold medal as part of the Olympic Athletes from Russia team at the 2018 Winter Olympics and a bronze with Russia at both the 2017 and 2019 World Championships.

The signing today, four days before Christmas, should prove to be a well-received gift among Sens fans. With stick taps for Mariah Carey, All They Want for Christmas is Zub.

By Steve Warne

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