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Pierre Dorion is on a roll.
The Ottawa Senators’ general manager added another name to the list of players he’s signed during the off-season by inking goaltender Joey Daccord to a three-year deal Saturday morning.
The contract will be a two-way deal in the first two years that will pay Daccord, 24, $700,000 in the NHL and $125,000 if he’s with the club’s AHL affiliate in Belleville. The third year is a one-way deal at $800,000, and you have to think by that point Daccord would be ready to be the full-time backup or push for the starting job.
This has been a busy couple of weeks for Dorion as he puts the roster in place for the 2020-21 campaign. Not only did he acquire goaltender Matt Murray from the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Senators then signed the two-time Stanley Cup champion to a four-year, $25 million extension.
It didn’t stop there with restricted free agents Josh Brown, Nick Paul and Rudolfs Balcers all agreeing to deals in the last 10 days. The club also signed unrestricted free agent winger Evgenii Dadanov to a three-year, $15 million contract Thursday plus depth players Matthew Peca and Logan Shaw.
And, getting Daccord under contract will give the club options down the road with Marcus Hogberg heading into the final year of a contract that will pay him $800,000 this season.
Daccord, the first Sun Devil to ever play in the NHL, has shown a lot of upside potential and the Senators are confident he can take his game to another level.
“We’ve been very pleased with Joey’s development,” said Dorion. “He’s a big, athletic goalie and an excellent puck handler who exudes the necessary confidence to compete at the highest level. He’s become a valuable asset within our pool of goaltending prospects.”
Speaking to Postmedia from his home in North Andover, Ma., located just outside of Boston, Daccord was thrilled. A No. 199 overall pick in the 2015 NHL draft, Daccord had a standout season in Belleville with 15-6-2 record in 24 games with a 2.61 goals-against average and a .915 save-percentage.
“It’s hard to put into words,” said Daccord, who signed a entry-level deal in April, 2019 after a stellar career at Arizona State University. “When you sign your entry-level deal there’s all these hopes and dreams and all you want to do is make the most of your opportunity.
“To get that second contract is something that’s very special to me and I’m very grateful to the Senators for giving me three more years of opportunity to keep proving myself. I’m really fortunate to have this and I’m just hoping to make the most of it.”
When he signed his deal with the Senators, Daccord made his first pro start against the Buffalo Sabres on the road on April 4, 2019. He stopped 35 shots in the club’s 5-2 loss to the Sabres and then started last season with the club’s ECHL affiliate in Brampton.
Injuries to Craig Anderson and Anders Nilsson at the NHL level meant there was a chance for Daccord to play in Belleville and he made the most of it. He pushed Flip Gustavsson for the starting job and it would have been interesting to see who would have taken on the top role in the post-season.
“You never know what to expect going into your first full season of pro hockey,” Daccord said. “I just tried to take it all in stride, be a sponge and learn from the older guys and just try to figure out how to be the best pro I could be.
“I got some breaks, some things went my way, and I played well at the right time. Here I am signing another three-year contract. I couldn’t be more pleased and excited. Now, I just want the season to start.”
Daccord took time off after the AHL season paused. He was on the ice two or three days a week with camp tentatively scheduled to get under way in mid-December, he’s been on the ice five days. He’s also been doing vision training at a place called The Greatness Lab in Woburn, Ma. which works with high performance athletes.
“It’s vision training, hand-eye co-ordination, neuro-processing speeds and all kinds of mental and brain training,” said Daccord. “I’ve been doing that to stay sharp as well.”
He skates with the likes of Cory Schneider of the Islanders along with former Ottawa goalies Mike Condon and Chris Driedger (Florida).
“We’ve got a pretty good group of goalies,” said Daccord.
The confidence the organization has shown means a lot to him.
“For them to do that for me shows that they believe in me and I really appreciate the confidence they’ve shown in me,” said Daccord. “That’s really special and I’m really just excited to get started. I’m really looking forward to getting better and having success.”
With Balcers under contract, the Senators still have RFA fowards Connor Brown, Chris Tierney, Filip Chlapik and J.C. Beaudin left to sign, and defenceman Christian Jaros.
Brown, Tierney and Jaros all have rights to arbitration. Brown is scheduled for Thursday and talks are ongoing between the two sides. Tierney is scheduled for Nov. 8 and Jaros Nov. 7.
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2020