Battle of Ontario already heating up with Tim Stutzle taking subtle shot at the Leafs

Ryan Smitheram
September 19, 2023  (8:30)

The Battle of Ontario has been fairly unimportant over the last decade. However, over the past couple of years, now that both teams are full of young, talented stars, the rivalry has been renewed. Even though the Senators have not made the playoffs, the likes of Brady Tkachuk, Tim Stützle and others have made for some highly entertaining games against the Leafs during the regular season.

With the Sens apparently finished their rebuild for the fourth time, and finishing just outside of the playoffs last season, this season's matchups should have a playoff-like atmosphere to them. Ahead of the regular season and training camp, Tim Stützle sat down with The Athletic's Ian Mendes to talk all things hockey, including his new contract that begins this season. It didn't take long before Stützle seemingly fired a shot at the Leafs in his response.
"Personally, I think if someone is making $10 or $11 million, it makes it hard to win with the salary cap. But with everybody making under $9 million in our young core, I think we have a really good chance to win. And the only goal I really have is to win a Stanley Cup with this group of guys. For me, it wasn't important if I made $9 million or $10 million. Making $8.35 million is still a lot of money. I just think it's a really fair deal for both sides, you know? And that's what I wanted."
It sounds like Stützle is poking at the likes of John Tavares, Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner given that all of them make $10M+ per season and will continue to do so for the next few seasons. Under Tavares, Marner and Matthews, making $10M+ per season, the Leafs have just one series win in the playoffs and bowed out rather easily to Florida in the second round last season.
Stützle has decided to light the fire of the Battle of Ontario early this year with training camp set to kick off in just a few days. Let's see if the Leafs are up to the task of proving that their salary structure works and bringing a little extra attitude to their games against Ottawa this season in response.
Battle of Ontario already heating up with Tim Stutzle taking subtle shot at the Leafs

What do you think of Stutzle's comments regarding his contract?

Definitely a shot at the Leafs5136.2 %
Nothing more than an innocent comment2618.4 %
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