With the Erik Karlsson trade completed, the Ottawa Senators still have two large contract-related issues in need of attention when it comes to Mark Stone and Matt Duchene.
Stone is on a one-year, $7.35 million contract and can sign an extension as early as January, while Duchene’s five-year, $30 million pact is in its final campaign.
Elliotte Friedman’s Friday afternoon Oilers Now radio hit on Edmonton’s 630 CHED provided the Insider a chance to share his latest feelings on this front.
“You saw the interview David and I did this week with Pierre Dorion where it got turned into a viral moment,” said Friedman. “I just think that Ottawa and Montreal have this thing right now - and I think in Edmonton you can appreciate it because you kind of went through this for awhile too - where there’s just a crisis of confidence, where nothing you do is going to work.
“You can try whatever you want, you can do whatever you can, you can argue about whether it’s a good idea or not - like Ottawa doing that Eugene Melnyk video. It’s just the slightest thing goes wrong and everybody jumps all over you. Nothing you can do is right. And that’s where Ottawa is right now.
“I just think that everything they try, because there’s absolutely no faith in the owner from the fan base, it’s just met with derision and it goes sideways. I think right now the best thing you can do is to start the season, and just play the games.
“Now, I disagree with their decision not to give up next year’s first-rounder, but it’s done. It’s over. You can’t change that. They’re very excited to have Brady Tkachuk and maybe he comes out and he plays so well he makes believers out of people, and that’s kind of what they need.
“But I just think right now with Stone and Duchene, Pierre Dorion said in that interview that they thought they were close with Stone during the summer. They’ll take another run at it. But you’ve got to think they’ve got to be willing to commit 8, 8.5. Duchene, he’s probably going to be close to the same area because he’s going to be the No. 1 center on the market.
“I think the biggest question they have right now is how are Stone and Duchene going to feel about giving up maybe the next three, four years of their careers. You know if you stay in Ottawa now, barring a miracle run, you’re going to miss the next three years of playoffs. I think that’s a lot to ask of some guys, and I just think that’s a tough spot of where they are now.”
Stone can become an unrestricted free agent this summer for the first time in his career, as will be the case for Duchene.
Contract-related info via CapFriendly