Friedman on Duchene, Senators’ deadline preparation

Whether or not the Ottawa Senators will trade or sign their biggest pending UFAs remains to be seen, but it sounds like the team is getting its ducks in a row.

Elliotte Friedman had a Monday afternoon radio hit on Calgary’s Sportsnet 960, and was asked what he saw happening with Matt Duchene and the organization leading into next month’s deadline.

“I lean towards he’s getting traded, and I’m not saying that - I lean towards it,” noted Friedman. “Ottawa is going out West. They’re playing L.A. and Anaheim this week before they go to San Jose on Saturday. His agent is based there - Pat Brisson. I have a feeling there’s going to be a long conversation about, ‘Okay, where are we and where are we going.’

“Chris Johnston reported on Saturday night that things had cooled. I don’t have any reason to believe that Chris is incorrect.

“As you know, on Wednesday nights I work with two former general managers - Brian Burke and Doug MacLean - and I asked them, ‘How long do you need if you’re Ottawa to know we’re not getting these guys signed and we have to trade them.’

“Burkie said you need 14 days, and Doug agreed with that. So that gives you about another five weeks before that deadline.

“The one thing I have heard about Ottawa is that they are scouting like crazy. Their guys are traveling. They don’t have the biggest staff, but those guys are really running around because if they have to pull the trigger, they’ve got be prepared.

“And I think that’s what they’re doing, they’re trying to be prepared.”

Duchene is in the final season of his five-year, $30 million contract, and he can become an unrestricted free agent in July.

Contract-related info via CapFriendly