It’s coming down to crunch time for the Ottawa Senators when it comes to their pending unrestricted free agents.
Darren Dreger had a Monday afternoon radio hit on Edmonton’s TSN 1260.
The Insider was asked if it’s fair to say that if it could all work out, the Senators would love Mark Stone and Matt Duchene to stay. The real quandary is whether or not the players themselves want to stick around.
“That’s a great question if the players want that,” said Dreger. “And I think you’re right, I think Ottawa would love to have the ability to sign all three of those guys - Stone, Duchene, and Dzingel. It’s unlikely. I don’t see any way that they get all three signed, and I think that it’s a bit of a longshot that they two of the three. Some who I trust think that all three might be walking. We’re going to find out sooner than later.
“It feels like something may go down this week. And that might be something as little - although it’s significant - as one or both of the big boys in Stone and Duchene just coming clean and saying, ‘Look, we’re not signing here. We’re going to go to the market or at least we’re open to be traded. We understand the Ottawa Senators can’t let us walk into unrestricted free agency, but we’re just not signing here.’
“Now, whether that happens with both of those guys this week, one of those guys this week, we’re going to have to wait and see. But when you’re this close to the February 25 trade deadline and you’re trying to maximize the return for two star players, then I feel like Pierre Dorion and the Ottawa Senators are going to need as much time as possible to try and manufacture the greatest return.”
Stone is on a one-year, $7.35 million contract.
Duchene is finishing up a five-year, $30 million pact.
Dzingel is in the back half of a two-year, $3.6 million deal.
The trade deadline is February 25.
Contract-related info via CapFriendly