Mark Stone may finally be available via trade, and Matt Duchene to the Predators may not be a fait accompli.
Elliotte Friedman had a Friday morning radio hit on Toronto’s Sportsnet 590.
The Insider was asked if Duchene and Stone were “literally the two dominoes that are holding everything else up” on the NHL trade market.
“Yes, they are,” indicated Friedman. “But I believe that’s going to change. We’ve reported now for a week that Duchene is on the market and I believe Stone went on the market last night after Ottawa’s game. So it’s starting to go here.”
Friedman was then asked about talk concerning the possibility of Duchene signing back with the Senators or even the Montreal Canadiens in the off-season.
“Is that a possibility? Does he really love that region that much?”
“Yes, I think it is a possibility,” said Friedman. “I think he’s keeping all of his options open.
“On that: So I’ve been beating the drum that Nashville’s going to get him and Nashville’s going to extend him. And yesterday I got a call from someone who said, ‘Ease up on that.’ He heard that it hit a snag. And this guy is pretty well-connected. And I think he was right. When I checked his intel, they said yes, they believe Nashville was starting to elsewhere for whatever reason.
“But then I was talking about this with someone else, and he said to me, ‘The one thing you have to be careful with is that the danger you guys have in reporting this on a day-to-day basis is that things change and feelings change.’
“And also, don’t forget Ottawa is going to grind Nashville, Nashville is going to grind Ottawa. And if forces people into situations where they throw up their hands for a day or a few hours and say, ‘Forget this. I can’t do it.’
“Just because maybe it was off yesterday doesn’t mean it can’t be resuscitated. Don’t forget, the whole Duchene trade itself - the first one - on the Friday it looked like it was dead and it happened on the Sunday. So this kind of thing happens.
“Now, I do think if Duchene is traded to a place where he’s not considering signing long term - and I think Columbus could be one of those teams - yes, I do think there is the possibility he could consider coming back, depending on what else is out there.
“I still think the Islanders are in this picture.
“Doug MacLean mentioned Montreal this week, and some people poo-pooed that. I don’t know. I can’t see Montreal doing it if he’s a rental, but if somebody out there is saying that Matt Duchene might want to sign there, then you know what? I could see Montreal being very much in the picture. He fits with what they might want to do.”
Duchene is in the final season of a five-year, $30 million contract.
Stone is on a one-year, $7.35 million pact.
Contract-related info via CapFriendly