McKenzie on potential Stone suitors

Pierre Dorion still controls one major piece on the NHL trade board.

The Ottawa Senators sent Matt Duchene to the Columbus Blue Jackets Friday, and now much of the attention will turn to Mark Stone.

Bob McKenzie had a Friday evening radio hit on Toronto’s TSN 1050, and the Insider was asked which teams he had circled that he thinks will really take a run at Stone.

“Well, certainly the Winnipeg Jets,” began McKenzie. “Certainly the Nashville Predators. The Predators had some interest in Matt Duchene, but I think they had a lot more interest in Mark Stone. Calgary Flames, they have interest in Mark Stone. And I think the New York Islanders.

“I’m sure there are others. In the summer, there was every reason to believe that Colorado was really, really, really anxious to either try and do a deal with the Ottawa Senators for Mark Stone, and there was even some talk leading up to the season that Colorado was going to offer-sheet Mark Stone last summer. There was all sorts of rumors of that.

“Didn’t happen, and as I said back then, that’s when you know offer sheets were dead because Stone was the absolute ideal candidate to offer sheet, because if the Sens matched the offer, they would not have been able to trade him at the deadline. They would have had to hold onto him until the end of free agency. So they almost certainly would have been leveraged into either take the compensation for Stone, or to do a deal with whichever team put up the offer sheet.

“So as I say, that didn’t happen. So I don’t know if Colorado - where they are right now in the notion that this is a rental.

“And that’s the complicating factor for everybody, is Mark Stone as a rental versus Mark Stone as somebody that you can sign to a deal. I don’t think - and I could be wrong on this - at this point in time I don’t think Pierre Dorion is sitting there in concert with Mark Stone and his representatives saying, ‘Yeah, you can talk to other teams and let’s see if we can get you an extension somewhere and we’ll get more in the deal.’

“I think they’re just going to do what they did with Duchene and that is do a deal, and then put in a conditional part that says, ‘Hey, if you re-sign this guy, we get X, Y, and Z, or just X or X and Y or X, Y, and Z.’”

Stone is on a one-year, $7.35 million contract, and can become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Contract-related info via CapFriendly