McKenzie: Clarity coming soon on Stone, Duchene

It’s nearing crunch time for the Senators and their top pending UFAs, and hockey’s No. 1 Insider isn’t too optimistic the players will stay in Ottawa.  

Bob McKenzie released his latest TSN Hockey Bobcast Thursday, and shared his latest sentiment on the situation.

“My needle on Stone and Duchene is that they’re not going to sign in Ottawa and they’re going to be traded,” indicated McKenzie. “Now, I guess they could. And I’m sure Ottawa will continue here in the next number of days to try and take a run at that, but I don’t know.

“I think by the time Monday rolls around - two weeks out from the trade deadline - we’re going to have some clarity on the guys in Ottawa.”

McKenzie then went on to describe the potential relation between the team’s UFA situation and the timing of Eugene Melnyk’s cap-related comments from this week.

Stone is on a one-year, $7.35 million contract, after which he can become an unrestricted free agent.

Duchene is finishing up a five-year, $30 million pact, and can also become a UFA July 1.

It’s also worth noting that in the same episode of the Bobcast, McKenzie said, “There’s no doubt in my mind that Stone’s going to get $9 million-plus in the open market. I think a guy like Duchene would get $8 million-plus on the open market.”

Contract-related info via CapFriendly