Last week it was reported that contract negotiations between Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk and pending unrestricted free agent Matt Duchene have “gone sour” over the owner’s unwillingness to relent on salary.
Melnyk, of course, is notorious for being one of the stingiest owners in the NHL and it’s widely believed that his unwillingness to open up his wallet was one of the biggest reasons that the team traded captain Erik Karlsson this past offseason. Could history be repeating itself?
Now, a report from NHL insider Bob McKenzie has Sens fans REALLY worried. McKenzie, the most trusted source in the entire NHL, believes that both Duchene AND fellow pending UFA Mark Stone will BOTH be traded.
“My needle on Stone and Duchene is that they’re not going to sign in Ottawa and they’re going to be traded,” said McKenzie on his latest episode of the TSN Bobcast. “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.”
Stone is on a one-year, $7.35 million contract and could command as much as $10 million per season on a long term deal this offseason. Duchene is finishing up a five-year, $30 million deal and will likely be seeking something north of $10 million per season, as well.