Much of the Ottawa Senators’ future will be decided upon in the next six days. With the NHL’s trade deadline looming on Monday afternoon, Sens general manager Pierre Dorion has difficult decisions to make regarding pending free agents Mark Stone, Matt Duchene and Ryan Dzingel.
Duchene reportedly has one foot out the door already and is unlikely to sign an extension with the team. Dzingel is reportedly in a holding pattern and is waiting to see how things play out with Stone… who some argue is the most important piece in this entire scenario.
The 26 year old pending UFA is on pace for a career season with 28 goals and 61 points in just 59 games. Should he hit the trade market there’s no doubt that the Sens would net a HUGE return… but who’s in the mix?
NHL insider Elliotte Friedman, citing a report from Sporstnet colleague believes that there are three frontrunners, with two real serious contenders. Check it out:
My guess on Mark Stone is the Senators came at him with bigger money at less than max term. There were rumblings of five years at $10.5 million, but it was denied. That number would put him with Patrick Kane as the highest-paid winger in the NHL, but leaves money on the table Stone would try to recoup at age 32. His decision comes in the next few days. Chris Johnston reported on Headlines he thinks Vegas won’t do it as a rental. Winnipeg is definitely there. So is Calgary. Undoubtedly, there are others.
Should Stone opt to go the ’sign and trade’ route, could Vegas fall hard for him? The Jets remain and intriguing destination, as do the Flames if only because the two Western Canadian rivals look primed for deep Stanley Cup Playoff runs. Throw in the fact that Stone is a Winnipeg native and the fact that his brother Michael Stone is in the Flames organization and things get even more intriguing.
So… where will he end up? The clock is ticking, Mr. Dorion.