Things turn ugly in Tkachuk negotiations

With the season-opener fast approaching…


The Ottawa Senators remain in contract talks with Brady Tkachuk’s representatives as training camp continues without the free agent. According to Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun, GM Pierre Dorion has been in daily contact with Tkachuk’s agents Craig Oster and Don Meehan.

The Senators have reportedly approached Tkachuk’s camp with an eight-year, $64 million contract. While the two sides aren’t far apart regarding the dollars, the structure of the deal remains a sticking point.

Earlier this summer, we found out that while Tkachuk loves his teammates in Ottawa, he would like to see what Dorion and owner Eugene Melnyk plan to do to keep players on the roster long-term. Sure, defenseman Thomas Chabot has signed long-term, but only two other player, Colin White and Drake Batherson, are inked for years to come. Tkachuk would like to see the Senators make a definite plan to get a strong roster together in order to chase the Stanley Cup and is believed to have made that demand quite clear with management amidst their negotiations. 

Therefore, length could be an issue in the upcoming negotiations, but Garrioch also points out that Tkachuk’s agents seek bonus money for their client and the Senators don’t want to go that route. TSN’s Darren Dreger wonders if a short-term deal could be the middle ground, though Garrioch believes they don’t want to sink 60 percent of their cap payroll into four or five players even though the Senators have plenty of salary-cap space. 

Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet has reported that a short-term deal has been discussed as well, though the talks didn't go so well.. Uh oh.. 

"I heard the short-term deals, like they weren't even close, the two sides. They did discuss short-term and I just heard it didn't go very well".

Tkachuk, who’s still four years away from free agency, clearly wants to know what the team’s long-term plan is to make a sound decision.  And so it sounds like Brady, just like brother Matthew with the Calgary Flames, isn’t yet willing to commit long-term to the Senators unless they can show him that they are serious about contending for a Stanley Cup and getting the money on the table and talented players on board to do so.

Fans not only wonder when this stalemate will get resolved, but also how missing training camp will affect Tkachuk’s performance when he finally returns to the lineup…