February 4, 2019 | 7:54pm ET



Matt Duchene, centre


The Ottawa Senators have picked up contract negotiations with the agent for centre Matt Duchene, as the two met on Monday in Ottawa.

As reported by TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger, Senators GM Pierre Dorion and Duchene’s agent, Pat Brisson, met for a few hours to discuss the 27-year-old’s next contract.

Duchene’s in the final year of his contract and can become an unrestricted free agent July 1 if unsigned. The Senators are hoping to get him locked up to a new deal, but failing that will likely result in Dorion trading him prior to the Feb. 25 trade deadline.

TFP reported last week that contract talks were not off to the hottest of starts, but it appears the two sides are trying to make up ground.

Dreger indicated there is “more work to be done,” as it does not appear as if a deal is imminent.

[View TFP’s Top 30 Trade Watch List]

The Senators are also trying to get star winger Mark Stone signed to an extension, and talks continue to progress in the right direction, TFP has learned.

Defenceman Cody Ceci, who can become a restricted free agent this summer, has not seen significant progress in his contract negotiations with the Senators, prompting the Sens to explore trade options for the blueliner.

If the Senators are unable to come to terms on a new contract with Duchene, the Winnipeg Jets, Nashville Predators, Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders are among the teams interested in acquiring him.