February 5, 2019 | 1:54pm ET



Matt Duchene, centre


Ottawa Senators centre Matt Duchene told reporters on Tuesday the two sides “had a good chat yesterday,” but there is still more work to be done on a contract extension.

Duchene, who is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent July 1, does not plan on divulging much more about the negotiation process publicly, saying “we’re going to keep it inside.”

He did admit “it’s getting a bit more difficult” as the day progress, though.

If the Senators and Duchene are unable to come to terms on a contract extension in the next couple of weeks, the team might be forced to trade him ahead of the Feb. 25 trade deadline.

One thing is clear, though, Duchene’s primary concern is about the team’s overall success and when they’ll be able to compete for a Stanley Cup.

“I haven’t even thought about the money part, to be honest with you,” he said today. “Obviously, that’s a part of it. You’re not going to be like, ‘I’ll play for free,’ you know what I mean. Maybe I’m showing my hand too much right now, but I don’t care. It’s never been about that for me.”

Senators GM Pierre Dorion is also trying to get star winger Mark Stone signed to an extension and it’s becoming clear Duchene is as concerned about the team keeping Stone as he is about his own deal.

“Right now, if I had a gut feel, I’d probably go with it,” Duchene said. “We’re not quite at that point.”

Duchene remains No.3 on TFP’s Top 30 Trade Watch List.