February 17, 2019 | 11:57pm ET
JETS, SENATORS HAVING SERIOUS TRADE TALKS?
Matt Duchene and Mark Stone
The Winnipeg Jets and Ottawa Senators may have taken trade negotiations up a few notches on Sunday and could be working on a blockbuster ahead of the Feb. 25 trade deadline.
It has been widely reported the Jets are interested in Senators forwards Mark Stone, Matt Duchene and Ryan Dzingel. While acquiring all three is next to impossible, Winnipeg may be focused on Stone or Duchene, and could be looking to include Dzingel and his $1.8 million salary cap as part of a deal, TFP has learned.
Senators GM Pierre Dorion, Assistant GM Peter MacTavish and Director of Pro Scouting Jim Clark have kept a close eye on the Jets’ organization this week – they attended they Jets’ 4-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday, took in Friday’s Manitoba Moose game (the Jets’ AHL affiliate), were present for the Sens 4-3 overtime win against Winnipeg on Saturday, and watched Sunday’s Moose game.
As first reported by the Winnipeg Free Press, Dorion met with Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff in his suite during the second intermission of Sunday’s Moose game and was on a lengthy phone call after he left. Cheveldayoff sat down with Jets chairman/co-owner Mark Chipman during the third period.
Contract negotiations between the Senators and all three of their pending unrestricted free agent forwards have not progressed positively, though the Sens are trying to convince Stone to re-up with the club.
TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger reported on Sunday the Senators plan on trading Duchene barring a “last minute change.”
Unless there’s last minute change, the Ottawa Senators plan on trading Matt Duchene. Mark Stone’s future in Ottawa should also be determined early this week, well in advance of the trade deadline.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) February 17, 2019
Several other teams are interested in Stone, Duchene and/or Dzingel, including the New York Islanders, Nashville Predators, Vegas Golden Knights, Dallas Stars and Columbus Blue Jackets.
Citing league sources, TFP Editor-in-Chief David Pagnotta noted the Islanders have expressed serious interest in Duchene and have been engaged in discussions with the Senators about the possibility of acquiring him.
The NY Islanders are one of the several teams very interested in Ottawa’s Duchene, and have spoken with the Sens about a potential deal.— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) February 17, 2019
The Free Press believes the Senators “are likely” interested in Moose goaltender Eric Comrie, whom the Jets drafted in the second-round (59th overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft, as well as Jets defenceman Sami Niku.
The Jets are also willing to part with their first-round pick in a deal, and that appears to be a prerequisite for any package for Stone or Duchene.
The paper also notes the Senators may also watched Predators prospect Eeli Tolvanen, who played in Sunday’s AHL game with Milwaukee against the Moose. Tolvanen was drafted 30th overall by the Preds in 2017 and is being dangled as trade bait by Nashville.
Trade talks are expected to continue as the deadline quickly approaches. With the Senators now poised to move Duchene, and likely set to do the same with Dzingel, one last ditch effort to sign Stone to an extension will likely set the tone for the week’s dealings, league-wide.
Duchene, Dzingel and Stone remain in the top-10 of TFP’s Top 30 Trade Watch List.