February 19, 2019 | 1:05pm ET
BY DAVID PAGNOTTA, The Fourth Period



TORONTO, ON -- The Ottawa Senators have had an open dialogue with Matt Duchene and his agent about the centre’s future, which is almost certainly to involve a trade ahead of next Monday’s 3pm ET trade deadline.

An ongoing discussion between Duchene’s camp and Senators GM Pierre Dorion has laid out multiple trade scenarios, TFP has learned, and sources close to the situation have confirmed to me that Duchene is open to signing an extension with a new team.

Duchene, 28, is in the final-year of a five-year, $30 million contract and is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent July 1. Contract talks with the Senators have not led to an extension, though an eight-year deal worth just over $8 million per season was last presented.

It seems clear Duchene is not interested in going through a rebuild with the Senators, who have laid out their plans to retool over the next two seasons before entering a five-year window in which they plan to compete for the Stanley Cup and spend near the salary cap.

While Duchene is open to signing a new deal with whichever team he’s eventually traded to, there are no guarantees an extension gets ironed out before a trade is finalized – but it’s my understand he’s is open to multiple possibilities.

Acquiring Duchene and signing him to a long-term extension would certainly up his trade value, as I’m told teams like the New York Islanders, Nashville Predators, Columbus Blue Jackets and Montreal Canadiens have expressed interest in exactly that.

The Calgary Flames and Carolina Hurricanes are also believed to have interest in Duchene, who sits at No.2 on TFP’s Top 30 Trade Watch List.

Duchene’s agent, Pat Brisson, and Dorion have spoken every day for the last little while and that’s expected to remain the case until a trade gets ironed out.

The Senators next game is Thursday in New Jersey before heading home for Friday’s game against Columbus and Sunday against Calgary.


The next couple of days will give us a strong indication if Mark Stone is going to sign an extension with the Senators.

Dorion presented Stone with a big offer last week, but he has been doing his due diligence, working both ends of the spectrum in case Stone remains unconvinced of Ottawa’s long-term plan.

Winnipeg’s interest in Stone has been well documented, but they aren’t the only team in the hunt. The Vegas Golden Knights and Dallas Stars are two teams very interested in Stone and both teams have a strong history of trade discussion with Ottawa going back to their attempts to acquire Erik Karlsson.

There is familiarity in what both Vegas and Dallas are willing to part with, and Dorion has a good idea what he can pluck away from either team if a deal with the Jets isn’t as fruitful as he’d like.

Side note: I wonder if Stone will go Duchene’s route an open his mind to an extension with a new team post-trade.

The Flames and Boston Bruins have also had talks about Stone, though I’m not convinced the Bruins cough up Ottawa’s asking price – they may focus on Ryan Dzingel.

Speaking of Dzingel, whom I expect to be moved, as well, his $1.8 million salary cap hit makes him very attractive to teams like the Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning and San Jose Sharks, all of whom are looking for another scoring winger.

As for the rest of the Senators’ trade chips, well, take your pick: Cody Ceci, Zack Smith, Bobby Ryan, Magnus Paajarvi and Mikkel Boedker are all available.


With six days until this season’s NHL trade deadline, there are plenty of storylines to follow, such as…

  • The New York Rangers are going to be an interesting team to watch. Despite their last ditch efforts to sign Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello to extension – which I’m not entirely convinced they truly want to do – both players are expected to be dealt barring a significant change in contract talks. Add in teams (like Boston) still trying to pluck Chris Kreider away from the Blueshirts, defenceman Adam McQuaid and his low cap hit drawing much interest, and GM Jeff Gorton looking to shed himself of Brendan Smith’s contract, they’ll be interesting to watch over these next few days.

  • Anaheim is also an intriguing team to follow as the vultures have been circling for the last couple of weeks. They waived Patrick Eaves today and it sounds like GM/interim head coach Bob Murray is open to a multitude of possibilities – but if you want a player like Cam Fowler or Rickard Rakell, you’re going to have to back up the Brink’s truck. The Toronto Maple Leafs have kicked the tires (again) on Brandon Montour, while Jakob Silfverberg could be moved if he and the Ducks can’t hammer out an extension. Adam Henrique is also intriguing; he has a five-year extension that kicks in July 1 and comes with a 10-team no-trade list. Teams are interested, but will they pay up?

  • The Hurricanes are still trying to use one of Brett Pesce, Dougie Hamilton or Justin Faulk to land a top-six forward – winger or centre. I get the sense GM Don Waddell is doing what he can to make this happen by the deadline, but moving one of those blueliners for a top-six forward might not happen until the summer. Carolina isn’t really in the rental market, outside of possibly keeping Micheal Ferland, who truly hopes to stay in Raleigh, but if the prices drop I wonder if Waddell slides in.


David Pagnotta is the Editor-in-Chief of The Fourth Period.
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