Photo: Charles LeClaire - USA TODAY Sports

Senators likely to trade Duchene before NHL Trade Deadline

Matt Duchene is set to become a free agent this summer

February 18, 2019 - 10:27 am

It's starting to look more likely than not that the Ottawa Senators are going to make some major roster shake ups ahead of the NHL Trade Deadline on February 25.

According to TSN's Darren Dreger, the Senators are planning to move on from center Matt Duchene, barring any last-minute changes.

The Senators have tried to work out a contract extension with Duchene, who is a pending unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos reported a while back that the Senators offered Duchene an eight-year contract extension with an average annual value at $8 million per-year. It's worth noting that when Duchene hits the open market, no other team can offer him the eighth year on a contract.

With contract talks appearing to be falling through, the interest in Duchene is likely in increase with one week to go until the 3 p.m. EST deadline.

To add on to Dreger's report, his colleague at TSN, Pierre LeBrun said that several teams have already shown interest in Duchene, and that list of teams could increase.

Duchene is having a good season in Ottawa with 56 points through 49 games on the worst team in the league. The Senators currently sit in 31st place in the NHL with 49 points in 58 games.

Ottawa is sitting in a very difficult spot as they don't have their own first round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. The Senators traded their 2019 first round pick to the Colorado Avalanche last season when they acquired Duchene.

The rebuilding Senators really have no other choice but to sell their pending unrestricted free agents in Duchene, Mark Stone, and Ryan Dzingel if they can't work out a contract extension. Yes, they don't have their first round pick and trading those three players will, in theory, make them worse. However, this Senators team isn't in the position to lose these players for nothing, and they have to get assets for them and continue to build for the future.

We'll have complete coverage of the NHL Trade Deadline next Monday on WGR from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Coverage on the NHL Trade Deadline on WGR is presented by The Ideal You Weight Loss Center.

Comments ()