The Alex DeBrincat case has been talking in Ottawa for a few days.
This Senators forward acquired at a high price last summer could leave the federal capital after only one season.
DeBrincat will be eligible for limited freelance starting July 1, but since his base salary was $9 million and winter, the Senators would have to offer him the same amount to retain him for another year, before full freelance at from 2024.
The two clans can also negotiate a long-term agreement, but he would not be inclined to do so, according to colleague Bruce Garrioch, of the daily Ottawa Sun.
“If he wants to sign a long-term contract, we should come to an agreement as we have always done with the players who want to stay here,” general manager Pierre Dorion said during his review on Tuesday. When they don’t want it, we move on, we explore the possibility of an exchange. »
By acquiring DeBrincat, Dorion wanted to speed up the reconstruction process. With the imminent arrival of new owners, one could understand the position of the GM of the Senators. The new boss is always more impressed by participating in the playoffs as the sale of the club approaches than after six consecutive exclusions.
The bet did not work. DeBrincat has scored 27 goals, down 14 from the previous season, and his -31 record doesn’t say it all, but it does show some vulnerability at even numbers.
The trade is not a disaster, even if DeBrincat refused to sign a contract for more than a year (he will express his intentions by the draft in June, it seems), but Dorion will not recover the same value.
Ottawa traded the Chicago Blackhawks the seventh overall pick in 2022 for DeBrincat, as well as their early second-round pick, 39th overall, seven spots after the last first-round pick. Chicago was also given a third-round pick in 2024.
The Hawks drafted left-handed defenseman Kevin Korchinski with the first-round pick. The still 18-year-old had 73 points in 54 games in Seattle and even made it to the World Junior Championship with Team Canada despite his young age (the majority of players are 19).
Center Marco Kasper, recently recalled by the Detroit Red Wings, defenseman Pavel Mintyukov, 88 points in 69 games for Ottawa and Saginaw, and Swedes Noah Östlund, Liam Öhgren and Jonathan Lekkerimäki, among others, were still available.
We’ll see if Chicago made the right decision to pick 39th-ranked center Paul Ludwinski ahead of defensemen Tristan Luneau and Lane Hutson.
Ottawa will not get the same price. Dorion paid such a sum for a 41-goal scorer that didn’t seem to be on the trade market. If DeBrincat wants to leave, Ottawa will try to trade a 27-goal counter with a year of full autonomy and whose salary will occupy 9 million on the payroll of his new team. Unless you negotiate a deal with him.
But Dorion will certainly not have the big end of the stick in the negotiations and will have to find a club with enough wage room to accommodate him.
DeBrincat, on the other hand, doesn’t have to make a long-term deal with anyone before he achieves full self-reliance. He can sort of pick his destination since very few clubs will want to pay the moon for a single year of service.
Unless you come across a Stanley Cup-aspiring club interested in a one-season rental player, but the Senators’ hoped-for first-round pick could be out of the lead.
A general manager in a more stable position, a Steve Yzerman in Detroit, Kent Hughes in Montreal, Kevyn Adams in Buffalo, might not have taken Dorion’s bet.
But with instability at the top in Ottawa, Dorion acted intelligently under the circumstances. The interests of the team may not be maximized, given the outcome of the situation, but the future of the organization is still bright, as he says himself.
The Oilers were leading the Kings 3-1 with just over eight minutes left in the third period on Monday night when it all came crashing down. Los Angeles equalized with 17 seconds left in the third and scored the winning goal in extra time less than ten minutes later.
Good old Anze Kopitar, 35, eclipsed Connor McDavid with four points, an all-goal assist. McDavid was cleared for a rare time. Philip Danault, the shadow of the Oilers captain, played 24: 29, a peak among Kings forwards.
McDavid will probably bounce back from Game 2, but it will take a better performance from rookie goaltender Stuart Skinner, in his first playoff appearance.