Senators winger Alex DeBrincat has had a very strong month of December with 18 points in 13 games heading into today’s action. When they acquired him at the draft, he was viewed as someone that they likely felt was a long-term piece of the puzzle. However, Postmedia’s Ken Warren suggests a long-term agreement for the pending RFA might not be a slam dunk. With the ownership situation not settled, do the Sens have a firm commitment that they’ll be able to spend right to the Upper Limit next season? With the team struggling, do they want GM Pierre Dorion working out another long-term contract for a forward, one that would limit their flexibility? A new deal for the 25-year-old probably pushes Ottawa into a situation where their top six forwards will account for more than 50% of the cap next season. Would they be better off spending that money to upgrade the back end for a more well-rounded roster?
Accordingly, Warren wonders if there’s a scenario in which Ottawa trades DeBrincat at the trade deadline. If they’re out of the mix and DeBrincat isn’t overly open to a long-term agreement, it’s possible that the smarter long-term play would be to move him. It’d be a notable step back for the Senators at least in the short term but if they’re still out of the playoff picture in a couple of months, it’s one that might get considered if there’s no extension in place by then.
More from the Atlantic:
- Lightning prospect Cameron MacDonald is on the move in the QMJHL as Saint John announced that they’ve moved the forward to Gatineau for a pair of draft picks. The 19-year-old was a fifth-round pick by Tampa Bay back in 2021 (160th overall) and is averaging more than a point per game this season with 16 goals and 13 assists in 27 contests. In order for the Lightning to retain his NHL rights, they’ll have to sign MacDonald by June 1st and how he fares down the stretch with the Olympiques will go a long way toward determining if he’s worthy of an entry-level deal.
- Canadiens prospect Oliver Kapanen has signed a one-year extension with KalPa through the 2023-24 season, the Finnish team announced. The 19-year-old was a second-round pick by Montreal in 2021 (64th overall) and has seven goals and seven assists in 32 SM-liiga games this season. He’s currently playing for Finland at the World Juniors where he has two points in three games so far.