While the Ottawa Senators must await the return of center Matt Duchene from injury in about two weeks after they placed their star player on injured reserve Saturday. However, Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos said Saturday evening on Hockey Night in Canada that the team isn’t going to wait much longer on whether it can retain him.
According to Kypreos, the team intends to wait until after the holiday season and then ask him about what his true intentions are about re-signing with the club.
“They probably will pass through the holiday season, but in the new year I think they’re going to want a real hard decision on Duchene, on whether or not he wants to stay or go,” Kypreos said. “If he doesn’t, then there is no question that they’re going to need all the time it can to trade him.”
The Senators paid a king’s ransom for Duchene last season when they sent off Kyle Turris, prospect Shane Bowers, goaltender Andrew Hammond, a third-round pick and the team’s first-round pick in the 2019 draft, which should be a high lottery pick, depending on how the team fares this year. Although Duchene struggled early in Ottawa, he found his way finishing the season with 27 goals and 59 points. If the team opts to move him, they will want to get some of those assets back.
There is still hope in Ottawa that the Haliburton, Ont. native will choose to re-sign with the Senators. He is currently tied for 13th in NHL scoring with 12 goals and 22 points. There had been rumors just a few weeks ago that the two teams were discussing an extension, but Kypreos said little has come from that so far.
“I can tell you, no numbers were ever exchanged,” Kypreos said. “But that won’t keep the Ottawa Senators from asking eventually what his intentions are.”