As per a report by Chris Johnston of the TSN Insider Trading panel, the Senators have come to the realization that they might be starting the year without their star forward in Brady Tkachuk. Johnston notes that he gets the sense the two sides are not any closer to a deal and the Senators are ready to move forward without him.
Brady Tkachuk isn’t budging on his ask. While talk is he loves it in Ottawa and would like to stay, it is believed he wants a short-term deal instead of a long-term one, Meanwhile, the Senators want to lock him in for as long as possible and are really sticking to him signing either a seven or eight-year extension. An 8-year, $64 million deal is apparently on the table.
Johnston notes that the Senators are prepared to wait and don’t need to make other moves to become cap compliant. He says, “Team sources say they can reach the salary cap floor even without him under contract to start the year. So, the Senators aren’t feeling any pressure to get this deal done by Monday’s 5 p.m. EST deadline when all teams must be cap compliant.”
It’s not clear if this helps the Senators as they negotiate or if they’ve simply settled into the idea that this could take a while. Word was they’d hoped to get a deal done before the season began, limiting how much time the forward would miss. Then rumors swirled that team owner Eugene Melnyk was giving Tkachuk the silent treatment and not communicating with his star RFA, likely in the hopes that sent a message. Still, nothing is closer, according to multiple sources.
Fans Could Be Waiting a While
We’ll see how long all of this draws out. But, if the Senators are prepared to move forward and Tkahuck isn’t worried about a few hundred thousand dollars he might be missing out on, it could be some time before he’s back on the ice in a Senators’ uniform.
Head coach D.J. Smith said that he’d hoped this would have all been sorted out by now, but it is what it is and he’s preparing his lines as though Tkachuk won’t be a part of the roster. “We only have two exhibition games left so I’ve got to start preparing as though he’s not going to be here.” He added, “My job is to coach the guys that are here. When he gets here, I’ll coach him.”
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