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Senators To Qualify DeBrincat, Even Without Long-Term Extension

The Ottawa Senators say they’ll qualify forward Alex DeBrincat, even if there is no long-term agreement in place.

Even if the two sides can’t come to an agreement that would keep the forward in Ottawa for a long time, Senators’ GM Pierre Dorion told media this week that the team’s plan is to qualify Alex DeBrincat. The cost to do so would be $9 million on a one-year deal, which seems expensive given his downward trend this season, but the Senators are not in a terrific position to gain leverage in negotiations, both based on the rights of the player and the unique position the team is in during a sale of the franchise to new ownership.

Dorion told TSN 1200 on Monday that the plan was to keep DeBrincat, even if the reality is he could walk after the season as an unrestricted free agent. The winger was acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for three draft picks during the 2022 NHL Draft last June and the plan was never to let him walk away from the club for nothing. That means, if DeBrincat is signed to a one-year deal and both sides can’t work out an extension, he could be traded ahead of next season’s deadline.

Alex DeBrincat Pierre Dorion Ottawa Senators
Alex DeBrincat Pierre Dorion Ottawa Senators

There are hints that the two sides will figure this out, but one has to assume if the Senators are looking at something long-term, they want him to sign for less than the $9 million qualifying offer he’s due should he choose to do the one year and see what happens. And, how the team fares next season could play a major factor in his motivation to stay. That includes both on the ice and off as the team comes under new ownership.

DeBrincat registered 27 goals and 66 points in 80 games this season, his first with the Senators.

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