When the Ottawa Senators traded the seventh-overall pick at the 2021 draft along with two other picks to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for Alex DeBrincat, many assumed that the Senators were making the trade with the idea of signing DeBrincat to a long-term extension. While that’s definitely Ottawa’s preferred option with their new winger, it seems DeBrincat hasn’t made a firm choice on whether to commit to the Senators long-term just yet.
As reported by Ian Mendes of the Athletic, DeBrincat “isn’t ready” to sign a long-term deal in Ottawa at this point, although he did say that he’s “open” to the possibility of it. (subscription link) DeBrincat will be eligible to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2024, and without a long-term deal in place DeBrincat could accept a $9M minimum qualifying offer this summer, which would take him right to free agency. DeBrincat, who scored 78 points this season, is an extremely talented offensive player and someone who the Senators undoubtedly want to be a cornerstone member of their club. With this development in mind, it will be important to monitor how well DeBrincat fits in his new surroundings in Ottawa because that fit could determine if the Senators get their wish, which is DeBrincat’s signature on a long-term deal.
Now, for some other notes from across the NHL’s Eastern Conference: