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Brady Tkachuk is in Show Me State waiting for a deal to be made

Brady Tkachuk is in Show Me State waiting for a deal to be made

The senators and representatives of the free-agent winger continue to negotiate a new contract.

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Brady Tkachuk was on the ice Thursday morning, but not at the Canadian Tire Center.

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And it’s someone who’s guessing when it’s going to happen.

While most of his Ottawa Senators teammates are in town to prepare for the opening of training camp next Wednesday at the Canadian Tire Center, Tkachuk celebrated his 22nd birthday more than 1,600 miles away at Show Me State by taking a spin during a pre-season skate and St. Louis with Blues strikers Robert Thomas and Vladimir Tarasenko.

A restricted free agent, Tkachuk, who has not yet accepted an agreement, was also accompanied by Belleville Senators forward Logan Brown, who also has not yet accepted a new deal with Ottawa. Both make their home in St. The Louis area, and at this point the senators are hopeful that both will be in training camp, with the first on-ice session set for next Thursday.

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Although there was plenty of talk, Tkachuk could sign an extended extension on his birthday after TSN play-by-play commentator Gord Miller told TSN 690 in Montreal on Wednesday afternoon that he felt a deal could be “made quickly”. nothing materialized Thursday, and when the two sides will get an extension in place remains unknown.

Miller also told the radio station that he believed the deal would be long-term.

Speculation that Tkachuk would be signed reached a feverish pitch after it was reported that Senator owner Eugene Melnyk was on his way to town. Everything can change with a phone call, but Melnyk arrives Friday to spend some time with people in the organization, and he wants to be ready Saturday to watch the senators’ rookies meet the Montreal Canadiens rookies in a game starting at 6 p.m.

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It will also be the first time since March 2020 that senators will be able to have fans in the building, and it will be used as a dry run to assess the health and safety measures that have been put in place. Yes, there is a limit of only 1,000 spectators, but this is a good opportunity to make sure the club is ready for its first National Hockey League game before the season on September 29 against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The belief is that the senators entered into an eight-year deal worth $ 8 million per year. Season for Tkachuk, which would be the same salary as top defender Thomas Chabot makes. If he has signed a long contract, it is expected that Tkachuk will be appointed captain of the Senators.

Senator General Manager Pierre Dorion has been in constant contact with Tkachuk’s Toronto-based agents, Craig Oster and Don Meehan, for the past six weeks. It is believed that the two sides have exchanged numbers and continued to focus on trying to get a long-term deal in place.

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Senators see Tkachuk as a big part of their core for the future, which also includes Chabot and strikers Colin White and Drake Batherson. The latter signed a $ 29.85 million six-year deal with the Senators earlier this month, but along the way the club will also have to negotiate with people like center Josh Norris and winger Tim Stuetzle.

Ideally, both sides would like to get it done in time, so Tkachuk signs up for camp, and let’s be honest, the first pressure point only reaches Monday. We have said this before, and we repeat it again: it may require patience if the two sides are unable to get a long-term agreement in place because they are likely to fall back on the possibility of a three-year bridge agreement.

If Tkachuk signs a bridge deal, it is unlikely he would be named the eighth captain in franchise history. The club would probably go with Chabot,

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At this point, all options remain on the table.

Of course, Senators head coach DJ Smith and his staff want to know which way these conversations will go because they are trying to put together the roster for the camp and make line combinations. If Tkachuk is not here, then who’s skating in his place on the top line with Norris and Batherson? A quick look at the depth map suggests that it will be either Stuetzle or Nick Paul.

The senators would still like to add one or more forwards to the mix before the camp. This can be in the form of either a trade, a free agent signature or bringing someone on a professional test.

Brown has not yet signed his qualifying offer, but the belief is that he can do it and get to camp because he has no leverage if he wants to play in the NHL. He remains hopeful the senators will swap him before the camp, but Dorion’s demand has not yet been met.

The question is that Brown, 23, and the Senators’ No. 11 overall election in the 2016 draft is a declining asset. He has not been able to stay healthy, and teams also know he will have to undergo exemptions if he does not come up with the senator list at the end of the camp.

Senators expect him to be here when players report to the doctor on Wednesday. His Toronto-based agent, Jeff Jackson, did not return text messages or emails asking if Brown’s status is for the camp. There has been talk that he might sign in Europe, but that possibility is probably off the table.

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