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SNAPSHOT: Time is running out for Tkachuk talks with Senators


Senators general manager Pierre Dorion has kept in constant touch with Toronto-based Tkachuk agents Craig Oster and Don Meehan of Newport Sports.

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MONTREAL – All eyes are on Brady Tkachuk.


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A decision from the front Elias Pettersson and defender Quinn Hughes signing new deals with the Vancouver Canucks on Friday left Tkachuk, 22, the only restricted free agent unsigned and many National Hockey League members believe that if Tkachuk is to be ready to play on Oct. 14 of the season, he must sign soon.

general manager of the Senators Pierre Dorion kept in constant contact with Tkachuk agents in Toronto, CraigOster and Don Meehan from Newport Sports, so it’s pretty safe to say that the signings in Vancouver likely mean there has been more trading between the two sides.

Both would like this to happen as quickly as possible.

The gap is not large, the Senators have reportedly filed an eight-year contract worth $ 8 million per season, but TSN Pierre Le Brun said on Friday that there was still work to be done to secure a deal. He said the Tkachuk camp was looking north of $ 8.4 million per season on a long-term deal.


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The Senators believe they made a fair offer and showed Tkachuk what he means to the team. At this point, the two teams are at a stalemate, but it is in the best interests of both to try to come to an agreement early in the week to ensure Tkachuk can prepare for the regular season.

No one really knows what effect Petterson’s decision to sign a three-year transition contract with the Canucks at $ 7.35 million per season has on Ottawa’s talks with Tkachuk. Pettersson’s camp is believed to have started talks with Vancouver over a six-year deal and made Vancouver pay more to agree to a bridging deal.

Tkachuk was skating with Hughes and Pettersson in Ann Arbor, Michigan, so he likely got a glimpse of those negotiations. Earlier last week, it looked like talks with the Canucks were going nowhere, and then the two deals were done.


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Everything can change with just one phone call.

The Senators don’t have much of an interest in making a deal with Tkachuk because they want it here for the long haul. A lot of nights it’s the straw stirring the drink and they’re willing to pay it off accordingly, but there are other factors to consider as well, including contracts for other players down the road.

In order for the Senators to keep this team together, they’ll have to pay big salaries to people like Tim Stuetzle, Josh Norris and best prospect Jake sanderson. The Senators want to be in a place where they can find a way to get everyone in shape so they can compete for the long haul.


There was no shortage of debates on the center Shane Pinto, but it’s fair to say he will start the year in Ottawa.


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Will he stay all season? It is up to him, but after observing his efforts in the preseason, he certainly doesn’t feel like he’ll be spending time with the American Hockey League branch in Belleville. The 20-year-old, selected 32nd in the 2020 NHL Draft, has shown enormous maturity.

He played 12 games in the NHL last season.

“(Pinto) was once again very good (Friday), and he was probably as good as anyone throughout camp,” said Senators head coach DJ Smith. “He just keeps playing games. He’s playing so well in the middle of the ice, he’s got a solid stick and he’s good at faceoffs, plus he’s playing both on the power play and on the shorthand.

“We think we have a good player there.”

What Pinto is in a battle for is where he’s going to position himself. Josh Norris is the No.1 center, but behind him the jobs are wide open. Chris Tierney was given another opportunity in the No. 2 role on Saturday in Montreal, but Pinto has shown he is a guy who will push for ice time, while Colin White is also reliable.


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Alex Formenton (left) celebrates an overtime goal from Shane Pinto during the Senators' pre-season game against the Jets in Winnipeg on September 26.
Alex Formenton (left) celebrates an overtime goal from Shane Pinto during the Senators’ pre-season game against the Jets in WInnipeg on September 26. Photo by KEVIN KING /Postmedia


Alex Formenton is ready to take the next step.

The Senators will make more cuts on Sunday, but the quick winger is a guy who won’t be on the move.

And, as people watch Formenton’s speed and wonder, they can forget the fact that he’s as tough as nails and ready to go in dirty areas of the ice surface. Maybe it’s because he played for the London Knights organization in the Ontario Hockey League.

For Formenton’s first goal in Friday’s game against the Habs, he went in net. He also looked pretty good skating alongside Norris and Drake Batherson. If Tkachuk isn’t signed, you could see this trio start the season together.

“He just wants to be in the NHL, it’s that easy,” said Smith. “He spent two years with minors and he doesn’t want to go back. His ability, his skating, and now he seems to find a little touch. If he can give you that all through the regular season, it won’t happen every night, but if he can give you games like that, it’s definitely going to give you some depth.

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