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Frank Seravalli

TSN Senior Hockey Reporter

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Tick tock.

With less than six weeks until the NHL’s trade deadline on Feb. 25, it’s time for Ottawa Senators GM Pierre Dorion to begin crafting his playbook.

This is where the rubber begins to meet the road for Matt Duchene and the Sens.

Dorion is scheduled to meet with Duchene’s agent, Pat Brisson of CAA Sports, on Wednesday afternoon in Los Angeles.

The understanding is that while there has been mutual interest on reaching a long-term contract extension, the two sides haven’t begun the process of exchanging financial terms yet.

The clock is ticking. Dorion needs an answer.

That’s why Duchene is the new No. 1 on TSN’s Trade Bait board. Aside from Artemi Panarin, the pending unrestricted free agent who is likely to remain in Columbus beyond the deadline, Duchene is arguably the most highly-skilled player who might be available.

The problem is he has the Senators in a predicament.

Thanks to the Nov. 2017 trade that brought Duchene to Ottawa, the Senators are in the rare situation of being at the bottom of the standings without their own first-round pick. And Duchene’s future in Ottawa is uncertain.

That puts Dorion in a position that he must recoup significant assets for Duchene should an extension not materialize.

Hence, Dorion’s meeting with Duchene’s camp on Wednesday. He needs an answer at a certain point to allow himself ample time to make a trade if need be. Negotiations can’t drag out until the 11th hour.

In other words, until pen meets paper on a Duchene extension, look for him to remain at No. 1 on the board in the run up to TradeCentre.

- The Toronto Maple Leafs are also staring down a decision. They want to add to a team facing its first real adversity of the season to solidify an already stout roster in the push for home ice in a seemingly inevitable first-round matchup with Boston.

The question is: What are the Maple Leafs willing to part with? As reported on Insider Trading, maligned defenceman Jake Gardiner is not expected to be made available.

Forwards Kasperi Kapanen and Andreas Johnsson check in at No. 22 and 23 on the Trade Bait board as likely trade chips. Certainly, the Leafs’ first-round pick could also be in play. So could Connor Brown or even blueline prospect Timothy Liljegren with the arrival of Rasmus Sandin.

With Kapanen’s emergence in a 15-goal campaign and Johnsson’s dependable play both coming in contract years, there will only be so much cash to go around next season when the cap crunch becomes real for Toronto.

- TSN Edmonton bureau reporter Ryan Rishaug reported on the Oilers’ full-court pressure to acquire help at forward. In exchange for a young forward – preferably with term on his contract – the Oilers are willing to part with their first-round pick, which debuts at No. 5 on the Trade Bait board.

Struggling forward Jesse Puljujarvi, 20, and pending free-agent goaltender Cam Talbot are also trade chips for the Oil. The trouble is in finding other potential items to use as bait on Edmonton’s roster and in their system.

Here is the latest TSN Trade Bait board with 45 players potentially on the move, a list which seeks to balance prominence of player with his probability for moving in the rankings:

 

Trade Bait

 
Player Pos Age GP G PTS Cap Hit Years
1. Matt Duchene, OTT C 27 38 20 45 $6M UFA
2. Wayne Simmonds, PHI RW 30 47 15 22 $3.98M UFA
3. Micheal Ferland, CAR LW 26 39 13 25 $1.75M UFA
4. Mats Zuccarello, NYR RW 31 33 7 21 $4.5M UFA
5. Oilers' 2019 1st-Rd Pick              
6. Sergei Bobrovsky, CBJ G 30 33 2.94 .903 $7.43M UFA
7. Dougie Hamilton, CAR RD 25 46 6 16 $5.75M 2
8. Gustav Nyquist, DET RW 29 48 11 40 $4.75M UFA
9. Jimmy Howard, DET G 34 32 2.71 .917 $5.3M UFA
10. Brayden Schenn, STL C 27 41 9 24 $5.13M 1
11. Jakub Silfverberg, ANA RW 28 42 12 19 $3.75M UFA
12. Derick Brassard, PIT C 31 37 8 14 $5M UFA
13. Charlie Coyle, MIN C 26 46 7 22 $3.2M 1
14. Kevin Hayes, NYR C 26 39 10 33 $5.18M UFA
15. Jesse Puljujarvi, EDM RW 20 36 4 7 $925K RFA
16. Cam Talbot, EDM G 31 26 3.17 .896 $4.17M UFA
17. Jake Muzzin, LAK LD 29 47 4 16 $4M 1
18. Colton Parayko, STL RD 25 45 8 12 $5.5M 3
19. Nick Bjugstad, FLA C/RW 26 29 4 10 $4.1M 2
20. Alex Edler, VAN LD 32 32 4 19 $5M UFA
21. Brett Pesce, CAR RD 23 37 3 10 $4.03M 5
22. Ryan Dzingel, OTT LW 26 44 19 35 $1.8M UFA
23. Kasperi Kapanen, TOR RW 22 45 15 28 $863K RFA
24. Andreas Johnsson, TOR LW 24 40 10 21 $788K RFA
25. Chris Kreider, NYR LW 27 45 21 33 $4.63M 1
26. Jeff Carter, LAK C 33 46 10 23 $5.27M 3
27. Nino Niederreiter, MIN RW 26 46 9 23 $5.25M 3
28. Cody Ceci, OTT RD 24 43 5 13 $4.3M RFA
29. Justin Faulk, CAR RD 26 46 3 17 $4.83M 1
30. Alex Steen, STL LW 34 32 6 15 $5.75M 2
31. Jay Bouwmeester, STL LD 35 41 2 10 $5.4M UFA
32. Alec Martinez, LAK RD 31 33 3 11 $4M 2
33. Patrick Maroon, STL LW 30 37 4 12 $1.75M UFA
35. Andre Burakovsky, WSH LW 23 40 5 9 $3M RFA
36. Marcus Johansson, NJD LW 28 34 6 15 $4.58M UFA
37. Jamie Oleksiak, PIT LD 26 36 4 11 $2.14M 2
37. Bogdan Kiselvich, FLA LD 28 31 0 8 $925K UFA
38. Niklas Kronwall, DET LD 38 44 2 13 $4.75M UFA
39. Carl Hagelin, LAK LW 30 26 1 5 $4M UFA
40. Vlad Namestnikov, NYR LW 25 42 4 16 $4M 1
41. Chris Tanev, VAN RD 29 42 2 10 $4.45M 1
42. Nathan Beaulieu, BUF LD 26 26 3 7 $2.4M RFA
43. Jeff Skinner, BUF LW 26 47 30 44 $5.73M UFA
44. Artemi Panarin, CBJ LW 27 44 18 52 $6M UFA
45. Mark Stone, OTT RW 26 47 21 49 $7.35M UFA
 

TRADED:

No. 13: Chris Wideman - Ottawa to Edmonton on Nov. 22
No. 14: Tanner Pearson - Los Angeles to Pittsburgh on Nov. 14
No. 27: Alex Petrovic - Florida to Edmonton on Dec. 29
No. 28: Brandon Manning - Chicago to Edmonton on Dec. 29
No. 35: Michael Del Zotto - Vancouver to Anaheim on Jan. 16
No. 36: Luke Schenn - Anaheim to Vancouver on Jan. 16