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Dorion on RFA DeBrincat: ‘We’d like to sign him’

Alex DeBrincat Ottawa Senators Alex DeBrincat - Getty Images

For the Ottawa Senators this off-season, a new contract for forward Alex DeBrincat is a priority for general manager Pierre Dorion.

DeBrincat is a restricted free agent and is coming off a three-year, $19.2 million contract with a cap hit of $6.4 million. His qualifying offer is set at $9 million.

“Obviously as an organization when we traded for him we wanted to sign him to as much term as possible,” Dorion said in an interview on TSN 1200. “He wanted to feel his way out in Ottawa.

“We’ve had preliminary talks with Alex’s agent [Jeff Jackson]. “We’re waiting to see what transpires. First and foremost, we’d like to sign him. And if we can’t sign him, you know, he had 27 goals last year but I think if he plays with Josh [Norris] or Timmy [Stützle] I think he would get more and if you look at all the posts and crossbars he hit, even half of them or a quarter of them, he’s in the 30s.”

The Senators acquired DeBrincat from the Chicago Blackhawks on draft day last year in exchange for the seventh and 39th picks in the 2022 NHL Draft and a 2023 third-round pick. In his first season with Ottawa, DeBrincat had 27 goals and 66 points in 82 games.

As the Senators’ ownership situation remains ongoing, Dorion notes that they will be a cap team heading into the 2023-24 season and that all options are on the table when it comes to DeBrincat.

“There’s a situation where we sign him to a long-term deal,” said Dorion. “There’s a situation where we qualify him at $9 million next year on a one-year deal. There’s a situation where we see if we’re not making any progress, we’re going to do our due diligence.

“Because we’re going to be a cap team, so maybe we go to club elected arbitration and if they came to us and said they don’t want to sign here, there’s a situation where we might have to trade him and see what’s out there on that market.

“Obviously we’d love to sign him first but I think we have to look at every option. If they come back and they want a number that doesn’t work for us, we’re going to have to look at other options too with Alex.”

The Farmington Hills, Mich., product has 187 goals and 373 points in 450 career NHL games and has scored 40-plus goals twice in his NHL career.

The Senators missed the playoffs for the sixth consecutive season, finishing six points shy of the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference with a 39-35-8 record.