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Staios shuts door on Tkachuk rumours: 'Could not be further from the truth'


Many options are on the table for the Ottawa Senators ahead of the trade deadline, but moving captain Brady Tkachuk is not one of them.

Senators president and general manager Steve Staios vehemently denied a social media rumour on Wednesday that he was considering trading the star forward.

"That could not be further from the truth," Staios told the Got Yer Back podcast with TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun and Ryan Rishaug. "I don't follow on social media, our communications people alert me to things like that. There's obviously no truth to that. We're building this team around Brady Tkachuk and the type of person and the type of player and the type of leader that he is. He means everything to the organization and he brings it every night along with our core group of players.

"It's a matter of time and it's a matter of nurturing this group. I think when I talk about bringing in veteran players, it's really to support this young group and to support Brady, and Tim [Stutzle] and the rest of the group. Claude Giroux's done a phenomenal job of that, but you could always use [more of] those guys. We're the fifth-youngest team in the league. Say we're three years younger than these Stanley Cup-contending types of teams, but it's three years younger across the board, so that adds up to a lot of years and a lot of games played.

"Certainly, Brady is the leader that we need in this room. He is everything as advertised and I'm just looking to do my best to support him."

Named captain of the Senators in November 2021, Tkachuk is signed through the 2027-28 season at a cap hit of $8.21 million. The 24-year-old forward leads the team with 26 goals and has 50 points in 57 games. He also has a team-high 104 penalty minutes this season. 

The Senators have failed to reach the postseason since selecting Tkachuk fourth overall in the 2018 draft and are on track to miss the playoffs again this spring.


Staios Addresses Chychrun Rumours

Staios is entering his first trade deadline with the Senators are first joining the organization in the fall as president, and adding the general manager title to his duties on Dec. 31.

Rumours have surrounded defenceman Jakob Chychrun’s future with the team ahead the deadline, despite then-Ottawa general manager Pierre Dorion acquiring him last March in exchange for three draft picks. 

Chychrun sounded off on the reports in an interview with The Athletic last month and Staios said that while teams are calling on the blueliner, it's "disappointing" word on that leaked.

"If I'm on the other side of things and looking at our team, he's a player that I'd be calling about as well," Staios said. "It is a bit disappointing... As a player you got to learn how to deal with this, just being an NHL player and the amount of attention, especially if you're an elite player like Jakob. Conversations happen all the time and names get bandied about all the time.

"Disappointing that it came out, I think that we do our best to keep these things in house out of respect for the players, in particular. But certainly it's that time of year so these things do happen."

Chychrun, signed through next season at a cap hit of $4.6 million, has nine goals and 30 points in 57 games this season. He sits third on the team in average ice time at 22:36 per game.


Tarasenko drawing interest

Staios confirmed Wednesday that pending unrestricted free agent Vladimir Tarasenko is also drawing trade interest, though he did not commit to moving the veteran forward.

"As you see where our team is in the standings, and you see an incredibly impactful player that's won a Stanley Cup, there's going to be a high level of interest for sure. He's rightfully negotiated a no-trade clause within his contract, and so there's a process there as far as working with a player if you are going to move them. But certainly there's a level of interest in these types of players that's very high at the trade deadline.

"I really like what Vladdy has brought to our  group. He comes in on a one-year deal and continues to prove his ability to play in big games and [bring] understated leadership as well. He plays the game the right way and I think he probably got type casted a little in his career as just being an offensive player, but he's certainly a well-rounded player for me."

The 32-year-old winger is currently listed at No. 7 on the TSN Trade Bait board. He has 15 goals and 38 points in 55 games with Ottawa this season. 

Bruce Garrioch of Postmedia reported over the weekend that the Senators are looking for "at least a second-round pick and a prospect" in return for Tarasenko, with the price potentially being higher if the team retains a portion of his $5 million cap hit.

Tarasenko is no stranger to deadline deals after being moved last year from the St. Louis Blues to the New York Rangers, eventually joining the Senators as an unrestricted free agent.