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Frank Seravalli

TSN Senior Hockey Reporter

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Mark Stone now stands alone as the most sought-after player ahead of TradeCentre 2019.

Stone leapfrogged Senators teammate Matt Duchene and Columbus’ Artemi Panarin into the No. 1 spot on the latest TSN Trade Bait board with news that he was scratched for Thursday night’s game in New Jersey with Ottawa opting to protect the trade asset.

Stone sitting out signals his apparent decision to forego a contract extension with the Senators in favour of testing the open market.

The Sens were believed to have made a significant contract offer in the last week that Stone had been mulling in the meantime. 

Now, Stone’s days in Canada’s capital are numbered – because GM Pierre Dorion will have no choice but to trade Stone, Duchene and likely winger Ryan Dzingel (No. 9), who all did not play on Thursday night to avoid injury.

Unlike uber-talented Blue Jackets winger Panarin, whom the Blue Jackets could keep as an own rental for the playoffs, the Senators are in 31st place and 20 points out of a playoff spot.

Also unlike Panarin, Stone has not closed the door on potential negotiation on a contract extension with an acquiring team, opening the field of teams willing to pay top dollar since he may not be solely a rental. Panarin is on-record as set on making it to the Free Agent Frenzy.

Stone, 26, is believed to be No. 1 on the wish list of his hometown Winnipeg Jets. Nonetheless, numerous teams will be lining up to acquire one of the rare wingers in the NHL who can drive play on his own. Stone is a complete, two-way player north of a point-per-game this season who will garner Selke Trophy votes.

As much as the Senators have made a push to keep Stone, Duchene and Dzingel, they may have hit the jackpot in terms of maximizing their potential return to jumpstart the rebuild.

Stone, Duchene and Dzingel are all having career years. Stone already has a career-best 28 goals and is two points away from matching his high of 64. Duchene is on track for a career-high 82 points. Dzingel has already set a new high of 44 points and is one away from matching his high-water mark in goals (23).

The downside is that the return for Duchene may be less than the king’s ransom Dorion paid in Nov. 2017 and the Sens will still need to ice a team next season.

Because by the time Monday night rolls around, Bobby Ryan, J-G Pageau, Zack Smith and Craig Anderson might be the only players left from their run to the Eastern Conference final just two years ago.

Former Senator Mike Hoffman, a Trade Bait staple, has been added to the board with news that the Panthers recently asked him for his no-trade list. He joined in the stead of Carl Hagelin, who was the 17th asset traded off the board on Thursday. The Devils also scratched Marcus Johansson (No. 14) and Ben Lovejoy (41) for Thursday night's game, essentially making it a preseason matchup.

Here is TSN Hockey’s latest Trade Bait board, which always seeks to blend a player’s prominence with his likelihood of a trade:

 

The Top 50

 
Trend Player Pos Age GP G PTS Cap Hit Years
Embedded Image 1. Mark Stone, OTT RW 26 59 28 62 $7.35M UFA
  2. Matt Duchene, OTT C 28 50 27 58 $6M UFA
  3. Artemi Panarin, CBJ LW 27 56 24 67 $6M UFA
  4. Wayne Simmonds, PHI RW 30 60 16 27 $3.98M UFA
  5. Jets' 1st-Round Pick              
  6. Kevin Hayes, NYR C 26 50 14 42 $5.18M UFA
  7. Mats Zuccarello, NYR RW 31 45 11 37 $4.5M UFA
  8. Gustav Nyquist, DET RW 29 60 15 48 $4.75M UFA
  9. Ryan Dzingel, OTT LW 26 57 22 44 $1.8M UFA
  10. Jimmy Howard, DET G 34 42 2.88 0.91 $5.3M UFA
  11. Nick Jensen, DET RD 28 60 2 15 $813K UFA
  12. Sergei Bobrovsky, CBJ G 30 43 2.89 0.904 $7.43M UFA
  13. Micheal Ferland, CAR LW 26 51 16 33 $1.75M UFA
  14. Marcus Johansson, NJD LW 28 48 12 27 $4.58M UFA
  15. Dougie Hamilton, CAR RD 25 60 10 24 $5.75M 2
  16. Jack Roslovic, WPG RW/C 22 59 7 17 $894K 1
  17. Alexander Wennberg, CBJ C 24 59 2 23 $4.9M 4
  18. Adam Henrique, ANA C 29 60 12 32 $5.83M 5
  19. Eeli Tolvanen, NSH RW 19 4 1 2 $894K 2
  20. Jonathan Huberdeau, FLA LW 25 58 15 56 $5.9M 4
  21. Artem Anisimov, CHI C 30 57 10 28 $4.55M 2
  22. Derick Brassard, FLA C 31 49 10 19 $5M UFA
  23. Cody Ceci, OTT RD 24 55 5 20 $4.3M RFA
  24. Jason Zucker, MIN LW 27 59 14 29 $5.5M 4
Embedded Image 25. Mike Hoffman, FLA RW 29 57 26 49 $5.19M 1
  26. Brett Pesce, CAR RD 23 51 5 15 $4.03M 5
  27. Luke Glendening, DET C 29 61 9 20 $1.8M 2
  28. Alex Chiasson, EDM RW 28 50 17 27 $650K UFA
  29. Andre Burakovsky, WSH LW 23 54 7 17 $3M RFA
  30. Brayden Schenn, STL C 27 50 11 39 $5.13M 1
  31. Eric Staal, MIN C 34 59 17 37 $3.5M UFA
  32. Justin Faulk, CAR RD 26 60 5 21 $4.83M 1
  33. Adam McQuaid, NYR RD 32 35 2 5 $2.75M UFA
  34. Jeff Carter, LAK C 33 53 10 25 $5.27M 3
  35. Chris Kreider, NYR LW 27 59 24 44 $4.63M 1
  36. Colton Parayko, STL RD 25 59 10 19 $5.5M 3
  37. Alex Steen, STL LW 34 43 6 19 $5.75M 2
  38. Patrik Nemeth, COL LD 27 52 1 5 $2.5M UFA
  39. Jay Bouwmeester, STL LD 35 55 2 12 $5.4M UFA
  40. Patrick Maroon, STL LW 30 51 4 16 $1.75M UFA
  41. Ben Lovejoy, NJD RD 34 51 2 7 $2.67M UFA
  42. Vlad Namestnikov, NYR LW 25 55 7 20 $4M 1
  43. Nikolay Goldobin, VAN LW 23 52 6 25 $863K RFA
  44. Jesse Puljujarvi, EDM RW 20 46 4 9 $925K RFA
  45. Mikkel Boedker, OTT LW 29 52 6 29 $4M 1
  46. Tobias Rieder, EDM LW 26 45 0 10 $2M RFA
  47. Sven Andrighetto, COL RW 25 42 4 9 $1.4M RFA
  48. Andreas Johnsson, TOR LW 24 52 15 31 $788K RFA
  49. Kasperi Kapanen, TOR RW 22 59 18 37 $863K RFA
  50. Jeff Skinner, BUF LW 26 59 36 54 $5.73M UFA
 

 

TRADED:

No. 5: Maple Leafs’ first-round pick - Toronto to Los Angeles on Jan. 28
No. 6: Cam Talbot - Edmonton to Philadelphia on Feb. 15
No. 8: Derick Brassard - Pittsburgh to Florida on Feb. 1
No. 9: Charlie Coyle - Minnesota to Boston on Feb. 20
No. 11: Brian Boyle - New Jersey to Nashville on Feb. 6
No. 13: Chris Wideman - Ottawa to Edmonton on Nov. 22
No. 14: Tanner Pearson - Los Angeles to Pittsburgh on Nov. 14
No. 17: Jake Muzzin - Los Angeles to Toronto on Jan. 28
No. 27: Alex Petrovic - Florida to Edmonton on Dec. 29
No. 27: Nino Niederreiter - Minnesota to Carolina on Jan. 17
No. 28: Nick Bjugstad - Florida to Pittsburgh on Feb. 1
No. 28: Brandon Manning - Chicago to Edmonton on Dec. 29
No. 35: Michael Del Zotto - Vancouver to Anaheim on Jan. 16
No. 35: Jamie Oleksiak - Pittsburgh to Dallas on Jan. 29
No. 36: Luke Schenn - Anaheim to Vancouver on Jan. 16
No. 39: Carl Hagelin - Los Angeles to Washington on Feb. 21  
No. 48: Dale Weise - Philadelphia to Montreal on Feb. 9

Contact Frank Seravalli on Twitter: @frank_seravalli​