This a major issue for Ottawa right now. Duchene or Stone? Stone is 26-years-old, an elite scoring winger, perhaps not a franchise level talent but he ranks among the top-20 for players 26-years-old or younger. Duchene is 28-years-old and again an elite forward, can we say franchise talent, sure but he is 28-years-old now so I do not know if I am building a franchise around him right now.
Duchene has played 697 games in the NHL collecting a respectable 525 points (222G, 303A), a 0.75 point per game player in his career. Not too shabby. On the year he has 48 points in 41 games (21G, 27A), has recorded six 50+ point seasons in his career and is a player that skates extremely well, can score goals and play with just about anyone. He is playing Bobby Ryan and Ryan Dzingel and producing quite well.
Stone has played 359 NHL games recording a very respectable 300 career NHL points (117G, 183A), a 0.83 point per game player. On the year Stone has 51 points in 52 games (22G, 29A). Over his career he has recorded over 50 points every year he has been in the NHL despite 2012-13 when he played 4 games and 2013-14 when he played 19 games (in which he had 8 points). Stone is playing with two very young players this year Colin White and Brady Tkachuk and at almost a point per game (0.98).
In my opinion the Senators should move on from Matt Duchene for two reasons, for Duchene to stay they are going to need to over pay him a ton, he is going to ask for 10.5-11 million dollars a year and while Duchene is good he is not worth that money. Reason two, while he seems to be fitting in well with Ottawa right now, when he gets his contract, signs and gets comfortable there, he may not be the same player. Players always play well going into a contract year or on the verge of free agency. He is clearly not a great team/locker room guy with the incident in Ottawa this year in Colorado two years ago. I think Stone fits the Senators way better than Duchene, Stone was drafted in Ottawa has made a name for himself in Ottawa, has a history here, you know what you are going to get from him, his teammates love him and overall Stone just seems like a more secure and suitable option for Ottawa.
As well Stone will probably cost around 7.5-8.5, comparable to a Ryan O’Reilly player who is on a sheet of 7.5 million a year. Stone may cost a little more than O’Reilly per say just because Stone would be their guy and Ottawa is not in a great situation therefore throw him an extra 1-1.5 million a year just because it may not be too great for the first 3-4 years of his contract. Duchene is going to ask for 10+ million for five to six years, money wise, Stone will be cheaper and looking at their career numbers and what they bring to the table it is not like Duchene is head over heels a better player than Stone.
Keep Stone in Ottawa, get a ton of assets for Duchene and move on. With Duchene’s last statement regarding his contract extension talk.
“If I had a gut feeling I’d probably go with it right now but at this point we’re not at that point.” Duchene said after speaking about his contract extension.
This quote alone would make me want to not sign Duchene. What does this even mean? He is just delaying the inevitable of alluding to the fact that he is not going to re-sign in Ottawa. I feel as if Ottawa and Duchene’s agent are way off and it would make no sense to try and work out a deal when you can save the money and get a ton of assets for Duchene.