Senators plan to keep DeBrincat past trade deadline, could move others

The Ottawa Senators plan to keep scorer Alex DeBrincat but could be listening to offers on Nikita Zaitsev and Austin Watson heading toward the March trade deadline.

“The Senators have been asked, I believe, about Alex DeBrincat and they have indicated they’re not trading him at this deadline,” Elliotte Friedman said during the 32 Thoughts segment of Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday. “I think they want to wait until the new ownership is set up and kind of attack contract talks then, and see where it goes before they even think about exploring the market with him.”

DeBrincat, obtained by the Senators from the Blackhawks via trade over the summer for three draft picks, has 17 goals and 25 assists for 42 points in 51 games with the Senators this season.

Friedman added the Senators are listening to offers for one of their defencemen, however.

“There appears to be a path for a Nikita Zaitsev trade,” Friedman said. “I’m assuming West Coast, I don’t know that for certain, but I’ve heard some rumblings about it. But there does seem to be a path for Zaitsev to move.”

In 23 games this season, Zaitsev has four assists.

Jeff Marek, on the same 32 Thoughts segment, added that a certain tough guy could be available as well.

“For teams looking for some snarl, some toughness, some some bite down the stretch here before a trade deadline, I expect to hear the name Austin Watson out there a little bit more,” Marek said. Watson is a pending unrestricted free agent with his expiring deal worth $1.5 million AAV. “Look for his name to pop up and trade circles.”

The veteran Watson has four goals and two assists for six points in 48 games to go along with 56 minutes in penalties.


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