The Boston Bruins are definitely still in talks with the Ottawa Senators regarding impending unrestricted free agent winger Mark Stone, but as David Pagnotta of the Fourth Period reported on the latest Bruins Beat, the asking price remained too high for B’s GM (and likely many interested GM’s), Don Sweeney. Two NHL sources told CLNSMedia.com Tuesday that in order for the Bruins to acquire Stone – who has 28 goals and 34 assists in 59 games this season – they would need to send a 2019 first-round pick, Jake DeBrusk, and then the likes of forwards Ryan Donato or Danton Heinen or Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson to Ottawa to get the highly coveted winger.
On Tuesday though, hall of fame and New York Post hockey scribe Larry Brooks tweeted that if the Senators were unable to sign Stone to an extension, then the Boston Bruins would be “all in on Stone”. TSN Insider Bob McKenzie then reported on “Insider Trading” Tuesday night that we should know within 48 hours if the Senators will be able to extend Stone, who is currently making 7.3 million on a one-year deal with Ottawa.
“Does the same fate away Mark Stone on Thursday?” McKenzie almost rhetorically said when asked if Stone would follow teammate and impending UFA Matt Duchene to the trade market and be a healthy scratch in the Sens’ next game like Duchene is expected to be.
“Too soon to say,” McKenzie went on. “We said it before and we’ll say it again, the next 24 to 48 hours is absolutely critical. Does Stone either sign or negotiate off whatever was presented to him by the Senators last week or does he say ‘thanks or no thanks’ and put himself in the same category as Duchene, the guy who is almost certainly going to be moved before the deadline. We should have clarity on that in the next day or two, and that’s obviously a big one. Because if Stone officially goes onto the market, he would move to No. 1 on the trade bait board, for sure.”
McKenzie is absolutely correct that Stone will be the big fish in the trade sea and the Bruins will most certainly still pursue him but not at that current ask. As TSN, RDS and The Athletic NHL Insider Pierre LeBrun told TSN 690 Tuesday, the main reason the Bruins aren’t willing to meet the aforementioned price Senators GM Pierre Dorion is asking for, is DeBrusk, who at 22 years of age and in his second season is already about to crack the 20-goal plateau after scoring 16 last season and then adding six more in 12 playoff games.
“No I don’t think Jake DeBrusk is available,” LeBrun said when asked by afternoon drive host Mitch Melnick.
LeBrun still believes that the Bruins will still be major players by the deadline. Citing Patrice Bergeron’s and Zdeno Chara’s Stanley Cup windows closing window closing he said: “I think they (Bruins) think they owe it to them.”
That’s the read here too. However, are they “all in” on Stone, if as expected, he hits the market? Not if it includes DeBrusk and also defenseman Charlie McAvoy, should he be included in any potential returns.