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Stone wants to be part of Senators' long-term solution

Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photo / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Mark Stone wants to help turn things around in Ottawa.

The Senators winger is set to become a restricted free agent at the end of what's shaping up to be a disappointing 2017-18 campaign for the club, and while he has yet to discuss a new deal with management, he expects to come to an agreement in good time.

"As a restricted free agent, you kind of know you’re going to be back, so I’m not worried about it right now," Stone told Postmedia's Bruce Garrioch. "I just want to get healthy right now and then try to finish out this season by playing as hard as I can, win as many hockey games as we can, and then the rest will take care of itself."

Stone is currently on the shelf with a leg injury, and he's looking to finish strong with one eye already on next season.

"We kind of got a taste of how good this group can be last year, so, when you have years like this, for me personally, and I can’t speak for everybody, I’ll be excited to get back to work on Sept. 1 when this season ends. I just hope I’ll be part of the solution and not part of the problem."

Stone has recorded 18 goals and 26 assists in 44 games this season. He's emerged as one of the team's most important players and clearly wants to be part of the Senators' future.

"Most players want to (sign long term). I don’t think players come into a season trying to move on from things like this," he said. "There’s going to be change, and you never know … I could be one of those guys being changed."

Stone currently carries a cap hit of $3.5 million and is line for a healthy raise on his next deal.

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