Dorion: 'No chance' Senators trade pending RFA DeBrincat
General manager Pierre Dorion acknowledged the Ottawa Senators still haven't settled on their approach to the March 3 trade deadline but said there's "no chance" he will move pending restricted free-agent forward Alex DeBrincat.
"We'll just see where it goes at the end of the year, and if we sign a contract with him before then, we'll see what happens, but he's not getting traded," Dorion said during an appearance on TSN 1200 on Thursday.
"He works hard, he's talented, he does the right thing. ... We've been very happy (with) Alex's play."
Dorion opted not to spill details about any contract negotiations with the 25-year-old, who is playing out the final season of a three-year pact with a $6.4-million cap hit.
A two-time 41-goal scorer, DeBrincat has 18 tallies and 44 points through 53 games in Canada's capital. Ottawa pried him away from the rebuilding Chicago Blackhawks in July in exchange for the seventh and 39th overall picks in 2022, as well as a 2024 third-rounder.
Dorion added that the team's also unlikely to trade pending unrestricted free-agent defenseman Travis Hamonic, who Ottawa acquired from the Vancouver Canucks for a 2022 third-round pick last March. The 32-year-old has three goals and seven helpers in 53 contests this campaign while averaging 19 minutes of ice time per game.
The Senators currently sit seventh in the Atlantic Division and seven points out of the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. They have so far failed to live up to the hype following a flashy offseason that saw them add Cam Talbot, Claude Giroux, and DeBrincat.
"For us, obviously, our goal all year is to play meaningful games," Dorion said. "I think we're there. Right now, probably everyone is wondering, 'Are we a buyer, or are we a seller?' For us, let's see where these next seven games take us.
"We have a plan in place if we're gonna be a buyer, if we're gonna be a seller. We might be just standing pat. Also, we made a lot of moves in the summer to prepare to play meaningful games."
The Senators have gone 6-1-0 over their last seven contests. However, goaltender Anton Forsberg hasn't played since Feb. 11 and is expected to miss two-to-three months with knee injuries. Talbot hasn't played since Jan. 25 but is nearing a return from a lower-body injury.
Ottawa had to rely on the inexperienced duo of Mads Sogaard and Kevin Mandolese for its past two games. Sogaard held down the fort with a .919 save percentage in Monday's 4-3 overtime win over the Calgary Flames, while Mandolese dazzled in his NHL debut with a .958 clip during Tuesday's 3-2 shootout victory versus the New York Islanders.
The Senators will look to improve on their 26-24-3 record Friday against the struggling Blackhawks.