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Stutzle on DeBrincat saga: 'If you don't want to be there, then good luck'

Kirk Irwin / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Ottawa Senators superstar Tim Stutzle made his stance on Alex DeBrincat's desire to leave Canada's capital crystal clear in a recent appearance on Sportsnet's "32 Thoughts" podcast.

"If he doesn’t want to be there, I don’t want to make him have to be there," Stutzle said. "You know, like, that’s fine to us. I think the whole group, we’ve been saying it, we want him to stay. We want him to be part of this group and he’s a great guy, great player.

"If you don't want to be there, then good luck on your way."

DeBrincat entered the offseason as a restricted free agent but was reportedly unwilling to sign an extension with the Senators. He was ultimately traded to the Detroit Red Wings and signed a four-year, $31.5-million contract.

The Senators acquired DeBrincat from the Chicago Blackhawks at the 2022 draft with one year remaining on his contract. His departure bucked a recent trend for the Senators, who have locked up all their core players to long-term contracts as they look to build a contending roster.

The most recent deal given out by general manager Pierre Dorion was for defenseman Jake Sanderson, who earned an eight-year, $64.4-million extension earlier this week. Stutzle signed an eight-year, $66.8-million deal last September.

Along with Sanderson and Stutzle, captain Brady Tkachuk, forwards Drake Batherson and Josh Norris, and blue-liner Thomas Chabot are under contract through at least 2027. The Senators are optimistic their young core can lead them to the playoffs for the first time since 2017.

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