NHL Rumors: Senators Focused On Extending Star Forward Over Defenceman

The Ottawa Senators have some work to do before next season if they want to keep a couple of their key players around. Elliotte Friedman suggests that the team may want to see what it takes to re-sign Alex DeBrincat before focusing on Artem Zub.

By doing this and putting their efforts towards Debrincat, it will shorten the window they have to negotiate with Zub and possibly force him out of town. DeBrincat is of course the more important player as the Senators gave up a lot to get him this past offseason while Zub has still been an underrated part of their defence for a few seasons now.

The Senators will be freeing up a bit of cap space next season with players like Travis Hamonic's $3 million contract coming off the books. DeBrincat may be tougher to negotiate with since he will want at least as much money as each of the other young members of the team who have already signed long-term deals. He will also have not been able to choose the team he plays for yet and may have a want to test free agency at one point.

Zub will definitely want a pay raise from the $2.5 million he's earning right now, and he deserves it. But the Senators will be tight on cap space very quickly with a number of buyouts and retained salaries piled up for a couple final seasons. The Senators will try and re-sign both, but contract talks may come late with Zub.

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