|2019 Season||July 1, 2019|
|2020 2nd Round Draft Pick|
The biggest fish in the market, Mark Stone... it sounded like the Senators were looking for something big for their big unrestricted free agent-to-be and as we drew closer and closer to the actual deadline, it was looking like the Senators were possibly going to hang on to him, hoping to re-sign him before the July 1st open market release. No, that wasn't the case at all, as the Vegas Golden Knights did come through with a striking offer, which included blue chip defenseman prospect Erik Brannstrom and a 2nd round pick in 2020, which was certainly enticing enough for the Sens brass to pull the trigger.
In Stone, the Golden Knights get another established scoring forward, which adds to a stable of fairly impressive forwards as it is, even if they took a while to get going this season. Stone's scoring rate makes him the top scoring forward on the team, not quite the best hockey pool scorer, still 10 points behind Marc-Andre Fleury, and he should provide a big boost to an already potent lineup.
The real kicker of it all was that Stone was looking for a long-term, big money deal as well, something that Ottawa wasn't going to give him, albeit they were going to give him the term, if they found a reasonable number. The Golden Knights stepped up and they have already agreed on an extension, in principle, for an 8-year deal, worth $9.5 million per season. The deal won't be made official for another week, but it's coming.
I'm sure the Senators were hoping for a 1st round pick in any deal that they would get for Stone, but the acquisition of a blue chip kid like Erik Brannstrom is just as sexy, if not more so. Brannstrom was a stand out at this past year's World Junior Championships for Sweden and has some striking similarities to a former Senators defenseman, which I dare not say his name here. So, in that, moulding him into something special would be in their best interest and shouldn't be overly difficult.
It's going to be interesting to see what Stone can do in Vegas and I'm sure Wes is chomping at the bit, now having to wait almost a week for one of his star forwards to even get back on the ice. That has definitely hurt his team's ability to put up points in the last week and a bit, I'm sure the trade chatter didn't help Stone's production when on the ice, so now that it's done, it will be a big relief and a huge excitement to head to the playoffs again. I'll call this a big gain for Wes' team, which opens play tonight in 5th place, only 3 points ahead of 6th and still 28 points behind 3rd.