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Reports: Former Blackhawk Alex DeBrincat on the Trade Block

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Alex DeBrincat may be on the move again, adding an interesting wrinkle to a trade that shook the 2022 NHL Draft and Chicago Blackhawks fans. Sportsnet Insider Elliotte Friedman reports that the Senators are “examining the trade market” as it appears an impasse has happened for the 25-year-old winger and the Senators.

This also brings up a couple interesting points: what would a team give up for him, and would the Blackhawks be interested?

Blackhawks Reunion Doesn’t Fit the Timeline

General manager Kyle Davidson gave up a two-time,  40-goal scorer for a first, second, and third round pick. Many fans and pundits howled at the return, thinking it should have been far more.

Now he looks pretty damn smart. Davidson used the first to take Kevin Korchinski  and spent the second round pick on center Paul Ludwinski. The third rounder is in next year’s draft.

But before fans wonder if a reunion is possible, it doesn’t seem reasonable that he would take him back, unless the return is minimal and he likely signs a longer term deal that keeps his costs down.

DeBrincat’s numbers took a hit, though he still had 66 points, 26 of them being goals. But this comes off of a 41-goal season, which marked the second of his career. Though signing him would easily move them toward the salary cap floor, it doesn’t seem to be Davidson’s M.O. to reacquire a player he just dealt away less than a year ago.

Stan Bowman? Oh God yes, it would be his bread and butter. But Davidson has already said there will be no reunion with Patrick Kane and shut the door on a Jonathan Toews extension.

It doesn’t seem likely he’ll be back.

So Where Could Ottawa Send Alex DeBrincat?

Simple–a contender. There are chunks of teams looking for bonafide scorers and Ottawa could look pretty close–Detroit. It works on several levels. One, DeBrincat is a Michigan kid and grew up a Red Wings fan. Two, Detroit desperately needs goal scorers and DeBrincat fits the bill. They also have the cap space and intriguing prospects to send along.

At the same time, they’re a divisional rival and it seems hard to believe that Ottawa would want to see DeBrincat have another 40+ goal season right on their front doorstep.

Another intriguing option could be Pittsburgh, who may do some wheeling and dealing trying to keep the contender window alive with an aging core. A younger DeBrincat helps supplant things, and being on a line with either Evgeni Malkin or Sidney Crosby would certainly make for an easy transition.

Ultimately, the deal made will be what Ottawa can get for him given the circumstances of being a restricted free agent. Yes, he will still be under team control, but it will come at a price. Beyond that, what could they reasonably get knowing that their leverage isn’t as strong as it could be.

It’s certainly something to watch over the next few weeks.

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