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Golden Knights win Mark Stone trade derby as Senators clean house

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Golden Knights win Mark Stone trade derby as Senators clean house

The Vegas Golden Knights responded to division rival San Jose’s addition of Gustav Nyquist with their own skilled forward, winning the Mark Stone sweepstakes ahead of Monday’s 3 p.m. ET NHL trade deadline.

Stone confirmed the deal in an interview with TSN. TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported Stone has agreed to an eight-year, $76-million US deal with the Knights. According to Cap Friendly, Golden Knights had $3,745,968 in salary cap space before the Stone deal along with early draft picks and plenty of top-level prospects.

General manager George McPhee is said to have outbid no fewer than seven teams for the former Ottawa Senators’ star two-way winger. The Senators will apparently acquire highly touted Swedish defence prospect Erik Brannstrom, centre Oscar Lindberg and Dallas’ 2020 second-round draft pick. 

Stone, who amassed 28 goals and 62 points in 59 games this season with Ottawa, was eligible to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and was the last big trade piece for Senators GM Pierre Dorion, who moved fellow forwards Matt Duchene and Ryan Dzingel to Columbus in recent days.

Dorion needed to get something for his best player since Stone will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

The framework of a long-term contract reportedly was close in August when Ottawa signed the Winnipeg native to a one-year contract extension worth $7.35 million US to avoid salary arbitration. According to the Ottawa Sun, the Senators made an eight-year offer on Feb. 21.

Stone, in the midst of his second consecutive point-per-game season, will likely reach the 30-goal mark for the first time in his career.

The 26-year-old is a proven sniper with five straight 20-plus goal seasons but also considered the best defensive forward in the NHL.

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