After some perceived momentum and optimism that GM Lou Lamoriello and the New York Islanders were real players for Ottawa Senators star winger Alex DeBrincat in the days after free agency opened on July 1st, those hopes have tempered considerably in recent days.
While a report from SportsNet's Jeff Marek last week said it was down to the Islanders and Red Wings to land the two-time 40-goal scorer, Detroit has always been perceived as the preferred destination for DeBrincat, who is from Farmington Hills, Mich. Among the complications is that for Sens GM Pierre Dorion to get back fair value for a player, he traded a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd round pick for last July, an extension has to be worked out.
On Friday, Kevin Allen, a national columnist forHockeyBuzz and current Red Wings beat writer for DetroitHockeyNow, was a guest on the Michigan-based "X's and Bro's" podcast and said that he believes there is already a deal in place between the Sens and Red Wings, but GM Steve Yzerman is unwilling to match the term DeBrincat's representation is seeking.
"I think actually there is a deal in place; what's holding up now is that Yzerman and DeBrincat's camp can't agree on a contract, said Allen, who covered the NHL for over 30 years with USA Today. "They're not going to pay him more than Dylan Larkin. I'm confident on that, and they don't want to give him eight years. If you look at Yzerman's history, he fought even Larkin on eight years."
Allen added that he feels that Detroit wants to hand DeBrincat a contract no longer than five years and around time $7.5M AAV. That's far below the reported max eight-year extension that resembles Timo Meier-type contract he received from the New Jersey Devils earlier this off-season.
For Allen's full comments and context on DeBrincat, the segment starts at 38:30 mark: