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Duchene content to let contract talks with Senators play out

Center can become unrestricted free agent July 1 @NHLdotcom

Matt Duchene, who can become an unrestricted free agent after this season, said he will let contract negotiations run their course with the Ottawa Senators before determining his next move.

Senators general manager Pierre Dorion and Pat Brisson, Duchene's agent, were expected to meet in Los Angeles on Wednesday, TSN reported.

"Honestly, I'm letting it just play out," the center said following the morning skate prior to scoring twice in a 5-2 win against the Colorado Avalanche at Canadian Tire Centre on Wednesday. "I don't know what's going to happen, I have no clue. This is still very early in the process. I think today is one of the first kind of talks, real talks, I think. I'm not sure. Honestly, my concern right now is just getting back in the lineup and playing well for the team here, and that stuff will fall where it does."


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Duchene, who turned 28 Wednesday, is in the final season of a five-year contract he signed with the Avalanche on July 18, 2013. He is Ottawa's second-leading scorer this season with 45 points (20 goals, 25 assists) in 38 games, four points behind forward Mark Stone.

Duchene, who returned to the lineup Wednesday after missing three games because of the birth of his son, is in his second season with the Senators after being acquired from the Avalanche as part of a three-way trade involving the Nashville Predators on Nov. 5, 2017. The No. 3 pick in the 2009 NHL Draft has 522 points (221 goals, 301 assists) in 692 games during 10 seasons with Colorado and Ottawa.

Video: What's in the Box: Matt Duchene

The Senators (18-24-5) are last in the Eastern Conference.

"I've got a lot of distractions right now, a lot of really good ones," Duchene said. "I haven't let that get to me all year, I haven't even really thought about it much. It's just been fun coming here every day. All I've said from Day One is it would be great if it works out. But again, it's a business and you never know what could happen. I'm waiting to see and waiting to make a decision when it's time. It's just not time yet.

"Until I have information and have a decision to make, I'm going to kind of leave it on the back burner." correspondent Callum Fraser contributed to this report

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