Mark Stone avoided arbitration with the Ottawa Senators on Friday, signing a one-year, $7.35 million contract that is the highest on the team.
The 26-year-old had reportedly asked for $9 million, while the team countered at $5 million.
Stone had 20 goals and a career-high 42 assists in only 58 games last season, his sixth with the team after being selected by Ottawa in the sixth round of the 2010 draft. He has surpassed 20 goals in four straight seasons.
Pen to paper and is official:
The one-year contract for #Sens Mark Stone carries a value of $7.35 million
Le contrat d’un an pour Mark Stone est d’une valeur de 7,35 millions $ pic.twitter.com/JdnQclEbvm
— Sens communications (@Media_Sens) August 3, 2018
Stone’s cap hit is bigger than that of Bobby Ryan ($7.25 million), Erik Karlsson ($6.5 million) and Matt Duchene ($6 million).
Stone, Karlsson and Duchene are all slated to become unrestricted free agents next summer.
After coming within one overtime game of reaching the Stanley Cup Final in 2016-17, the Senators were one of the worst teams in the league last year, leading to speculation that they could start a rebuild by trading Karlsson — their franchise defenseman. One scenario has the Sens packaging him with Ryan’s contract, which runs through 2021-22.
Mike Hoffman, whose girlfriend has been embroiled in a social media scandal involving Karlsson’s wife, was already traded to Florida this offseason.