After several weeks of rumours and speculation around the league, the biggest name on the trade bait board is officially gone and off to his next team as Mark Stone has been traded from Ottawa to the Vegas Golden Knights.

It all started on Monday afternoon, just 15 minutes before the NHL Trade Deadline when Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic Toronto reported that the Senators and Golden Knights were putting the finishing touches on a Mark Stone trade together, meanwhile noting that while a trade was not yet done, it appeared Vegas would get Stone if a deal was approved and went through.

TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie was next, reporting that the Golden Knights were expected to receive Mark Stone from the Ottawa Senators before the 3:00pm deadline.

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Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet.ca was next to jump in on the fun, reporting that the trade call had been completed with the National Hockey League, sending Mark Stone from the Ottawa Senators to the Vegas Golden Knights.

TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger was next with additional details, reporting that amongst the return pieces involved, Vegas would be sending Erik Brannstrom to the Ottawa Senators.

Jesse Granger of The Athletic Las Vegas was next to confirm the deal, meanwhile noting that a contract extension wouldn’t be far behind for Mark Stone in Las Vegas.

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Elliotte Friedman then returned with more, reporting that Oscar Lindberg and a second-round pick would be joining Erik Brannstrom going to the Ottawa Senators from the Vegas Golden Knights.

Bob McKenzie would then confirm this, meanwhile noting that the second-round pick involved would be from the Dallas Stars and for the 2020 NHL Entry Draft.

TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger would be next to jump into the trade pool, confirming the report from McKenzie, meanwhile, complementing the job done by general manager Pierre Dorion and the Senators.

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Just a moment later, Dreger was back, reporting something similar to Jesse Granger, noting that an extension for Stone was highly likely to be put in place and completed on Monday.

McKenzie then re-entered the conversation, reporting that a contract extension was being worked on, also adding on that no conditional draft picks appeared to be involved in the deal between Ottawa and Las Vegas.

McKenzie would then follow that up, making mention of the fact that Mark Stone is eligible for an eight-year extension after Monday’s trade deadline, meanwhile, noting that expectations were for a tentative agreement of eight years with an AAV of $9M+ for Stone with the Vegas Golden Knights.

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Just a moment later, Pierre LeBrun noted from a conversation with Mark Stone on TSN that he had indeed agreed to terms on a contract extension with Vegas, meanwhile, re-iterating the details reported from McKenzie.

Pierre LeBrun then reported that he can’t officially sign his new contract until March 1st which was confirmed just a moment later by Bob McKenzie before adding on the terms of his new agreement.

McKenzie then reported that it was indeed an eight-year contract, meanwhile, making mention of the fact that Stone would receive an AAV of $9.5 million with the Vegas Golden Knights.

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In taking a look at Stone’s statistics for the 2018-19 regular season thus far, the 26-year-old native of Winnipeg, Manitoba has scored 28 goals and 34 assists, making for 62 points registered in 59 games played. He also adds 22 penalty minutes and a Plus/Minus rating of 13 to his resume.

As for the entirety of his NHL career as a whole, the right-handed right-winger has scored 123 goals to go alongside 188 assists, making for 311 points registered in a total of 366 games played. He also adds 115 penalty minutes and a Plus/Minus rating of 55 to his resume.

Stone was originally selected by the Ottawa Senators in the sixth round (178th overall) of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. Since then, he has seen time playing with the Brandon Wheat Kings of the WHL before eventually making his NHL debut towards the end of the 2012-2013 regular season.

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As for Erik Brannstrom’s numbers, the 19-year-old native of Eksjo, Sweden has scored seven goals and 21 assists, making for 28 points registered in 41 games played. He also adds 36 penalty minutes and and a Plus/Minus rating of 1 to his resume.

Other than a nine-game stint at the NHL level with the Golden Knights, Brannstrom has yet to appear in a full length of NHL games, but has spent the previous three seasons playing for HV71 Jonkoping of the Swedish Hockey League. In taking a look at the entirety of his SHL career as a whole, the left-handed defensemen has scored three goals to go alongside 18 assists, making for 21 points registered in a total of 82 games played. He also adds 22 penalty minutes and a Plus/Minus rating of 88 to his resume.

Brannstrom was originally selected by the Vegas Golden Knights in the first round (15th overall) of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. Since then, he has seen time playing with Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League before eventually making his NHL debut towards the end of the 2017-2018 regular season.

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In taking a look at Oscar Lindberg, the 27-year-old native of Skelleftea, Sweden has scored four goals and eight assists, making for 12 points registered in 35 games played. He also adds 24 penalty minutes and a Plus/Minus rating of 3 to his resume.

As for the entirety of his NHL career as a whole, the left-handed centreman has scored 34 goals to go alongside 37 assists, making for 71 points registered in a total of 232 games played. He also adds 135 penalty minutes and a Plus/Minus rating of 6 to his resume.

Lindberg was originally selected by the Arizona Coyotes in the second round (57th overall) of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. Since then, he has seen time playing with Skelleftea AIK of the Swedish Elite League before eventually making his NHL debut towards the end of the 2014-2015 regular season.

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With this deal now set in stone, the Vegas Golden Knights get the best player available on this year’s trade board, following in the dismissals of Matt Duchene and Ryan Dzingle, both dealt earlier this week to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Leading up to the deadline, the two sides tried to come to terms on a long-term deal, however, were unable to do which resulted in the team making him available to discuss with other teams in negotiations around the league. Stone is currently finishing up a one-year contract which he signed with Ottawa during the summer which carries a cap hit $7.35 million through the remainder of the regular season.

Stone, who was set to become an unrestricted free agent following the 2018-19 season, has long been viewed as of one of the game’s best two-way players, another positive he will bring to the Golden Knights when he arrives in Vegas on Tuesday morning. For the Senators, loosing Stone means parting ways with the final member of their top three scoring pair so far this season.

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With the addition of Mark Stone, the Vegas Golden Knights get an experienced winger who they can only hope will continue to produce at the pace he’s been going at as the team looks to clinch a spot for a second consecutive season in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Golden Knights currently sit in third place in the Pacific Division.

At this time, the Golden Knights sit well within range of claiming a wild card spot, sitting 13 points behind the San Jose Sharks and 16 behind the first place Calgary Flames.

In a statement from Golden Knights general manager George McPhee regarding Stone’s acquisition, he said, “A big trade for our organization. This type of player doesn’t become available very often, and by all accounts is the top player available at the deadline.”

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In speaking about the deal in greater length, McPhee would go on to say about the agreement, “He is the type of player you always look for and hope to be able to land. If you take a good look at this player he plays in every situation. He’s an all-around player. He plays power plays, penalty kills, OT, he’s big, he blocks shots, he scores goals. Our analytics department has him as one of our favourites.”

Following their 2-1 loss to the Calgary Flames on Sunday night, the Ottawa Senators return to action on Tuesday night at Capital One Arena as they pay a visit to the Washington Capitals at 7:00pmET. The game can be seen on RDS2 and TSN5, meanwhile, it can be heard on TSN Radio 1200 Ottawa.

Following their 6-3 loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Friday night, the Vegas Golden Knights return to action on Tuesday night at T-Mobile Arena as they play host to the Dallas Stars at 10:00pmET. The game can be seen on Sportsnet, AT&T SportsNet and Fox Sports Southwest, meanwhile, it can be heard on KTCK 1310 AM.

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