Mark Stone, Senators head to arbitration $4 million apart

Watch as Erik Karlsson makes a great defensive play in the offensive zone and feeds Mark Stone for the tying goal.

The numbers are in for Ottawa Senators forward Mark Stone‘s impending arbitration hearing.

And they are something.

Stone, arguably Ottawa’s best forward, is asking for $9 million, while the Senators are countering at $5 million.

As Elliotte Friedman noted in a later tweet, the most an arbitrator has ever awarded was $7.5 million, to Shea Weber back in 2011.

The 26-year-old Stone led Ottawa in points this past season, finishing with 62 in just 58 games. It was the third time in the past four seasons that the Winnipeg native had cracked the 60-point mark, but the first time he’d averaged more than a point per game.

He’s not just a threat offensively, though. Stone has always been a positive possession player in his six years of NHL action, and is frequently among the league leaders in takeaways.

The sixth-round pick from 2010 has quietly developed into one of the NHL’s best two-way wingers, even if his $9-million asking price seems more than a bit lofty.

Only seven players had a cap hit of $9 million or more in 2017-18, according to CapFriendly, with Patrick Kane, Alex Ovechkin, and Jamie Benn being the only wingers.

Stone’s arbitration hearing is scheduled for Friday. Defenceman Cody Ceci‘s will happen on Wednesday.

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