MONTREAL -- Pierre Dorion saw a familiar face at dinner.
Less than 24 hours later, the Senators general manager added a big piece to his young, skilled roster.
Chicago also gets the 39th pick this year and a third-round selection in 2024.
Dorion and Blackhawks GM Kyle Davidson were at the same restaurant Wednesday night in Montreal. The pair had discussed DeBrincat previously, but the Senators executive presented his Chicago counterpart several trade scenarios.
One finally stuck for an organization intent on transitioning out of its rebuild.
``It's way more fun adding than deleting,'' Dorion told reporters at the Bell Centre prior to Thursday's first round of the draft. ``We want to play meaningful games until the end of the year.
``(We're) one step closer to doing that.''
DeBrincat led the Blackhawks with 41 goals in 82 games last season, ranked second in team scoring with 78 points, and was named to the Central Division's all-star team.
The 24-year-old from Farmington Hills, Mich., was selected by the Blackhawks in the second-round (39th overall) at the 2016 NHL draft and joins a group in Ottawa led by the likes of Brady Tkachuk, Thomas Chabot and Tim Stutzle.
``Adding a player of this calibre, you have to pay a certain price,'' Dorion said. ``We felt it was a fair deal. Kyle Davidson was great to deal with. A lot of guys you deal with, you're not sure you're ever going to get to a deal.
``We got to a deal.''
DeBrincat posted 307 points (160 goals, 147 assists) in 368 career games with the Blackhawks. The forward added six points in nine post-season contests.
``Someone who's a consistent goal scorer, someone whose age fits in with a lot of our core, someone that is a competitor, someone who has a proven track record,'' Dorion said. ``We were looking for someone who could play in our top-6 (forward group).
``He's playing in our top-6.''
DeBrincat, who's entering the final season of a three-year, US$19.2-million contract, is set to become a restricted free agent next summer.
``We can we can control him for two years,'' Dorion said of the two-time 40-goal scorer. ``We would like to extend him at some point in time, but sometimes you gotta make sure the fit is all right.
``He was pretty excited. He knows we've got a really good young group of players.''
The Blackhawks, meanwhile, started a long-anticipated dismantling of their roster and gained payroll flexibility.
``It was an incredibly difficult decision to trade a player of Alex's calibre,'' Davidson said in a statement. ``We feel as if this move sets the Blackhawks up for future success by giving us additional flexibility and future talent.''
The trade comes with the Blackhawks having reached a crossroad in their franchise's direction. Chicago has missed the playoffs in four of the past five seasons, and hasn't won a post-season round since 2015 when the team won its third Stanley Cup in six years.
The DeBrincat deal will also create more questions for longtime Blackhawks stars Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.
``They're trying to do something that maybe we were trying to do a few years ago,'' Dorion said of Chicago's rebuild. ``Now we're trying to do something that a lot of teams are trying to do.
``And that's win a lot of hockey games.''
DeBrincat put up big numbers with the Ontario Hockey League's Erie Otters in junior, but the five-foot-seven American slipped in the 2016 draft because of his height.
He's put those concerns to rest and now heads to the nation's capital.
``We still feel that we need to add pieces to be the team that we desire to be,'' said Dorion, who has a total of nine picks at the draft. ``Whether it's going to be through free agency (or) through trades, that's something we'll look at. I don't think our roster is going to look exactly the way it finished.
``This was just one piece that we looked at.''