Let's get the stuff we already know out the way:
1. The Ottawa Senators are ready to go in sellout mode, with many players hitting the trade block ahead of the Feb. 26 deadline.
2. The Pittsburgh Penguins are looking to win a third straight championship and might start loading up again with six days to go to do so.
3. Both teams are facing up tonight in Pittsburgh.
The stage is set.
While NHL insider Pierre LeBrun has reported Monday that the Senators have set a high price on centre Derick Brassard, Bruce Garrioch of The Ottawa Sun believes the Pens are a front-runner for the veteran forward.
The price for Brassard is expected to be a first-round pick, a top prospect and a third piece, as reported by LeBrun, and Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford might not be willing to give that much in return.
As both Rutherford and Sens GM Pierre Dorion sit together tonight to watch their teams play, an agreement could be made as they look to settle down the middle. However, Rutherford could face some competition on the market as Brassard has been gathering the attention of several other teams, notably one of his former clubs the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Senators are also receiving calls on Mike Hoffman, Zack Smith, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Cody Ceci and Dion Phaneuf.
As for Brassard, he does not seem worried about the ongoing trade chatter as he prepares to facer the defending champions tonight.
“I’ve gotten traded two times now. It’s part of the game,” Brassard told The Ottawa Sun. “Everybody has different situations with their contracts. Players are leaving everywhere and it’s pretty hard to keep the same core together. Whatever is going to happen on (Feb. 26th) is going to happen and you can’t really control anything.
"I’m not reading the paper or anything. Everyone has social media as soon as one guy knows, I think it’s everywhere. You can’t control anything you just have to play and try to do your best. We’ll see what’s going to happen.”
The question is : Will it happen tonight?