Listen, we’re living in a weird time as Senators fans right now.
Since November 16th, Ottawa has a truly abhorrent record of 1-10-2, and I don’t think it’s an overstatement to say that this past month has been one of the biggest trainwrecks the organization has ever seen. Literally nothing is going well right now, and people are rightfully panicking.
To make matters worse, the Erik Karlsson trade rumours have already surfaced, and losing him would mean losing the heart and soul of the franchise for the second time in five years. Our pal NKB discussed why trading him would be a horrible idea, and I have to agree with him on all fronts.
It’s not just Karlsson that has been talked about in terms of rumours though. Mike Hoffman’s name has come up as well:
McKenzie: "I do think that they are looking at making some moves. Mike Hoffman's name, JG- Pageau's name have been mentioned."— Paul (@Sens_Army_) December 11, 2017
I know that Pierre Dorion is probably losing his mind right now and figures that he has to do something to fix this team, but let me say this: trading Hoffman would be one of the dumbest things he could do right now.
Would I like to see Dorion make some trades to make this team better? Of course. But moving Hoffman makes no sense for now or the future.
Essentially everyone on the team has being playing poorly for almost a month, so it’s not like anybody is safe from criticism. However, the core problem with this Senators team is their lack of good depth players behind their stars like Erik Karlsson, Mike Hoffman, Mark Stone, Matt Duchene, and Derick Brassard.
Trading Hoffman wouldn’t help the team at all in 99% of realistic trade scenarios.
Let’s say that he is moved for picks and/or prospects. At that point, Ottawa would be losing their second best forward for no current assets, which means they might as well trade Karlsson too because being competitive next year would be unlikely. And trading Karlsson shouldn’t be an option. Also, you ain’t getting a player like Hoffman in free agency this summer, sorry.
What about if they wanted to trade him for a similar type of forward? Unfortunately, there is no deal out there that exists. If a team wants Hoffman, they’re not going to give up one of their own 60-point snipers, so if Ottawa did get a winger in return, it would probably be someone more suited for the second line. And that just makes the Senators worse for literally no reason at all.
Then there’s a scenario which I have seen proposed online: trade Hoffman for a defenseman and Cody Ceci for a winger. The problem with that is, it’s highly unlikely that Ottawa would be able to acquire a defenseman that has an equal impact to what Hoffman does as a forward. Hoffman is a bonafide first line-winger, so Ottawa should get a top-pairing defenseman in return.
But those are incredibly hard to acquire, and again, if a team is trading for Hoffman to improve their team, they won’t want to decimate their top pairing. I have seen the Edmonton Oilers loosely connected to Hoffman, and ideally, Oscar Klefbom+ would be the ask from Ottawa. However, the Oilers would never do that, and would probably counter with someone like Darnell Nurse, who is a good enough second pairing player, but nothing spectacular.
I have extremely little faith in the Senators ability to evaluate defensemen, so I wouldn’t expect much at all in a hypothetical trade involving Hoffman. In addition, there is zero chance that Cody Ceci would get the Senators a first-line winger comparable to Hoffman in a trade. I still think he unbelievably has some value around the league, but again, the player acquired would most likely be a downgrade on what Hoffman is.
In essence, there is just no way that Pierre Dorion would win a Mike Hoffman trade, unless he somehow convinced Anaheim to give up Hampus Lindholm for some strange reason. It doesn’t help that the league probably knows Dorion is desperate, and making a move for the sake of making a move isn’t always a good decision.
Behind Hoffman on left-wing, there is only Ryan Dzingel, Zack Smith, and Tom Pyatt. That isn’t exactly a group that inspires much confidence. Although he hasn’t been producing much lately, nobody has been, and Hoffman is a major reason for the team’s success when they are winning.
Please, just don’t make any rash decisions Pierre, because you’ll end up looking like Peter Chiarelli trading Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle.