When the Ottawa Senators’ season started going south back in November, the first name to really circle in trade rumours was Mike Hoffman. However, once he found chemistry with Matt Duchene (and once Erik Karlsson’s name hit the rumour mill), the rumours subsided. All that’s over now, because Darren Dreger is reporting that he expects Hoffman to be traded this month. Pierre LeBrun echoed these comments:
LeBrun: "I agree with Dregs. From what I understand, I think it's a really strong chance that Hoffman gets dealt in the next couple of weeks here." #Sens 1200— Chris Nichols (@NicholsOnHockey) June 7, 2018
ICYMI, here are Dreger's comments... https://t.co/TZ3FFBaDAa
This is interesting to me, since Hoffman’s speed and shot seemed to be such a great complement to Duchene. With no rumours at all about the Sens looking to move Duchene, it seems a little interesting he’d be looking to move his partner. That being said, Hoffman is 28, and if the Sens are hoping to compete in three years as they said in their Town Halls, Hoffman might be too old to be considered part of that core. Many in the organization may still see Dany Heatley as a cautionary tale of what happens to goal scorers when they hit 30.
Dreger has reported that there is a lot of interest. With Hoffman only being able to pick 10 teams to which he won’t accept a trade, a cap hit of just $5.1875M, and the salary cap expected to go up by $7M, a lot of teams could realistically make a trade for him. And though I love me some Mike Hoffman, if it turns into a bidding war for him, I’d have a hard time faulting Pierre Dorion for grabbing assets. If Tomas Tatar fetched a 1st, a 2nd, and a 3rd, the Sens might be able to get some key pieces for the winger.
One trade that will not be happening is the trade of Hoffman for the second-overall pick. Carolina GM Don Waddell poured cold water on any rumours this morning:
Waddell says it would take an offer that “blows us away” to trade No. 2 pick. Says no offer has come close to that.— Chip Alexander (@ice_chip) June 7, 2018
That doesn’t mean a trade won’t happen with the Hurricanes (though they seem a very good bet to be on his no-trade list), just that it won’t land the Sens Andrei Svechnikov.
What was also interesting in Dreger’s comments was that he doesn’t expect Erik Karlsson to be traded unless the Sens decide they can’t move his salary demands. He did say that he thinks Ottawa wants to keep Karlsson, but if he wants $12M per year and refuses to budge, Melnyk may balk and ask Dorion to trade him instead.
Whatever happens, be prepared for Senators trade rumours to heat up as soon as the Stanley Cup playoffs end.