The NHL trade deadline is about a month and a half away, but February 26 will come faster than we all expect. Teams are currently putting together the pieces on whether or not they will be buyers or sellers. Some already know where they stand. It’s time for them to evaluate what they have and what they need. As they start to evaluate themselves internally, contract situations and extensions will become priorities.
What we would like to maybe start, is an area on the site where we discuss the stories surrounding these scenarios in the division. Whether it be trades, deadline rumors, pending free agents, or potential salary-cap issues, we want to have you covered. An example of this would be how our Jim Biringer broke down Max Pacioretty’s name being tossed around as a potential trade deadline target.
Another name that is starting to get tossed around, is that of Mike Hoffman of the Ottawa Senators. The season has been a disaster for the Senators. Their 15-18-9 record has only been good enough for seventh place in the division. The team had a blockbuster deal earlier in the season that brought Matt Duchene to the capital city, with hopes to strengthen their offense. To get Duchene from the Avalanche, it cost them their first round pick in 2018, their third round pick in 2019, and two prospects.
In his 28 games for the Senators this season, Matt Duchene only has 12 points. Six have come in the last four games. The offense ranks 24th in the NHL in goals for. As much as the offenses struggled, the defensive aspect of the team has actually been worse. Craig Anderson, who signed a two-year/$9.5 million contract extension just before the season started, has struggled mightily. He has a goals against average of 3.22 and a save percentage below .900, both ranking lower than 38th among qualified goaltenders.
With the playoffs well out of sight, it’s time to look towards the future. Here is where Mike Hoffman comes into play. He’s having a decent year with 11-18-29 tallies. He has two years remaining on his contract with an AAV of $5.187 million. The price tag may seem high, but he has actually had 59 and 61 points in the last two seasons and 25+ goals in the last three seasons. Trading a player like Hoffman could yield a return to help rebuild the Senators on-the-fly and a team like Calgary lines up to be the perfect trade partner.
TSN NHL insider Bob McKenzie was asked if he thought whether or not Hoffman could be moved to this year.
More likely than not. Not 100 per cent but well over 50 per cent: https://t.co/1zL0dPT050
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) January 11, 2018