The Ottawa Senators might have lost 6-2 to the Edmonton Oilers last night, but they gained another great opportunity to discuss with their rival club again about a potential trade that could take place over the summer between the two Canadian teams.
Chris Nichols of FanRag Sports has cited Darren Dreger’s Thursday morning appearance on Edmonton’s TSN 1260 as the NHL insider noted the trade chatter linking the Oilers to Senators winger Mike Hoffman leading up to last month’s NHL trade deadline. While the Senators are retooling instead of of undergoing a massive rebuilding, Dreger doesn’t rule out the possibility of Hoffman becoming available this summer if the Sens decide to move assets under contract beyond this season.
This is a new twist as last week, Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch denied the notion of the Senators shipping Hoffman this summer to the Oilers for forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
"Indications are the rumoured deal was never discussed, and it’s highly doubtful the Senators would move Hoffman after resisting offers to trade him at the Feb. 26 trade deadline because he’d developed such strong scoring chemistry with centre Matt Duchene."
Dreger still believes that a move between the two Canadian teams remains possible.
“Look, we talked about it long before the trade deadline why Mike Hoffman would be a great fit in Edmonton,” said Dreger. “Of course. Because he can skate, shoots the puck. He’d be a nice complement to Connor McDavid.
“But Ottawa is not folding up the tent here. They’ve got players under contract, Hoffman among them, and Matt Duchene. I think they like what they see in the trio of Dzingel, Duchene, and Hoffman as their top line. So this isn’t a full rebuild, I don’t think, in Ottawa. They’re leaning towards renovation.
“But if they can’t get Erik Karlsson signed – and they’re going to need to build that, I would think, before the draft in Dallas in June – then absolutely, maybe Hoffman does become a piece again that Ottawa wants to move off for assets and Edmonton would be foolish not to consider him.”
Dreger's colleague Bob McKenzie also noted that there is a possibility of the Oilers and Senators making a mutually beneficial trade this summer while on the air of Ottawa’s TSN 1200. He reminds us how many times Senators general manager Pierre Dorion appeared at Oilers game this season. However, McKenzie is on the same page with Garrioch and does not believe a swap of Hoffman for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will take place.
"Well, I mean everybody has let their imagination run wild, or maybe they didn’t even need imagination,” began McKenzie. “Just logic or whatever that when Pierre Dorion showed up for back-to-back Edmonton Oiler games a couple of weeks ago, everybody started drawing up the papers for the Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for Mike Hoffman trade. And I don’t think there was necessarily anything at all to that. Could you logically make a case that makes sense for the Oilers and/or the Sens? I suppose you could. But to my knowledge, there hasn’t been any talks in those regards. So I mean it’s one thing for fans and media to play fantasy GM, but if Pierre Dorion and Peter Chiarell haven’t talked about it to this point… will they in the offseason?"
"Your guess is as good as mine on that one."
It has been noted that the Senators might be looking to keep the Hoffman-Duchene-Dzingel line intact next season.
While there’s a belief the Oilers could ship out Nugent-Hopkins this summer in return for a scoring winger or a defenseman, he was among the few bright spots in an embarrassing season for Edmonton. Another moves could be done without sacrificing RNH. Let's keep in mind that defensemen Oscar Klefbom was also at the centre of several trade rumors lately...
But then again, who is telling the truth!?!?