The Ottawa Senators have been one of the most active teams on the trade market this season, and not necessarily for the right reasons. While the Sens managed to make it to the seventh game of the Eastern Conference finals against the eventual Cup champions the Pittsburgh Penguins last spring, things took a spin for the worst this year now that they sit way out of playoff contention, sitting 29th in the league with just 49 points.
Back in November, the Sens took part in the first big trade of the season when they moved forward Kyle Turris to the Nashville Predators in a three-way move in order to bring Matt Duchene on board. Weeks after the major trade, fans were waiting to see why general manager Pierre Dorion had pulled the trigger, as Duchene struggled to get going with his new team, while Turris was lighting things up in Music City.
Then trade chatter started hitting every single player: even captain Erik Karlsson and scorer Mark Stone were brought into speculations, while owner Eugene Melnyk seemed more focused on moving the team than improving it. A lot of controversy hit the team, but it did not prevent it from making yet another significant move when the Sens trade veteran defenseman Dion Phaneuf and forward Nate Thompson to the Los Angeles Kings, in return for Marian Gaborik and Nick Shore. A money move, sure, but one that surely got the market going ahead of the trade deadline - when it will be too late to make important changes.
After their latest move, other changes took place - as Melnyk took over the duties of the club’s CEO - but now fans should be getting ready for another huge step in Ottawa's rebuilding process. The St. Louis Blues are “engaged in serious discussions” with the Senators on a trade that could involve forwards Mike Hoffman or Derick Brassard, according to a new report from Blues beat writer Lou Korac.
On social media, Korac reports if the two teams complete a trade, it will be for one of Hoffman or Brassard but not both. A potential package going back to Ottawa could include forwards Vladimir Sobotka, Patrik Berglund and Robby Fabbri.
The Blues have also been active on the trade market in the past week, landing forward Nikita Soshnikov from the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday.
Hoffman’s name has been involved in trade chatter most of the season. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported back in December that the Blues were interested in acquiring the sniper, who has two more years left on his current deal.
The Blues and general manager Doug Armstrong are not denying that they want to make moves, suggesting on Hockey Central at Noon on Friday that he could be busy ahead of the Feb. 26 trade deadline.
“I think we’re going to be active on hockey trades more than rental trades,” Armstrong said. “The reality is if you’re trading an unrestricted free agent at that time you’re going to get what you can get and sometimes that won’t come until the last second.
“I think it’s actually going to be a really busy time though.”
This potential move could be a nice boost for Ottawa in their retooling process. What do you think?