Since the beginning of the Ottawa Senators' slump, when the season felt compromised and shocking trade rumors started circulating around captain and star defenseman Erik Karlsson, general manager Pierre Dorion seemed in a blowout sale mode.
While the Sens are still far from clinching a playoff spot as they sit in seventh place in the Atlantic Division ahead of the trade deadline, there now seems to be a shocking and major change of plan in Ottawa.
On Tuesday night's Insider Trading on TSN, Darren Dreger has reported that the Senators are still willing to trade good players to build a stronger future, but they are not going to make a trade just for the sake of it. Dorion will place players who are expected to bring an interesting return to Ottawa on the block, but one forward that was always mentioned in trade chatter might be removed from the market!
You read right : after months of hearing that several teams are eyeing and looking to acquire forward Mike Hoffman, Dreger explained that something on the ice has changed the mind of management.
"The usual suspects like Mike Hoffman, Zack Smith, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, but they may keep Hoffman simply because of the chemistry that he obviously has with Matt Duchene. So there’s no fire sale but there’s a clear direction that the Senators have to be best prepared for the draft in Dallas," added Dreger.
When Duchene first got to Ottawa, the chemistry seemed to take a while to find a good balance, but now that Hoffman and Duchene are showing great chemistry and a boost in offense, Dorion might not want to hinder that, especially with Derick Brassard and Bobby Ryan on the sideline with injuries.
How many times will the Senators change their minds ahead of the trade deadline? Feb. 26 is only weeks away, and the Canadian team needs to have a good plan of attack to prepare for the seasons to come.
The Nashville Predators, St. Louis Blues and San Jose Sharks were said to have interest in Hoffman, and could have offered interesting prospects and picks to the Sens, but Dorion might wait and see this summer before moving the forward.
Quite the major change of plan - but, will there be another one before the trade deadline?