Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – December 17, 2017

by | Dec 17, 2017 | Rumors | 29 comments

Latest on the Senators, Jets and more in your Sunday NHL rumor roundup.


SPORTSNET: Nick Kypreos speculates if (“and I use the word if”) the Ottawa Senators decide to shed some payroll, the easiest way to do so would be to trade winger Mike Hoffman. “Some have suggested to me that the Ottawa Senators and the Edmonton Oilers have had conversations on Hoffman,” he said. But with the Oilers striving to get back into the playoff chase, Kypreos believes they might prefer a deal build around top draft picks and prospects so as not to upset the current roster.

Moving a player like Hoffman wouldn’t require the Senators taking back salary, unlike if they attempted to move players carrying more expensive contracts, such as winger Bobby Ryan or defenseman Dion Phaneuf. Hoffman is signed through 2019-20 with an annual salary-cap hit of over $5.187 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Allan Mitchell last week suggested Hoffman could be a good fit for the Oilers as a shooter on Connor McDavid’s line. However, he’s not sure if the two clubs are a fit trade-wise, suggesting the Sens could want a return that improves their blueline. Hoffman also has a 10-team no-trade list and it’s possible the Oilers could be on it. 

Chris Johnston reports Senators management have looked at short-term deals but so far haven’t found anything. They’ll likely be sellers if they’re out of the playoff chase by the Feb. 26 trade deadline and could consider major changes in the offseason if they miss the playoffs.

If the Senators make a major roster shakeup, Elliotte Friedman doubts winger Mark Stone won’t be part of it. Jean-Gabriel Pageau, however, could attract interest from clubs seeking depth at center. If they do make significant moves they’ll want young players, draft picks and prospects in return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Trading the 25-year-old Stone, a restricted free agent next summer, would be an extreme move. However, if the Sens go into cost-cutting mode he could become a trade candidate if he seeks a significant raise over his current $3.5 million cap hit. Still, I think they’d move out Hoffman before Stone. 

Friedman also reports the Winnipeg Jets has made it known center Shawn Matthias is available via trade. Matthias has just two assists in 18 games. Since Nov. 14, he’s been a frequent healthy scratch.


SPORTSNET: The Senators could also be active before the upcoming NHL holiday trade freeze period (Dec. 19-26), along with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Buffalo Sabres.

The Sens, of course, dominated the rumor mill over the last week, especially when it was reported that management requested 10-team no-trade lists from their players carrying no-trade clauses. Forwards Derick Brassard and Mike Hoffman have been mentioned as possible trade chips. Defenseman Fredrik Claesson and backup Mike Condon could also be tradeable assets. 

Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford recently suggested a major trade might be necessary if his club didn’t soon snap out of its current funk. They’re still in need of a proven third-line center and defenseman Ian Cole is believed to be a trade candidate. 

The Sabres, meanwhile, are once again at the bottom of the standings and are featuring prominently in the rumor mill. UFA winger Evander Kane could attract attention from clubs seeking a scoring winger. Word is everyone except Jack Eichel could be on the table. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: While anything’s possible, significant trades rarely take place before the holiday trade freeze. Of the three clubs, the Senators seem to be working the phones the most. Talk of the Penguins shopping Cole seems to have cooled over the past couple of weeks.

As for the Sabres, I daresay they’ll wait until mid-January at the earliest before making any significant moves. Being mired at the bottom of the standings, they’re under less pressure than the Senators and Penguins to make moves right now. 


FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols compiled a roundup of trade tidbits from TSN’s Bob McKenzie and Pierre LeBrun from their respective radio appearances on Friday.

Appearing on Montreal’s TSN 690, McKenzie was asked about the trade value of Canadiens center Tomas Plekanec, who’s eligible next summer for unrestricted free agency. He expects Plekanec will have some trade value as a rental player if the Habs are out of playoff contention by the deadline, suggesting he could fetch a second- or third-round pick. 

LeBrun, appearing on Vancouver’s TSN 1040, doesn’t believe Sabres left wing Evander Kane would be a good fit with the Calgary Flames because they’re fairly good at left wing. However, he acknowledged they need top-six help elsewhere.

The Senators  could be dangling some forwards and LeBrun wonders if the Flames and Vancouver Canucks might be interested. With forwards Bo Horvat and Sven Baertschi sidelined by injury, LeBrun said they’re making calls but he doesn’t know if there’s a fit right now, especially giving Canucks GM Jim Benning’s unwillingness to trade futures. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hoffman could be a better fit for the Flames. He can play either wing and they’re thin on the right side. However, the Flames currently have over $3.9 million in cap space. If they want to acquire him soon, they’ll have to free up room to absorb his $5.18 million cap hit. I think the Canucks are looking more for affordable short-term additions until Horvat and Baertschi return. If so, I don’t think the Sens are a good fit for them. 



  1. Hoffman is right winger now, interesting. Try left winger.

    • Hoffman has been playing RW with Pageau often this year & Ryan for some reason playing LW on a line with Stone on RW.

    • I think Hoffman is a goalie…

    • He is a lW but can play on the right.

      • Well, wherever he plays I will say he was great in rain man…

    • Right wing, left wing, after what happened the last time, it might not be good to bring politics into our discussions.
      Luckily the kid plays in Ottawa; if he was on an American team, I wouldn’t have the right to make any comment at all.

  2. Hoffman is a LW, Stone is a RW. Don’t you mean that Stone would be a better fit with CGY ?

    • Hoffman can also play at right wing. also lists him as a RW. I usually defer to them as the NHL’s position listing can be inaccurate.

      • Actually I think he is their skip but I don’t believe he throws last, I think he usually gives shot rock to somebody else…

  3. Wouldn’t be surprised if Buffalo decided to move Reinhardt or even O’Rielly. There’s something wrong in that locker room. Defense isn’t good but this team should not be this bad.

  4. Calgary has yet to put Versteeg on LTIR & we are slightly over a 1/3 of the way through the season so more than a 1/3 of salaries have been paid. Calgary could absorb Hoffman’s cap hit today. That said I don’t see any benefit to Ott nor does moving him make sense to me.

    Ottawa will be confronted with potentially having to trade Brassard, Duchene & Karlsson this summer but no later than next season’s trade deadline as I don’t see any signing extensions to play in Ottawa.

    That will free up significant cap space to appease Melnyk & be a sufficient change of direction, keep almost everyone else, integrate the players acquired in trade, promote some of the kids & play the hand your dealt.

    Flipping out the other UFA’s Oduya this year, Burrows, Thompson & Pyatt next year for what ever you can get.

    Hoffman, Ceci, Pageau, Stone, Smith, etc. shouldn’t be part of any trade discussions. This is Ottawa’s core potentially with assets acquired in trade & the kids coming.

  5. Dear George. How are you? I am fine. My cat puked on the carpet this morning and I stepped in it🙄. What do you think it would cost the pens for Hoffman? Hope you are well. Chris

    • Zed’s dead Baby, Zed’s dead. Vroom, vroom, vroommmmmm. Ha-ha!

    • Dude, you need psychological help. Now take a deep breath and step away from your keyboard and try and get out of your mom’s basement.

      • Dear Ed. 🖕. Hope you are well. Chris

  6. The interesting thing for me, with all this Ottawa talk, was how they had no problems getting a 10 team no trade list from the players with a no trade clause. Doesn’t that suggest no player has an issue leaving Ottawa. Also wonder how many of them list has Winnipeg on them.

    • There called modified NTC’s.

      It was misreported as well as not all the players had 10 team modified NTC’s, Brassard’s as an example is an 8 team list, Phaneauf’s a 12 team list of teams he would accept a trade to, the rest are all 10 team no trade lists, apparently Dorion likes that #.

      • Or maybe he doesn’t want to give them more than 10? 😉

    • The players are obligated to provide the the teams they wont go to as per the cba. The list is binding for the entire season. Some playets already gave it at the start of the year and never actually jad to provide it now.

      These playets do not have complete no trade clauses only partiap ones.

    • I think they have 48 hours to summit a 10 team list.

  7. I bet they are peddling Brassard hard. If someone needs top six depth I am sure he can be had right now.

    • I doubt it. He is a guy Dorion picked up. Im thinking Dorion will try and retain him to save face. Unless he gets a great offer. Like all GM’s he’s likely more willing to give up players he did not bring in.

  8. If Brassard is available a ton of teams will happily bid. C’s of his quality aren’t readily available. Those being soft #1’s or solid #2’s.

    • What have done for me lately ? He is trending down. 18 points and 1 in December . Last year was no hell either

      • Sure but I’m not a what are you done for me lately type of person.

      • He’s always a playoff performer

    • Canucks would love a player like Brassard. Gives them a much better center depth when Horvat returns.

      Guys like Gagner, Burmistrov, Granlund just haven’t been able to cut the mustard at center.

      Pretty sure Dorian might ask for Dahlen back in return tho

  9. Can we just put a gag order on the entire Sens organisation? From top to bottom they really need to drink a case of STFU cola. IMO Melnyk created his own problems and has blamed everyone else for…. how long now?
    Anyhow, Brassard would make the Pens really strong down the middle but I don’t think he would like being called a third liner.

  10. I would love to see the Penguins get Derick Brassard! They say his cap hit is $3.5 million but overall its a $5 million dollar hit! Anybody know why……