NHL Rumor Mill – March 3, 2018

by | Mar 3, 2018 | Rumors | 12 comments

Latest on Mike Hoffman, Jack Johnson and Robin Lehner in your NHL rumor mill. 

The Philadelphia Flyers inquired about Ottawa Senators winger Mike Hoffman before the trade deadline. (Photo via NHL Images)


NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: John Boruk reports sources say the Philadelphia Flyers “kicked the tires” on Ottawa Senators winger Mike Hoffman. However, the Senators’ asking price of defenseman Travis Sanheim and a first-round draft pick proved too expensive for the Flyers. Boruk feels Hoffman, who’s under contract through 2019-20 “at a very reasonable cap hit of just over $5 million a season”, would be “an ideal fit” with the Flyers.

With center Valtteri Filppula an unrestricted free agent this summer and the possibility of Jori Lehtera could be bought out, Boruk suggests the Flyers could have the salary-cap flexibility to add a veteran forward this summer if they wish. If the Sens insist on Sanheim as a return, perhaps the Flyers will have to add a third team to get a deal done. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hoffman will likely attract considerable interest in this summer’s trade market. Rumors this season linked him to the Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, San Jose Sharks and St. Louis Blues. It wouldn’t be surprising if Flyers general manager Ron Hextall revisits his interest in Hoffman leading up to the draft weekend (June 22-23) in Dallas. 


THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Steve Gorten recently reported defenseman Jack Johnson is open to the notion of re-signing with the Blue Jackets. Earlier in the season, Johnson had requested a trade in hopes of improving his value in this summer’s free-agent market. He’s since garnered more playing time on the Jackets’ second defense pairing. GM Jarmo Kekalainen said he’d entertain trading Johnson before the deadline if he got an offer that made sense for the Jackets. The deadline passed with Johnson still a member of the Blue Jackets. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jackets management and the Johnson camp still have a good relationship. There have been on-again, off-again discussions regarding a contract extension. I can see Johnson testing the market on July 1 and circling back to the Jackets if he fails to find a suitable offer. 


THE BUFFALO NEWS: Mike Harrington reports Sabres goaltender Robin Lehner recently rebuked a report by a local blogger claiming he’d requested a trade leading up to Monday’s deadline. “A local blogger who does not cover the Sabres, or professional sports for that matter, suddenly emerged with an unsourced tweet that Lehner had “made it known” to management he wanted to be traded prior to the deadline,” wrote Harrington. Lehner called the story “fake news”. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lehner’s future with the Sabres remains uncertain. He’s a restricted free agent with arbitration rights coming off a one-year, $4-million contract. He’s a year away from unrestricted free agency. 



  1. As a pens fan I’d like to thanks hextall for avoiding that trade.

    Seriously that was a very reasonable ask by ott.

    • No it wasn’t.
      Sanheim is projected to be a top 2, offensive dman. Having a first rounder with Sanheim is far too much for an older scoring forward. It would go against everything Hextall has preached since he got here.

      The first I would have been ok with, and add in a different prospect, and we can negotiate from there. But the defensive prospects should be off limits, until we know what is really there. They can bring a boatload of options down the road when the hand is forced to move one, but it is still too early to move any of the defensive prospects.

      Hextall did great..he picked up a goalie to carry us, and didn’t trade any assets away in doing so.

      • I think he did well also. Probs the best stable of young defensemen in the league. I like Hoffman but Sanheim is gonna be a gooder.

      • Hagg & Morin both need to clear waivers next season. MacDonald, Gostibehere, Provorv & Gudas are all locks next season, Manning is a UFA so his future with Philadelphia is uncertain. That said Hagg & Morin would need to join that top 6 next season or be traded, waived, not happening as either would be lost to make room for Sanheim on the roster, He doesn’t need to clear waivers but none of these 3 young Dman are well served playing in the 7 hole all need significant minutes & roles to continue developing.

        A nice problem to have but a problem none the less as several of these young Dman are ready to step up to the NHL in 5/6 slots see regular sheltered shifts.

        Philadelphia could use some scoring especially from the left side. Even more so now that Konecny was moved to RW.

    • Is he now. The chances that pick turns into a player of Hoffman’s skill are slim and sandheim hitting his peak ceiling are also slim combine… a fail on hextalls part that I appreciate.

      Watching teams go from overspenders for years to permanent rebuilders and the subsequent attitude of the fans has been absolutely fascinating. It’s at the point that trading a question mark for established talent with term is considered blasphemous.

    • Well the goal posts seem to have moved as Lyle’s post the other day said it was Sanheim, a 1st, +.

      Gary yes Sanheim may have 2nd line ability but that’s a might. Hoffman isn’t that old, he just turned 28 & was late arriving to the NHL this being his 4th full season.

      Ott if they move Hoffman with 2 years remaining at 5.1875 will get that type of return comfortably from someone. 25 to 30 goal scorers don’t grow on tree’s.

      Hell Sergechev who was considered the 2nd or 3rd best D prospect in the game depending upon who you wish to follow at point of trade was traded for Drouin. Sanheim won’t be confused with Sergechev for pedigree. No slight to Sanheim who is a solid D prospect following a very common development curve & path to the NHL.

      Oh wait that was Bergevin that doesn’t count as he appears to be lost in space.

      • Sorry should read 2nd pairing abilities.

      • This potential offer has me wondering what they wanted for Patches. Also who is more valuable Hoffman or Patches?

      • It’s virtually a wash for me but if I had to choose I’d take Hoffman as he’s a year younger, less wear & tear getting to the NHL later, just a brilliant skater with a sweet release. The real reason though is the extra contractual year t 5.1875 as opposed to patches who is up a year sooner.

        I assume Patches will be moved this summer. I’m not so certain Hoffman will. If Karlsson is moved & the team acquiring him forced to take Ryan then Hoffman may well stay.

      • Sergachev had a good start but has looked bad after even being a healthy scratch! Patches would land way more than Hoffman! Have you watched Hoffman in his own end? He is very one dimensional

  2. Hoffman has what few do and that is a puck with its own eyes. Not quite as dynamic as a Laine but when he shoots it has a good chance of finding the net
    Defenseman Travis Sanheim and a first-round draft pick is not too big of an ask. Flyers have a ton of defence prospects with two young ones in the line up already . Maybe Bean instead.

  3. Hoffman is worth more than that.

    Lehner needs a sports psychologist and an anger management specialist, not a trade.