The Ottawa Senators have traded forward Mike Hoffman, defenseman Cody Donaghey and a fifth-round draft pick in 2020 to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for forward Mikkel Boedker, defenceman Julius Bergman, and a sixth-round draft pick in 2020. The Sharks then dealt him and a seventh-round pick to the Florida Panthers for Florida’s 2019 second round pick, 2018 fourth round pick and 2018 5th round pick.
Ottawa Senators ship Mike Hoffman to the San Jose Sharks (Photo via NHL Images)
SPECTOR’S NOTE: No one’s surprised that Hoffman got traded. He was a fixture for months in the trade-rumor mill. Allegations of cyberbullying leveled at his fiancee by Erik Karlsson’s wife perhaps hastened his departure and adversely affected his trade value. Donaghey, 22, spent last season with the ECHL’s Brampton Beast. It’s interesting that this became a three-way move.
My initial assessment was this was an interesting move by the Sharks, bolstering their scoring depth while showing a willingness to take on a player with personal baggage, as well as perhaps taking them out of a possible free-agent bidding for New York Islanders center John Tavares.
With Hoffman and his $5.18-million cap hit through 2019-20 now with the Panthers, looks the the Sharks intend to keep some cap space available for a run at Tavares if he hits the open market on July 1.
Hoffman, 28, has tallied over 20 goals and 48-or-more points in each of the last four seasons. Though he can be a streaky scorer he should bring an additional boost of offensive punch to the Panthers, who were in the market for a scoring winger. There was talk the Panthers had talked to the Montreal Canadiens earlier this year about left wing Max Pacioretty but the Hoffman acquisition could mean they’re no longer considering that option.
It’s a bit pricey for the Panthers in terms of the draft picks they gave up but at least it didn’t cost them a first-rounder. Given their youthful roster, they’re obviously comfortable with it. If Hoffman delivers immediate results it could be worth it.
There was speculation the Senators might get a first-round pick as part of a return but they got nothing close to that.
They do get a veteran winger in Boedker, a speedy two-way playmaker who has two 50-point seasons on his resume. While his defensive play could be better than Hoffman’s, his offensive production tends to be inconsistent.
Bergman, 22, is a mobile young blueliner who’s yet to reach the NHL level, having spent the past three seasons in the AHL. He could get his opportunity with the Senators.
Game recaps, Golden Knights atop league standings, injury updates and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: The expansion Vegas Golden Knights sit atop the NHL’s overall standings following their 5-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. Defenseman Colin Miller scored and set up two others while goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury made 27 saves.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Golden Knights are a very good hockey team that’s exceeded all expectations in their debut campaign. If they remain among the league’s top teams over the remainder of the season, they’ll have to be considered a serious contender for the Stanley Cup.
Patrik Laine scored the only goal as the Winnipeg Jets edged the Vancouver Canucks 1-0 (Photo via NHL Images).
Connor Hellebucyk made 29 saves and Patrik Laine scored the only goal as the Winnipeg Jets blanked the Vancouver Canucks 1-0. With the win, the Jets regained first place in the Central Division. The Canucks welcomed back center Bo Horvat, who’d been sidelined with a fractured ankle since Dec. 5, but defenseman Erik Gudbranson (back spasms) was placed on injured reserve.
A two-goal performance by Mikkel Boedker powered the San Jose Sharks to a 6-2 thumping of the Anaheim Ducks. Boedker also collected his 100th career goal while goalie Aaron Dell kicked out 33 shots.
The Los Angeles Kings snapped a six-game losing skid with a 4-2 win over the New York Rangers. The Kings overcame a 2-0 deficit on goals by Jake Muzzin, Michael Amadio, Tanner Pearson and Trevor Lewis.
Travis Konecny’s overtime goal gave the Philadelphia Flyers a 2-1 win over the Washington Capitals. The Flyer have won three straight games and seven of their last eight.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning left wing Ondrej Palat suffered a lower-body injury during a 5-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Saturday and will be sidelined indefinitely. Palat suffered the injury after being speared by Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Palat is one of the Lightning’s best two-way forwards who plays left wing on their second line. If he’s out for a lengthy period they could have a difficult time replacing him.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: The struggling Blackhawks got some good news as center Artem Anisimov will return to the lineup in tonight’s game against the Lightning. He’d been sidelined since Dec. 29 with an upper-body injury.
NJ.COM: The New Jersey Devils placed backup goaltender Keith Kinkaid (groin) and forward Brian Gibbons (broken thumb) on injured reserve.
THE SCORE: The hockey world yesterday mourned the passing of longtime USA Hockey executive Jim Johansson, who died suddenly yesterday at age 53. Johansson was the general manager of the U.S. Men’s Olympic hockey team.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Johansson’s family and friends. He played a significant role in the careers of several American-born NHL players. He also represented his country as a player during the 1988 and 1992 Winter Olympics and was part of the management group that selected the U.S. roster that won silver at the 2010 Olympics.
Updates on Patric Hornqvist, Alex Galchenyuk plus latest on the San Jose Sharks and Arizona Coyotes in your NHL rumor mill.
POST-GAZETTE.COM: In a recent mailbag segment, Sam Werner was asked if this season could be the last for forward Patric Hornqvist with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Hornqvist, 30, is eligible for unrestricted free agency in July and Werner speculates the Pens could have difficulty re-signing him.
Hornqvist’s gritty style and offensive consistency will create a strong market for him and the Pens will have limited cap space to re-sign him. Still, Werner doesn’t rule out the possibility GM Jim Rutherford could find a way to keep Hornqvist in the fold.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins have over $60 million tied up in 14 players for 2017-18. Fortunately, Hornqvist is their most notable free agent next summer. The rest, including Bryan Rust, Ian Cole, Tom Kuhnhackel and Riley Sheahan, should be affordable re-signings. Given Hornqvist’s age and style of play, the sticking point could be the length of the deal. Rutherford could be unwilling to commit beyond four years.
THE ATHLETIC: In his Friday mailbag, Craig Custance was asked who’s the next big player to be dealt now that Matt Duchene’s been traded. While the logical choice would be New York Islanders center John Tavares, the Isles are looking better than expected this season and there’s a sense Tavares will “give that team every opportunity to prove to him it’s worth sticking around.” Custance instead chooses Montreal Canadiens forward Alex Galchenyuk if his recent improvement bolsters his trade value.
Custance also doesn’t expect the Arizona Coyotes to move veteran defensemen Alex Goligoski and Niklas Hjalmarsson, He cites a recent interview with Coyotes general manager John Chayka, who said moving those two would “risk exposing the young defensemen in Arizona and stunting their development.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Despite Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin saying he wasn’t giving up on Galchenyuk, the trade rumors about the young winger won’t go away. If Bergevin can get a return that helps his club right away I believe he’d go for it. Problem is, he’s not going to get that kind of offer right now, if at all.
THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, Kevin Kurz said he believes several teams are interested in San Jose Sharks center Chris Tierney but doesn’t them trading him. Kurz points out it makes little sense to move Tierney as they have few young centermen who can play at the NHL level. He acknowledged many Sharks fans want to see under-performing winger Mikkel Boedker shipped out but his contract makes such a move unrealistic.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boedker lacks no-trade protection but he carries a $4 million annual cap hit through 2019-20. Given his low production (only six points in 14 games this season) the Sharks won’t find many takers for him unless they’re willing to absorb a big chunk of that cap hit.
NEWSDAY: In his latest mailbag, Arthur Staple was asked what area he felt the New York Islanders needed a upgrade. He felt they need help in goal, speculating head coach Doug Weight would prefer a netminder who can take over the reins full-time. He doesn’t see many options in the trade market “aside from some obvious, flawed candidates (Kari Lehtonen, maybe Jimmy Howard, Curtis McElhinney)”.
Staple’s also skeptical that defenseman Calvin de Haan, a pending UFA at season’s end, might get dealt at the trade deadline to make room for a promising youngster such as Devon Toews and Sebastian Aho.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Islanders are playoff contenders by the trade deadline they won’t be moving de Haan. I can see them keeping an eye on the trade market for a possible goalie upgrade but they could be stuck with what they’ve got over the remainder of the season.
Latest on Ryan Strome, Chris Kreider, Jason Garrison, Joshua Ho-Sang & more in your Sunday NHL rumor roundup.
SPORTSNET: Nick Kypreos reports the Edmonton Oilers are looking for scoring at right wing. They’re disappointed in the play of Ryan Strome, who was acquired in June in a trade that sent Jordan Eberle to the New York Islanders. He believes the Oilers would move Strome if they could but the question is whether he’d fetch anything significant in return. Elliotte Friedman said the Oilers are seeking speed and wonders if New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider might be a fit.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: With just three points in 10 games, Strome is falling down the Oilers’ depth chart. Right now, the Oilers would have difficulty getting a decent return for him. Strome’s only 24 but his stock has significantly tumbled.
Kreider’s reached 20 goals and 40 points in each of the last three seasons but he’s a streaky winger off to a slow start (five points in 12 games) this season. He might be a good fit with the Oilers but the Rangers won’t just give him away. They need depth at center. Perhaps they might eyeball Ryan Nugent-Hopkins if the Oilers agreed to pick up a significant chunk of his $6 million annual cap hit.
Perhaps New York Islanders winger Joshua Ho-sang could be an option? The Toronto Sun’s Steve Simmons observes Ho-Sang was recently demoted to the minors and suggests Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli should contact Isles GM Garth Snow to inquire into the asking price to get him. Snow could be reluctant to part with Ho-Sang but it wouldn’t hurt to call.
Chris Johnston reports the Winnipeg Jets are receiving calls about third-string goaltender Michael Hutchinson. A number of goalies are injured around the league and some are under-performing. He notes Hutchinson is earning $1.3 million playing in the AHL.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets could move Hutchinson to clear his salary from their ledger, though it presently only counts as $125K against their cap payroll for this season. They likely won’t get much in return. The New Jersey Devils got back a fifth-round pick yesterday from Arizona for Scott Wedgewood. Perhaps Hutchinson might garner a third rounder.
Friedman speculates if the Detroit Red Wings consider a coaching change perhaps they’ll consider hiring Dave Tippett. Chris Johnston reports of casual speculation wondering if the Wings might consider wooing Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman to replace GM Ken Holland, who’s not under contract after this season. Friedman said he asked Yzerman that question last year and he stated he’s the GM of the Lightning and that’s it.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Friedman’s not saying the Wings are looking to replace Jeff Blashill but merely wondering if Tippett might be an option for them if they decide to go that route. As for Yzerman coming back to Detroit as GM, he seems committed to his job with the Lightning. If he’s under contract with them beyond this season the Wings would need permission to speak with him. Given the fine work he’s done with the Lightning, I doubt he’ll jump ship after this season to return to Detroit, despite his loyalty to the Ilitch family.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the Vegas Golden Knights could still attempt to trade defenseman Jason Garrison, who cleared waivers yesterday and can be sent to the AHL. He carries a $4.6 million cap hit ($2.5 million in actual salary), but if the Knights pick up part of that cap hit they might find a taker.
Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman could seek a blueliner who could add some offense but they’re in a difficult salary-cap situation.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bowman recently told the Chicago Tribune he’s not itching to make a trade despite carrying $2.5 million in cap relief from placing sidelined winger Marian Hossa on long-term injury reserve. That doesn’t mean he won’t eventually make a move to perhaps add more offense to his blueline. Now, however, doesn’t seem like the right time to do so.
The Philadelphia Flyers are shopping for a defenseman.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers have been dipping into the depth within their system to address their blueline needs. That could change with Andrew MacDonald sidelined and Shayne Gostisbehere leaving Saturday’s game.
Winnipeg Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff could have some extra forwards to move.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: They’re obviously not anyone from his top two lines. Perhaps little-used Marko Dano is one of them, or maybe a veteran such as Shawn Mathias ($2.125 million cap hit).
Garrioch also speculates Dave Tippett could be a possible candidate to replace Jeff Blashill if the Red Wings decide to hire a new head coach.
There’s talk San Jose Sharks GM Doug Wilson is shopping forwards Chris Tierney and Mikkel Boedker and defenseman Paul Martin. There’s “mild interest” in Tierney but Boedker and Martin both carry cap hits over $4 million annually beyond this season. Martin’s also on injured reserve while Boedker had just four points in 10 games. If Wilson can’t swing a trade, Garrioch wonders if coach Pete DeBoer gets replaced.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Can’t see much of a market for Boedker unless Wilson absorbs part of his annual cap hit. Ditto Martin, who also carries a modified no-trade clause.
Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin last week said the answers to his club’s woes must come from within but league executives claim he’s still working the phones in search of a deal.
The San Jose Sharks could be forced to choose between Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau.
Latest on the San Jose Sharks and Minnesota Wild in your NHL rumor mill.
ESPN.COM: Craig Custance suggested the San Jose Sharks should re-sign center Joe Thornton to a short-term contract, let winger Patrick Marleau depart via free agency unless he’s willing to accept a steep discount and explore ways to get out of disappointing winger Mikkel Boedker’s contract. Thornton and Marleau are both 37 and eligible for unrestricted free agent status in July. Boedker’s earning $4 million annually through 2019-20.
THE MERCURY NEWS: Paul Gackle reports Thornton and Marleau both expressed their desire to re-sign with the Sharks. Contract talks between the two and general manager Doug Wilson have yet to begin. Wilson also has to deal with re-signing defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic and goaltender Martin Jones to contract extensions. Both are signed through next season and slated for UFA status next July.
Mark Purdy wonders if Wilson will be forced to choose between Thornton and Marleau. He also points out Thornton’s willingness to play on an injured knee in their series against the Edmonton Oilers could make Wilson feel obligated to re-sign the veteran center.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: With over $54 million invested in 15 players for 2017-18 and Thornton and Marleau their only notable free agents this summer, the Sharks can afford to re-sign the duo this summer. Given their age and the decline last season in their production, Thornton and Marleau won’t get any expensive long-term deals from the Sharks or anyone else. Of the two, I can see Thornton getting a two-year offer from the Sharks for around $5 million annually. Marleau could get a one-year, bonus-laden deal that takes him up to $4.5 million.
As for Boedker, it’s unlikely the Sharks will find any takers for his contract unless they’re willing to pick up part of it or toss in a good young player in a package deal. A buyout would cost them $1.2 million next season against their cap, followed by over $2 million annually for the next two seasons, followed by over $1.08 million over the remaining three years.
TWINCITIES.COM: Dane Mizutani reports Minnesota Wild GM Chuck Fletcher admitted there will be changes to his roster in the wake of another disappointing early playoff exit, but he won’t be overhauling the roster. He pointed to the club’s finishing with their best record (106 points) in franchise history.
Fletcher must re-sign restricted free agent forwards Markus Granlund and Nino Niederreiter, find a suitable backup for starting goalie Devan Dubnyk and figure out which players to protect in the June expansion draft. Head coach Bruce Boudreau would like to add a physical defenseman.
Chad Graff reports it’s unlikely the Wild will re-sign center Martin Hanzal, who’s eligible for UFA status in July. The Wild acquired Hanzal before the trade deadline, but Graff cited the Wild’s limited salary-cap space and Hanzal’s inconsistent production.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild have over $61 million invested in 15 players. Even by losing a salaried player to the expansion draft, much of their remaining cap space will be taken up re-signing Granlund, Niederreiter and Erik Haula (who have arbitration rights this summer) to new contracts.
Hanzal’s performance with the Wild did little to bolster their value in the UFA market. Their biggest decision could be determining which defenseman – Jonas Brodin, Matt Dumba or Marco Scandella – to protect in the expansion draft. One of them is gone for sure.
Boston Bruins forward David Backes waves to St. Louis fans after the Blues honored their former captain
Game recaps, All-Star Game rosters reveal, Leafs trade Enroth to Ducks & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.com: Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak each tallied three points as the Boston Bruins defeated the St. Louis Blues 5-3. It was Bruins forward David Backes’ first game in St. Louis against his former club since joining the Bruins as a free agent last summer.
Mikkel Boedker netted a hat trick while goalie Martin Jones made 33 saves to give the San Jose Sharks a 5-3 victory over the Edmonton Oilers.
Victor Rask and Jeff Skinner each had three points to lead the Carolina Hurricanes to a 5-3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets, handing the latter their third loss in four games. The Jacket were playing without starting goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, who was sidelined by illness.
Sam Reinhart scored a goal and set up two others while Anders Nilsson made 39 saves to give the Buffalo Sabres a 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers.
John Gibson turned in a 33-save shutout performance to give the Anaheim Ducks a 2-0 win over the Dallas Stars. Jakub Silfverberg netted a goal and an assist. The Stars lost defenseman Jamie Oleksiak and Patrick Eaves to injuries and were playing without captain Jamie Benn (foot injury) for the fourth straight game.
Following the game, the Ducks acquired goaltender Jhonas Enroth from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for a seventh-round pick in 2018.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Enroth will likely be sent to the Ducks’ farm team.
Duncan Keith’s overtime goal gave the Chicago Blackhawks a 4-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings, giving the Hawks their fourth straight victory. Blackhawks rookie forward Ryan Hartman collected two assists.
Calle Jarnkrok’s late overtime goal lifted the Nashville Predators to a 2-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks. Earlier in the day, it was reported Canucks star Daniel Sedin unknowingly shared a helicopter ride with a convicted drug smuggler.
Rookies Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine are among the 40 players selected to participate in the 2017 NHL All-Star Game in Los Angeles on Jan. 29.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman won’t be shaking up the coaching staff of his struggling club. He believes head coach Jon Cooper “is doing an excellent job.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Injuries and a lack of blueline depth are largely responsible for the Lightning’s current struggles.
TSN.CA: The Toronto Maple Leafs claimed goaltender Curtis McElhinney off waivers from the Columbus Blue Jackets.
NORTHJERSEY.COM: The New Jersey Devils placed Andy Greene (left wrist) and Yohann Auvitu (lower body) on injured reserve.
NEW YORK POST: The Rangers mourn the passing of NYPD detective Steven McDonald, who was the inspiration for the club’s annual award given to the Ranger who goes “above and beyond the call of duty.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to McDonald’s family and friends and to the Rangers organization.