Should the Ottawa Senators Move Mike Hoffman?


This is a very popular topic of conversation between Sens fans, and has been for the past month or so. At first, people were talking about what kind of contract Hoffman would be looking for, but it has since shifted to what the Senators could acquire in a trade involving him as the main piece.

For the most part, it seems as though people are fine with Hoffman being moved for a top notch defenceman, which is actually a move that makes a lot of sense.

As of right now, the Sens’ defence would look something like this on opening night:

"Methot – KarlssonWiercioch – CeciCowen – Borowiecki/Phillips"

This of course is if Fredrik Claesson and Chris Wideman don’t make the team. If you ask me, either of them would make for an improvement on the third pairing.

This illustrates how badly the Senators need defencemen. I just said that two guys with no NHL experience would be an improvement over three different NHL players with 1475 NHL games between them, and you probably agreed. Granted, nearly 80% of that number is just Phillips, but it’s still nuts.

Hoffman led the team in goals last year as a rookie, and it’s going to be tough to see him go if he ends up being traded. However, as nice as it would be to stick with the same top 6 forwards next year, it doesn’t matter when half of your defence shouldn’t even be in the NHL.

Trade Partners?

A couple names I’ve seen tossed around as targets for Bryan Murray include Cam Fowler and Kevin Shattenkirk, but to be honest they seem like they’d be a little too good. If Hoffman is re-signed, I would have no problem seeing him moved for a defenceman in a one for one deal, though that probably wouldn’t bring in the best player available.

If Murray plans on getting a top 4 defenceman, I’m sure he would have to throw in another player, and unfortunately that would probably end up being Patrick Wiercioch. If the asking price for a top 4 (or even a top 2) defenceman was Hoffman, Wiercioch and a pick, I honestly don’t know if I could say yes to that. While it would be an upgrade on defence, it doesn’t change the fact that half of the group should never touch the ice. If it were Cowen and a high pick (2nd or 3rd round) I would take the deal without any hesitation, depending on the player coming back of course.

I see no reason to move Hoffman for a forward, unless they fail to re-sign him, in which case they need to move him to the highest bidder before someone offers him a contract they can’t afford to match. While the focus should continue to be a defenceman, if the best return the team can get would be a top line forward for a package involving Hoffman, I think it should happen.

If Hoffman is re-signed but can’t be moved for a defenceman, there’s no reason to move him at all. See how he performs with a full season with powerplay time, and we could see him have an even better season. Of course, this is as long as Cameron doesn’t stick him on the fourth line for no reason, as he’s been known to do in the past.

Next: Post NHL Draft: Top 20 Ottawa Senators Prospects

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