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Photo Credit: Bruce Bennett

Can the Oilers take advantage of the frugal Sens?

A week ago, I wrote about Erik Karlsson and the Oilers. That was more pie-in-the-sky thinking, though nothing’s impossible with Eugene Melnyk there, but the Senators reportedly want to shed salary and the Oilers are a natural fit. That doesn’t mean Karlsson, but Edmonton should still be interested.

Nick Kypreos talked about this on Sportsnet’s Saturday Headlines segment.

“Well, if, and I use the word if, the mandate for the Ottawa Senators is to shed some money off that 68-million dollar payroll that Eugene Melynk alluded to, the easiest way for them to do that is to trade Mike Hoffman. Now, unlike a Phaneuf or Bobby Ryan trade, this potential deal for Hoffman wouldn’t necessarily be money-in money-out. Now some have suggested to me that the Ottawa Senators and the Edmonton Oilers have had conversations on Hoffman and a potential deal like that, I think the Oilers would like to have [a deal] built around top draft picks and prospects ,that that way the Oilers wouldn’t necessarily upset the current roster they have, and for maybe one more shot at getting back in a playoff race.” – Nick Kypreos

Chris Johnston noted that Ottawa has put this on the players, and there’s the possibility of something drastic being done after the season if things don’t improve. Elliotte Friedman mentioned Jean-Gabriel Pageau’s name as well, and he thinks if Ottawa makes these moves, it’ll be picks or prospects, or young players currently in the NHL coming back.

Mike Hoffman

Hoffman’s been productive after becoming a full-time player in 2014-15. He’s 21st in goals and 41st in points since, and a legitimate top-line winger with fantastic speed. His $5.187m cap hit is very reasonable, with two years left on his contract after this season making him more than a short-term solution.

For Edmonton, the fit is obvious. He’d slide in beside any of the three centers, and add much-needed speed to the Oilers’ lineup. The Oilers have the cap space and Hoffman could replace Patrick Maroon’s slot on left wing, especially if the cost is future assets. The season is more likely than not done, so selling at the deadline could recoup picks or prospects lost in a potential Hoffman deal.

Jean-Gabriel Pageau

Pageau’s versatile. He can plays, and penalty kills regularly. Unlike Hoffman, he’s right-handed which would be a blessing in Edmonton’s left-heavy lineup. Pageau’s less of a scorer than Hoffman, but can still be relied upon for 35-40 points. He only makes $3.1 million, so the cash-strapped Sens might want to clear Hoffman’s salary instead.

Pageau’s a career 52% faceoff guy, which could help both of Edmonton’s special teams. The top power play is reliant on Letestu’s right-handed shot and ability to win draws, so Pageau could be another option, though he hasn’t played much on the power play in Ottawa.

Adding another centre also gives Todd McLellan the opportunity to load up his top line with both McDavid and Draisaitl, without worrying about leaving his other lines thin.

The Oilers cleared salary when they traded Jordan Eberle for Ryan Strome and Benoit Pouliot. Some of that went to Kris Russell’s dubious extension, but the rest went unused. Most cap sites have the Oilers $6-7 million below the cap ceiling, so the Oilers should be primed to take on salary, even with McDavid’s bonuses accounted for.

Both Hoffman and Pageau would be excellent additions. The Senators are sort of a disaster and Edmonton desperately needs more NHL players. They have a chance to acquire one for just draft picks and prospects or young players. Would that cost a first round pick or Kailer Yamamoto? That might be tough, but the Oilers should put all that cap space to use.

      • Oil9744

        Haa my bad I didn’t see the “or” Yamamoto, I still wouldn’t trade Yamo for Hoffman though, with Yamo and JP already here our top 6 right side is gonna be set for years

    • Slipknot 8

      First of all, the pick, if it’s a first round pick would be lottery protected…..The other point you made is you have zero idea who or what Yamamoto will be……He’s been pedestrian since going back to Spokane.
      The time to win is now, not 2, 3 or 4 more years into McDavid’s contract.

    • Winterkush

      Oilers fans still want a team of boys and not men.
      Oilers fans are delusional. Yamamoto is a very small player and will get injured. He will still need 3 years of development.

    • Slipknot 8

      The Cap is going to be at 80 million next season, The Oilers will sit at around 65 or so at beginning of next year.
      They need a LW ( not if they trade for Hoffman) and not re-sign Maroon. A 4th line center (most likely re-sign Letestu) and a top 9 winger most likely filled by Slepyshev full time. Then the Oilers need to qualify Benning,Nurse,Davidson and Strome.
      I don’t see it going over 15 million to get all those players done.

      • Winterkush

        besides Nurse why should the oilers waste their time with Benning, Davidson and Strome. They don’t have anything to offer. 3rd D pairing and a bottoms 6 player. Maybe a 500k-$1mil raise for each of those players.

  • positivebrontefan

    If you can get a 25 goal scorer for picks and/or prospects, you do that all day. You would be lucky to have one in ten prospects become a perennial 25 goal scorer. I cant see it happening…

  • ubermiguel

    “The season is more likely than not done”? That’s loser talk. Only 6 points back, team’s playing well, #1 goalie is back, best player in the world on our team; it’s going to be a fun playoff run. Now if you’re talking about needing Hoffman for the playoff push because we will have to deal Maroon, that I can get behind.

  • Spoils

    I like the hedge that you can reload on picks at the draft (if the team doesn’t get back into contention)…

    The other note is he is signed to a contract from an earlier cap. The cap is going up and that means a similar player likely costs more to sign.

    This is the type of piece we should have access this summer. Because, banking on slepy and drake and ky and jp cost us some early games… A hoffman then might have jarred us out of the scoring coma.

    3 lines baby!

  • Seriously Bored

    No. Don’t trade the future for a failed season. We are still in the hunt but pretending like one more goal scorer is going to get us over the hump is ridiculous.

  • DOD BEGINS AGAIN

    So…that would end up being Eberle + Yamamoto + a first round pick for Hoffman + Strome and approx. 2.4M cap hit added to the Oil… Rediculous.

    • vetinari

      If you are going to play that game… Eberle came as part of our return on the Chris Pronger to Anaheim trade so add: Joffrey Lupul, Ladislav Šmíd, 1st round pick in 2007 (Riley Nash), a 2008 2nd round pick (traded to New York Islanders, Travis Hamonic) and a conditional 1st round pick for one of the 2008/2009/2010 drafts (conditions were met in 2008, being Jordan Eberle)…

  • Jagrbaum

    I can’t see anyway we could afford Hoffman’s salary into the next season. In fact, I thought that’s one of the main reasons why Maroon is being considered as the odd man out should the Oilers not improve in the standings is the fact that we can’t afford to keep Maroon and Nuge in the next season. If Maroon doesn’t want to sign a reasonable deal, you’d rather keep Nuge than him. Also, unfortunately for Maroon a reasonable deal would have to be $3M or less since Darnell is also going command a Klefbom ($4.1M) type contract if he keeps his play up all season.

    • vetinari

      The cap should rise $3M to $5M next year and Hoffman averages more points per game over the last three years than Maroon and you would have cost certainty (Maroon likely will be looking for a new contract north of $4M per season anyways). With Sekara coming off IR soon, I wonder if we could build a trade around Gryba (surplus defenceman who once played for Ottawa), Maroon (pending UFA who would replace Hoffman’s place in the lineup for a short period at a lower price point) and either a mid-level defence prospect (Lagesson? Mantha? Lowe?) or mid level draft pick (3rd or a 4th rounder)– Ottawa would shed salary, gain a temporary replacement at LW and replenish its blueline should Karlsson be sincere about testing UFA status down the road. We would get a faster winger who averages about 60 pts a season.

      • Slipknot 8

        There going to buy or bury Gryba, unlikely anyone would be trading for Gryba. The Sen’s are going to be asking for a 1st and possible a Bear or Jones type.
        If you’re OTT would you take Lagesson, Mantha or Lowe who’s been a career minor leaguer?

      • Leaking5w-30

        He’s playing on the top pair and holding it down, he’s big, he’s mean, he’s smart, he skates well, and is second on the teams D in scoring despite getting zero pp time.

        If you don’t watch the games or look at stats why do you even bother trolling

      • OilersBro

        It is rare to find athletes like Darnell. He has both speed, size and strength (the lebron trifecta as I like to call it). His hockey IQ has come along well and he has proven to be a first pairing D despite being 5 years before the average NHL D man peaks

        • Randaman

          Homer opinion to be sure. I’m an Oiler fan but not blinded by it. He is big, strong, fast & mean but his hockey IQ needs a lot of work still and he only warrants a bridge deal. That’s the new reality on this team unless you want to trade Draisaitl or Nuge.

  • Fire Woodcroft!

    Anyone talking about trading the Yam-hammer should be driven out on the rails and kicked in the junk for good measure. Lol…

    Bringing in those eager young players and sending the older more expensive folks to pasture will be the only way to keep fielding a competitive team for a few years until the salary cap increases to adjust for some of our larger contracts. Trading picks might sound good but will seriously handicap us in future years if we’re short-sighted enough to fall for it now.

    For example – I wish Calgary all the success they can achieve right now (well, not actually) because the Flames system is going to be short of talent for a very long time over the next few years… based on their trades the last couple of summers.

    • Slipknot 8

      Really? What has Yamamoto shown you to say he will be anything in the NHL? The Oiler’s aren’t a competitive team now!! So your plan is to introduce even younger players into the non-competitive lineup??!!??
      The other part of your plan is to wait until these “picks” turn into NHLers and just have McDavid & company wait until there ready……
      First you build a competitive team…..Then you supplement long down the road, hording picks doesnt work, just ask the Oilers of the last decade. Man! Meanwhile, why don’t you pull up a chair and watch McDavid fly around the NHL in a Maple Leafs Jersey 8 years down the road but hey! it was fun watching those picks mature.

      • Fire Woodcroft!

        You plan works if you don”t have 3-4 of your players taking up such a huge chunk of the cap on long-term contracts – some with NMCs. Good luck ‘building your team’ if you only have 50% – 60% cap space and more than two thirds of the roster to fill.

        As for Yamamoto – you must have a pretty sad life if seeing a young 18-year old make it into the NHL right out of the draft and prove to be one of the most exciting players to watch on the team doesn’t impress you.

  • maz

    Hoffman is a great sniper. I think he would do wonder with McDavid, in fact I’ve had a few wet dreams about it. He would also be a sweet addition to the power play. He has a solid one-timer and had 13 PP goals last season.

  • LordRuggles

    I really like Maroon as an Oiler, he has grit he can score; having said that, Hoffman has a more established offensive touch and would seemingly be a better fit than Looch next to McDavid, so if I had to choose, I would choose the sniper, as Maroon’s toolkit is kind of duplicated with Looch. I would not be averse to dropping a lottery protected first and a d prospect like Jones or Bear…or even Maroon himself who Ottawa could flip at the deadline for more of those coveted picks and prospects.

  • DOD BEGINS AGAIN

    Hey Gregor…Yammas contract is not paid out for a year that he is in junior right? So why are you including it in the scenario. Regardless, Eberle plus yammo plus a first round pick (possibly a lottery pick) for Hoffman and Strome and adding to the cap is getting fleeced any way you look at it….

    • crabman

      why is Eberle for Strome even a factor in this discussion? I was against the trade from the beginning because we didn’t need cap space this year and weren’t replacing Eberle’s scoring. that being said that trade was made and needs to be looked at separately from future trades unless you are including Strome as part of the package going out. I also doubt a 1st round pick going out at this point wouldn’t be lottery protected.
      Chairelli has made moves and decisions I haven’t liked but a move to bring in Hoffman to correct past mistakes might be the right move at this point and help more in the next couple years than any prospect or pick would at this point.

  • DOD BEGINS AGAIN

    Vetenari. I was more thinking of how things have been handled by Chiarelli in the past six months….Chiarelli traded Eberle (25-30 goals) to Nyi for Strome (10-15 goals) and Salary savings… this article suggests that those savings + Yamamoto + a first round draft pick (possible lottery pick) will be spent on Hoffman (25-30 goals). Not to mention it is a bigger salary cap hit, and that the oil would have lost two consecutive first round draft choices at a time where they are in cap trouble and could use the cap relief of Young draft picks on entry level deals…,

  • Slipknot 8

    Would be fun to watch

    27 – 97 – 98
    68 – 29 – 16
    19 – 93 – 91 or 58
    58 or 91 – 55 – 44

    I think you really got something there! That’s a close to balance as the Oilers have had since 06

  • CMG30

    The point of draft picks is to try to pluck a legit NHL player out of the unknown. If you can trade those picks for a legit NHL player in his prime… why wouldn’t you?

    • belair

      Because there’s a salary cap. And when you have $21m tied up in two players long-term, eventually it bites you right in the ass.

      Ottawa trading Hoffman should look like us trading Eberle in the summer. You want us taking your salary for you? Well here’s Ryan Strome.