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Frank Seravalli

TSN Senior Hockey Reporter

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It’s a tense week to be an Ottawa Senator, since the question surrounding the Sens isn’t necessarily who is available, but rather: Who will still be there when the dust settles next Monday afternoon?

With one week to go until the NHL’s trade deadline on Feb. 26 at 3 p.m. ET, it seems increasingly likely that winger Mike Hoffman will still be a Senator when it’s all said and done.

The situation remains fluid, but Hoffman slid to eighth on TSN Hockey’s latest Trade Bait board on Monday, with the latest intel suggesting Senators GM Pierre Dorion is less keen on moving him. It’s Hoffman's lowest ranking on the board in 2018, perhaps in part because of the chemistry he has developed with centre Matt Duchene on Ottawa’s top line – or because offers to date haven't met Dorion's asking price. 

After all, the Senators spent a boatload – Kyle Turris, first- and third-round picks, plus first-round pick Shane Bowers and goaltender Andrew Hammond ­– to acquire Duchene in November. He’s finally playing up to expectations, thanks in no small part to Hoffman.

Since Jan. 5, Duchene has eight goals and 21 points in 19 games. Seventeen of those points came at even strength. In the same 19 games, Hoffman has netted seven goals and 15 points – and has been producing at a point-per-game clip over the last nine contests.

Hoffman, 28, is now on track for 23 goals. He has averaged 27 goals over each of the last three seasons. A big part of the value in Hoffman is that he has two more years remaining on his deal at an AAV of $5.2 million.

Yes, the Senators are trying to shed salary, as evidenced by last week’s trade of Dion Phaneuf and Nate Thompson to Los Angeles for Marian Gaborik and Nick Shore.

Hoffman would be an easy way to do so as one of the premier left wingers on the market. 

Yet, if making this a one-season blip is the priority for Dorion in Ottawa, hanging on to a high-skill player like Hoffman – whose contract is market value – may be the way to go. Ottawa's Derick Brassard remains the top-ranked centre on the board, while Zack Smith, rental Johnny Oduya – and to a lesser extent, Jean-Gabriel Pageau – remain in play.

This week’s list expanded to 45 names. Newcomers include Detroit’s Luke Glendening, Xavier Ouellet and Dan DeKeyser, Pittsburgh’s Matt Hunwick, Buffalo’s Benoit Pouliot and Chicago’s Tommy Wingels.

Glendening has drawn interest from the Toronto Maple Leafs, as reported on Friday. Coach Mike Babcock said recently “the people that need to know, know” when asked about his trade wishes. 

Well, now we know one of them. Glendening, 28, broke into the NHL under Babcock in 2014-15. The idea would be for Glendening to replace oft-scratched centre Dominic Moore on the fourth line.

The belief is the Maple Leafs offered a fifth-round pick for Glendening, while the Red Wings countered by asking for a second-round pick. Talks were tabled at that point, with the Leafs unwilling to pay that price. Glendening has three years left on his deal at $1.8 million and the Red Wings are amid a rebuild.

Red Wings goaltender Petr Mrazek has also drawn interest from the Philadelphia Flyers. Talks between those two teams have been ongoing for weeks, but heated up again in the last two days when Michal Neuvirth went down at Madison Square Garden on Sunday. Starter Brian Elliott is already out until mid-March after undergoing core muscle surgery.

The Detroit Free Press reported the Flyers turned down Mrazek, a pending RFA, in exchange for a third-round pick. It’s unclear whether that price changed after both Neuvirth and Buffalo Sabres netminder Robin Lehner, another potential RFA option, went down with injury.

Enjoy this Monday holiday, because next Monday will be hectic.

Here is TSN Hockey’s latest Top 45 Trade Bait, whose ranking always seeks to blend likelihood of trade with prominence of the player:
 

The Top 45

Trend Player Pos Age Cap Hit GP G PTS Years Clause
  1. Rick Nash, NYR  LW 33 $7.8M 60 18 28 UFA M-NTC
  2. Mike Green, DET RD 32 $6M 56 6 29 UFA NTC
  3. Derick Brassard, OTT C 30 $5M 55 17 35 1 M-NTC
  4. Patrick Maroon, EDM LW 29 $1.5M 56 14 30 UFA  
  5. Evander Kane, BUF LW 26 $5.25M 59 18 38 UFA  
  6. Michael Grabner, NYR LW 30 $1.65M 59 25 31 UFA  
  7. Mark Letestu, EDM C 32 $1.8M 57 8 18 UFA  
Embedded Image 8. Mike Hoffman, OTT LW 28 $5.19M 57 16 39 2 M-NTC
  9. Jack Johnson, CBJ LD 31 $4.35M 59 3 8 UFA  
  10. Max Pacioretty, MTL LW 29 $4.5M 58 16 35 1  
  11. Max Domi, ARI C/LW 22 $1.36M 59 4 26 RFA  
  12. Thomas Vanek, VAN LW 33 $2M 59 16 40 UFA  
  13. Zack Smith, OTT C/LW 29 $3.25M 43 4 16 3 M-NTC
  14. Nick Holden, NYR LD 30 $1.65M 55 3 12 UFA  
  15. Ryan McDonagh, NYR LD 28 $4.7M 49 2 26 1 M-NTC
  16. Tomas Plekanec, MTL C 35 $6M 58 5 21 UFA  
  17. Derek Ryan, CAR C 31 $1.45M 58 11 26 UFA  
  18. Jeff Skinner, CAR LW 25 $5.73M 60 20 37 1 NMC
  19. Alex Galchenyuk, MTL LW 23 $4.9M 58 12 34 2  
  20. J-G Pageau, OTT C 25 $3.1M 53 7 19 4  
Embedded Image 21. Luke Glendening, DET C 28 $1.8M 46 8 14 3  
Embedded Image 22. Petr Mrazek, DET G 25 $4M 22 2.89 0.910 RFA  
  23. Boone Jenner, CBJ C 24 $2.9M 52 5 17 RFA  
  24. Andrew Shaw, MTL C/RW 26 $3.9M 43 10 19 4  
  25. Jordan Kyrou, STL C/RW 19 $894K 0 0 0 3 Slide
  26. Johnny Oduya, OTT LD 36 $2M 48 4 8 UFA M-NTC
  27. Gustav Nyquist, DET RW 28 $4.75M 58 16 28 1 NTC
  28. Aaron Dell, SJS G 28 $625K 24 2.51 0.917 UFA  
  29. Jon Gillies, CGY G 24 $725K 2 4.35 0.815 RFA  
  30. Erik Gudbranson, VAN RD 26 $3.5M 41 2 4 UFA  
  31. Matt Hunwick, PIT LD 32 $2.25M 35 3 7 2  
Embedded Image 32. Benoit Pouliot, BUF LW 31 $1.15M 55 11 15 UFA  
  33. Josh Leivo, TOR LW 24 $613K 12 1 3 1  
Embedded Image 34. Tommy Wingels, CHI RW 29 $750K 53 7 12 UFA  
  35. Blake Comeau, COL RW 31 $2.4M 55 10 22 UFA  
  36. Ben Hutton, VAN LD 24 $2.8M 50 0 6 1  
  37. Matt Cullen, MIN C 41 $1.7M 56 5 13 UFA  
  38. Nic Petan, WPG C 22 $863K 12 1 1 RFA  
  39. Robin Lehner, BUF G 26 $4M 44 2.95 0.910 RFA  
Embedded Image 40. Antoine Vermette, ANA C 35 $1.75M 58 8 16 UFA M-NTC
  41. Frank Vatrano, BOS LW 23 $925K 25 2 2 RFA  
  42. Xavier Ouellet, DET LD 24 $1.25M 35 0 4 1  
  43. Danny DeKeyser, DET LD 27 $5M 41 4 7 4 NTC
  44. Bobby Ryan, OTT LW 30 $7.25M 39 7 20 4 M-NTC
  45. Tyson Barrie, COL RD 26 $5.5M 44 5 31 2  

Contact Frank Seravalli on Twitter: @frank_seravalli​​