The St. Louis Blues are “engaged in serious discussions” with the Ottawa Senators on a trade that could involve forwards Mike Hoffman or Derick Brassard, according to a new report from Blues beat writer Lou Korac.
Citing a source, Korac reports if the two teams complete a trade, it will be for one of Hoffman or Brassard but not both. A potential package going back to Ottawa could include forwards Vladimir Sobotka, Patrik Berglund and Robby Fabbri according to Korac.
Hoffman’s name has been in trade rumours most of the season. Back in December, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported the Blues were interested in trading for the sniper, who has two more years left on his contract.
In 56 games this season, Hoffman has 16 goals and 39 points. He’s scored at least 26 goals in each of the past three seasons. Brassard, who will be an unrestricted free agent in 2019, has 16 goals and 32 points this season. Both Hoffman and Brassard have modified no-trade clauses.
Blues GM Doug Armstrong suggested Friday that his team could be busy ahead of the Feb. 26 trade deadline.
“I think we’re going to be active on hockey trades more than rental trades,” Armstrong said on Hockey Central at Noon. “The reality is if you’re trading an unrestricted free agent at that time you’re going to get what you can get and sometimes that won’t come until the last second.
“I think it’s actually going to be a really busy time though.”
This season has been disappointing for the Senators after going to the Eastern Conference Finals last spring. They currently have a 20-27-9 record and with 49 points, the Sens have only four more than the Buffalo Sabres, who are in last place in the Eastern Conference.
The Senators have been involved in two blockbuster trades this season, acquiring centre Matt Duchene from the Colorado Avalanche in November and flipping defenceman Dion Phaneuf to the Los Angeles Kings earlier this week.
With the playoffs out of sight, some key assets sent to Colorado, and star players Mark Stone and Erik Karlsson needing contract extensions soon, the Senators appear poised for a makeover at the deadline.
The Blues have been one of the more consistent teams this season and are on track to appear in the playoffs for the seventh consecutive season. The currently sit in the first wild card spot in the Western Conference with a 34-22-4 record and 72 points.
But offensive depth has been a problem for the Blues this year with Brayden Schenn, Vladimir Tarasenko and Jaden Schwartz (when healthy) carrying most of the load in that department this season. A player like Hoffman or Brassard could fortify the Blues’ second line and allow them to spread out their scoring during a playoff run.