According to sources, the Flyers kicked the tires on Ottawa winger Mike Hoffman, with the apparent asking price of defenseman Travis Sanheim and a first-round pick as a starting point. Needless to say, any negotiations or discussions didn’t advance much further than that.
“It’s an emotional time for all of us and you’ve got to really think things through clearly,” Hextall said following Monday’s 3 p.m. deadline. “To do something because someone else did something, that’s not how I operate. We’re going to make well-thought-out decisions.”
Hextall may be willing to part with the pick considering the Flyers could have two first-rounders in the upcoming draft depending on what happens with the St. Louis Blues, but the highly-coveted Sanheim is a deal breaker.
“We’ve got a lot of good young players and we get asked about them fairly often,” Hextall said.
Hextall, like most general managers, utilizes the days leading up to the trade deadline to gain a barometer on what other GMs are thinking, what prospects teams value and what’s the starting point for any potential deal. It’s all a matter of performing due diligence.
However, Hoffman is certainly a player that would interest Hextall, who stated he doesn’t believe in overpaying for a rental. Hoffman is under contract for two more years after 2017-18 at a very reasonable cap hit of just over $5 million a season.
For an organization and a head coach looking to play a more up-tempo pace, Hoffman would be an ideal fit. He has blazing speed with a terrific shot and he’s seven goals shy of his fourth straight 25-goal season. He’s also a natural left winger, the one forward position the Flyers are a little thin at right now.
Interestingly, the 28-year-old Hoffman came into Flyers' training camp 10 years ago on an amateur tryout. He returned to the QMJHL where the Senators selected him at the age of 19 in the fifth round of the 2009 NHL draft. As a late bloomer, Hoffman wasn’t an NHL regular until the age of 25.
With Valtteri Filppula in the final year of his contract and the possibility that Jori Lehtera could be bought out of the final year of his contract, the Flyers will have some financial maneuverability to add a veteran forward, if that’s what they elect to do.
If Sanheim is the must-needed piece to broker a deal, then the Flyers could have to involve a third team — much like the Matt Duchene blockbuster trade between the Predators and Avalanche earlier this season.
The small-market Senators are also looking to cut payroll and add prospects as they currently have a shortage of their own draft picks. Until the Derick Brassard trade with Pittsburgh, Ottawa didn’t own a single pick in the first three rounds of this year’s draft.
While there was very little chance Hoffman was going to be moved at the deadline, discussions could heat up in late June when all 31 teams reconvene at this year’s draft in Dallas.