It’s clear the Ottawa Senators are going to try to make numerous roster changes by the Feb. 26 trade deadline, but which players get moved is anybody’s guess at this stage. The Senators are highly unlikely to trade Erik Karlsson, and as the Ottawa Sun notes, without fully understanding his future intentions, any move involving the captain is better suited for the summer if he isn’t confident he wants to sign an extension. Karlsson’s decision has an affect on some other members of the team. While teams have called and inquired about blueliner Cody Ceci, he’s unlikely to be dealt until Karlsson’s picture becomes clear. The paper suggests forwards Mark Stone, Colin White and Matt Duchene, and defenceman Thomas Chabot are also not expected to be dealt, while it would take a significant offer to part with centre Jean-Gabriel Pageau. Forwards Mike Hoffman, Zack Smith, Ryan Dzingel and centre Derick Brassard, and blueliners Dion Phaneuf and Johnny Oduya, on the other hand, could all be moved for the right price. Hoffman and Smith have attracted the most interest, as several teams have made serious inquiries. The St. Louis Blues, Edmonton Oilers, San Jose Sharks and Buffalo Sabres are among the teams reportedly interested in Hoffman, while the Calgary Flames and Vegas Golden Knights are among the teams believed to be eyeing Smith.
The Washington Capitals have re-signed center Lars Eller to a five-year, $17.5 million contract extension, with an average annual value of $3.5 million, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced. Eller, 28, has registered 28 points (11g, 17a) in 53 games this season, which ranks sixth on the Capitals. The 6’2″, 207-pound center is three points shy of setting a new single-season high, set in the 2012-13 season with the Montreal Canadiens. Eller set a career high four-game goal streak (1/7-1/12) and scored five goals in six games (1-7-1/19) during the stretch. In addition, Eller ranks fourth on the team this season with 99 shots and his 102:33 time on the penalty kill ranks second among Capitals forwards this season. The Capitals acquired Eller from Montreal on June 24, 2016, in exchange for the Capitals’ second round NHL draft picks in 2017 and 2018. The Rodovre, Denmark, native has earned 53 points (23g, 30a) in 133 games with Washington. The Capitals are 32-8-3 all-time when Eller records a point. Drafted by St. Louis in the first round, 13th-overall, in the 2007 draft, Eller has recorded 209 points (96g, 113a) in 576 games with St. Louis, Montreal and Washington. Eller has recorded at least 25 points in each of his last five seasons.
Veteran winger Patrick Maroon knows there’s a very good chance he gets moved by the Feb. 26 trade deadline, and while he understands the situation he’s in, he doesn’t entirely like it. Maroon, 29, is in the final year of his contract, which comes with a $1.5 million salary cap hit, and can become an unrestricted free agent July 1. There hasn’t been any progress in contract talks with the Oilers, setting the stage for a trade within the next two weeks. Maroon spoke on the subject: “It’s hard. You go back and sit in your hotel room or your house and think about those things. I’m not going to tell you that I don’t think about them. I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t. We’re all human, we all think about what’s going to happen to us. Right now I just have to block that situation out. Maybe it’s been in my head, I don’t know, but I have to block it out and play for this team”. Several teams have expressed interest in Maroon, including the likes of the Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, Nashville Predators, Los Angeles Kings and St. Louis Blues. It’s unclear what the exact asking price is, but the Oilers are expected to be looking for at least two assets in return.