The Ottawa Senators could become a key player on the NHL trade front in the next week, should general manager Pierre Dorion choose to deal assets with term remaining rather than simply the rentals that are largely available leaguewide at this time of year.

During a Monday afternoon appearance on TSN, Darren Dreger relayed that the team is drawing notable interest regarding several of its players.

“The door is still open to the possibility of Mike Hoffman being traded by the Ottawa Senators, but it is going to take a premium, premium return for Pierre Dorion to consider it and ultimately pull the trigger because he is so talented,” indicated Dreger, following up on the fact that Hoffman has been lowered on the Frank Seravalli-run TSN Trade Bait List. “Matt Duchene has got wonderful chemistry with him, talks about how talented he is. Of course he’s got the shot, he’s got the speed – but there’s hockey IQ.

“So if you’re Ottawa, you’re going through a renovation, a retool – not a complete tear-it-down-to-the-wood type of rebuild. So if you move Mike Hoffman and you don’t get exactly what you need, how do you replace that player. Because you’re going to want to replace him within a year or two.”

Hoffman has this year and two additional seasons remaining on his contract, which has a cap hit of just under $5.2 million. He has a modified no-trade clause through these final three campaigns of that four-year pact, and that comes with a 10-team no-trade list.