Ottawa Senators

Leading goalscorer Hoffman unsure about long-term deal with Sens

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This has been a pretty good year for Mike Hoffman, Ottawa’s 25-year-old rookie that leads the team in goals (17) and earned himself a spot at All-Star weekend in Columbus.

But with that success comes questions — specifically, ones about his future and a possible long-term deal with the Sens.

“Depends how long,” Hoffman said, per the Ottawa Sun. “Three years, yeah, no problem. But five and six … it would all depend on the numbers, right?”

A late-round pick at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Hoffman made his NHL debut in 2011-12 and spent the last few seasons working his way to the NHL level. This year, he’s providing great production on the cheap — a one-year deal at $750,00 — and, perhaps most impressively, has done all his damage at even strength (he sits 10th in the NHL in ESG, with 17, one back of Alex Ovechkin.)

As such, Hoffman expects to garner a significant raise on his new deal, and there’s one contract length the pending RFA has already ruled out.

“I know it’s not going to be a two-year (deal),” he explained. “That’s the only thing I know, because that would put me to UFA after that.

“That’s already been discussed. But other than that, not too much.”

Goalie Nods: Dubnyk gets ninth straight start

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All the latest from the blue paint…

Dubnyk looks for a fifth straight win

Devan Dubnyk will make his ninth consecutive start Saturday night when the Colorado Avalanche visit Minnesota. Dubnyk posted a 24 save shutout of the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday. The 28-year-old has won four straight while posting a 0.75 G.A.A. and a .974 save percentage.

Semyon Varlamov gets the start for the Colorado Avalanche.

Elsewhere…

Kings at Lightning: Jonathan Quick vs. Ben Bishop

Blue Jackets at Senators: Curtis McElhinney vs. Robin Lehner

Devils at Canadiens: Keith Kinkaid vs. Carey Price

Oilers at Leafs: Viktor Fasth vs. James Reimer

Stars at Sabres: Anders Lindback vs. Jhonas Enroth

Islanders at Bruins: Chad Johnson vs. Tuukka Rask

Red Wings at Coyotes: Petr Mrazek vs. Mike Smith

Penguins at Canucks: Thomas Greiss, vs. Ryan Miller

Hurricanes at Sharks: Cam Ward  vs. Antti Niemi

Video: Sens honor Phillips for setting franchise games-played record

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The Ottawa Senators displayed this tribute video for defenseman Chris Phillips, who passed Daniel Alfredsson for the franchise record in games played with 1,179 on Thursday:

Heading into the game, Phillips was humble, as NHL.com reports.

“It means a lot. The type of player I am, I’m not going to be breaking any other records, let’s put it that way,” Phillips said.

Indeed. The 36-year-old has scored 71 goals and 288 points with a 20:42 TOI average for his career, not exactly All-Star numbers (but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been valuable in his own way).

During the game, the Washington Capitals left the bench to congratulate Phillips while Alex Ovechkin remarked at his longevity. Phillips’ family was on hand, too:

Awww.

Goalie nods: Pekka back for Preds

All the latest from the blue paint…

Rinne Returns

Pekka Rinne will start in goal for Nashville — for the first time since Jan. 19 — when the Preds host the Ducks tonight at Bridgestone.

Rinne, the NHL’s wins leader (29), had been playing at a Vezina- and Hart-worthy level prior to suffering a sprained knee three weeks ago, posting a .931 save percentage and 1.96 GAA. While Nashville did well in his absence (Carter Hutton and Marek Mazanec combined to go 4-2-2), Rinne’s return will be a massive boost, especially against a Ducks team that’s tied on 72 points with the Preds, but trails in the standings because of the regulation wins tiebreaker.

For Anaheim, Frederik Andersen will get the start in goal.

Elsewhere…

Blues at Sabres: Jake Allen vs. Jhonas Enroth

Isles at Flyers: Jaroslav Halak vs. Steve Mason

Caps at Sens: Braden Holtby vs. Robin Lehner

Kings at Panthers: Roberto Luongo for Florida, Jonathan Quick likely for L.A.

Bolts at Stars: Andrei Vasilevskiy for Tampa Bay, Kari Lehtonen likely for Dallas.

Wings at Avs: Petr Mrazek for Detroit, no word on a Colorado starter.

‘Canes at Coyotes: Cam Ward vs. Mike Smith

Sharks at Canucks: Ryan Miller for Vancouver, Antti Niemi likely for San Jose.

Report: Sens not trading Chris Neil, because he doesn’t want to be traded

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The Ottawa Senators will not be trading veteran winger Chris Neil.

According to the Ottawa Sun’s Don Brennan, the Sens asked the 35-year-old if he wanted to be dealt and he said no.

So they won’t.

There was interest in Neil, GM Byran Murray confirmed last month. But Murray said that before he considered trading Neil, or veteran defender Chris Phillips, he’d consult with them first out of respect.

“I think, from their length of service here, the type of people they are, what they bring to the locker room, it would be a long discussion with them,” said Murray, per the Ottawa Citizen.

Neil is signed through next season for a cap hit of $1.9 million.

Per the Ottawa Sun, Neil “has a clause in his contract that allows him to name 15 clubs where he won’t accept a trade.”