The St. Louis Blues sign forward Mike Hoffman to a non-guaranteed personal try-out.
This is one of those deals that will make a person scratch their head. It’s become apparent that the 2021 NHL season’s uncertainty is diluting the opportunity for free agents to break the bank. The St. Louis Blues signing forward Mike Hoffman to a PTO is great for the organization and maybe even Mike Hoffman if things work out as planned.
It’s a Blues team that is in the midst of re-tooling after their Stanley Cup Championship a short two seasons ago. The salary cap stricken Blues lost their former captain Alex Pietrangelo to Vegas in free agency. They’ve since replaced that vacancy on the blueline with veteran Torey Krug.
With star forward Vladimir Tarasenko placed on Injured Reserve to begin the 2021 season and veteran forward Alexander Steen being forced into retirement due to injury, the Blues needed to find a bonified scorer to fill the void.
The NHL is coming off of one of the most irregular offseasons’ in league history due to the coronavirus pandemic leaving organizations reluctant to spend significant money in free agency as they ponder how they will recoup the lost revenue due to COVID-19.
It was a free agent market headlined by the aforementioned Pietrangelo along with former Hart Trophy winner Taylor Hall. Hall landed himself a one-year deal worth $8 million with the Buffalo Sabres.
Why isn’t Mike Hoffman expected to earn a similar contract?
Hoffman made it known he’s looking to earn a large role on a good team. The problem is with an NHL Salary Cap Freeze heading into the 2021 season and possibly longer; the good teams don’t have the space to pay a forward top-three money.
Hoffman has amassed 172 goals, 359 points in 493 career points throughout his career, where he’s spent parts of seven seasons with the Ottawa Senators and the last two years in Florida. The crafty offensive forward has averaged a touch under 17 minutes of ice-time per game while maintaining a solid Corsi For Percentage of 51.1.
The 31-year old Hoffman will join a Cup contending club while playing a significant role offensively, immediately filling in for Tarasenko and likely signing a one-year deal that comes in somewhere between $4-$5 million.
This is a win-win for both Hoffman and the St. Louis Blues.