No one is reporting that the St. Louis Blues are actively trying to move Mike Hoffman.
But, no one is reporting that the Blues aren’t actively trying to move Hoffman.
One of the top free agents available this past offseason, Hoffman waited until basically training camp to get a deal after the forward market tanked. He joined the Blues on a PTO, which was converted to a one-year deal that carries a $4 million cap hit.
But St. Louis and Hoffman have underachieved, the winger is a pending UFA and he’s even been healthy scratch at times. And with the trade deadline nearing, his name increasingly is popping up in rumors/speculation.
“One guy who has nine goals and 21 points on the season is Mike Hoffman, a pending UFA who could also be on the move,” The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun said Tuesday on TSN’s Insider Trading.
“The St. Louis Blues are not out of contention but we know from GM Doug Armstrong’s history, that he’s not worried about trading pending UFAs when his team underachieves. He traded Kevin Shattenkirk at the deadline in 2017 despite being in a playoff spot. He traded Paul Stastny to Winnipeg in 2018 despite being a point out, and word is, from talking to different teams around the league, that he’s open to potentially moving some pending UFAs. The Blues have disappointed.”
Then, there was this piece from The Athletic’s Jeremy Rutherford.
“There are no guarantees in this game, but if ever there was a situation that screamed trade, this is it.,” Rutherford wrote earlier this week. “He doesnât seem to be a fit for Craig Berubeâs system, and itâs extremely unlikely there would be interest in re-signing him.”
Hoffman was a healthy scratch Wednesday, and through 36 games has nine goals and 12 assists.
Though he historically has been a defensive liability, Hoffman is regarded as one of the game’s most lethal shooters, and is a menace on the power play.
Given the Blues seem to have little interest in keeping him, plus he has underachieved, it’s not far-fetched to believe he’ll not only be moved, but also at a discount price — though the number of suitors for the 31-year-old ultimately will dictate that.