After making the 2017 Eastern Conference Finals, the Ottawa Senators are one of the more disappointing teams this season. It is clear that everyone in the organization is upset with the team’s performance and the time to make some changes is now. Winger, Mike Hoffman, has been the subject of a few rumors and could be the first big name headed out of Ottawa.
NHL Rumors: St. Louis Blues Interested in Mike Hoffman?
Since his first full season in the National Hockey League, Hoffman has been a 25-plus goal scorer. At 28-years-old, he’s also got plenty of good hockey left to play. Add in the fact that he still has two more seasons on his current contract, and it’s clear to see why he’d garner interest.
With approximately 10 teams in the market for a forward, Hoffman’s name has been linked to quite a few teams. The latest franchise reported to have serious interest in him is the St. Louis Blues.
In various media appearances, including Friday on Vancouver’s Sportsnet 650 and NHL Tonight, Elliotte Friedman explained that St. Louis appears to be serious about acquiring Hoffman. Ottawa seems to want draft picks or prospects and Friedman believes the Blues have the pieces to get the deal done.
He explained that St. Louis gave up two first-round picks to acquire Brayden Schenn but they have some good prospects in the organization. Names such as Tage Thompson, Klim Kostin, and Robby Fabbri were mentioned in Friedman’s appearance on Sportsnet 650.
Thompson was drafted in the first round in 2016 and has played nine games with St. Louis this season. Kostin was taken in the first round of last year’s draft and currently plays with the San Antonio Rampage of the American Hockey League. Fabbri, selected 21st overall in 2014, was one of St. Louis’s more exciting young players to watch last season. Unfortunately, he was lost for the season with a left knee injury.
At first, it may be hard to understand why the Senators would even consider dealing Hoffman in the first place. He’s under 30, is a talented goal scorer, and has a friendly cap hit of $5.1875 million for two more years. However, look a little deeper and it begins to make a little more sense.
The current climate in Ottawa is quite ugly. The team is losing, they cannot sell tickets, and their owner has made comments about relocating. Something needs to change with this organization and the roster is the most immediate place it can happen. Hoffman is a valuable member of this franchise. As a result, the Senators should get some good assets in exchange for the winger.
In addition, the Erik Karlsson situation must be considered as well. The star defenseman is set to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2019. If the Senators are truly devoted to keeping him around, they need to clear as much cap space as possible. Also, Mark Stone will be looking for a new contract this summer. Ottawa will also want to extend him, at least you’d think so.
Is St. Louis a Good Fit for Mike Hoffman?
The answer to that question is quite simple. Yes, the Blues would be a great place for Hoffman to wind up.
St. Louis has had a better 2017-18 season than people originally expected. Barring the whole team-health situation, they are one of the teams who can legitimately contend for the Stanley Cup. Add a talented goal-scorer like Hoffman and your chances get even better.
In addition, Hoffman would be more than a rental for the Blues. As was mentioned before, he has two more years on his contract and can help St. Louis continue to contend in the Western Conference.
Of course, a lot can still happen in the Hoffman trade story. Still, being sent to St. Louis would be great for both the Blues organization and Mike Hoffman.