Pierre LeBrun took a closer look at how the deal between the St. Louis Blues and forward Mike Hoffman materialized on Sunday. Hoffman agreed to join the Blues on a professional tryout and while that sounds simple enough, there was a lot that went into the decision. Multiple teams were in, money was an issue and the timing is key to making this deal work for both sides.
In a post on The Athletic, LeBrun noted that there were certainly more teams interested in Hoffman’s services than just the Blues. In fact, there were as many as 16 teams who called and some who made offers. This is why so many people were surprised to hear that Hoffman wound up on a PTO. But, don’t let the fact that he’s “trying out” for the Blues fool you. This is just a means to an end.
LeBrun writes, “But let’s be clear. The interest from the market was always there.” He adds:
Depending on what Hoffman ends up signing as his real NHL contract with the Blues, his professional tryout (PTO) with St. Louis is just a bridge to get there, giving the team time to work out long-term injury reserve (LTIR) on opening night and probably making the PTO a moot point.
In other words, the Blues and Hoffman are agreeing to do this with the end of goal of a shiny new contract in sight. Whether it’s a one-year deal or a longer-term contract is unclear, but LeBrun believes it will be a one-year deal at around $4 to $4.25 million.
LeBrun notes that this is comparable to the offers that were out there for Hoffman from other teams. Considering his ask was $5.5 – $6 million, it’s no wonder he didn’t sign anywhere. In the end, this became about a chance to win and produce. If he was going to take less money, he wanted an opportunity to go for the Stanley Cup while putting up big numbers. He should get the chance to do both as he’ll be coming in to replace lost offense in Vladimir Tarasenko and Alex Steen and the Blues should be contenders.
Who Were Among Those 16 Teams That Called on Hoffman?
LeBrun adds, “I’m told about 15-16 teams showed interest in Hoffman at one point or another over the past three months.” He said some offers were serious and some were teams just tire-kicking to see if there was a way to make the money work. Columbus, Nashville, Montreal and the New York Islanders were amongst the teams who showed continued interest.
In the end, these teams aren’t technically out of the running, but Montreal went and signed Corey Perry on Monday. Nashville went with Mikael Granlund and Erik Haula and Columbus and the Islanders still have two very big names in Pierre-Luc Dubois and Mathew Barzal to sign.
For Hoffman, as teams started exiting the conversation, the Blues became one of the few viable options left.
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