St. Louis Blues insider Jeremy Rutherford confirmed on Sunday that forward Mike Hoffman has been made a healthy scratch as the Blues take on the Anaheim Ducks. There were questions as to why Hoffman wasn’t on the ice with the Blues as warmups began, but the fact he’s being sat by the coach raises all sorts of new questions, ones the media will likely have a field day with.
While Hoffman has produced throughout the season at a decent clip, he has zero points in his last five games and only 20 points in 33 games this season. The Blues were expecting more from him when he was signed to a one-year, $4 million free agency contract at the tail end of this past offseason.
The timing couldn’t be more intriguing as the Blues were mentioned by Sportsnet hockey insider Elliotte Friedman on Saturday night as a team that might be interested in Taylor Hall. Friedman noted the Blues were having trouble scoring and while we’re not going to make the immediate assumption that a Hall-for-Hoffman trade is in the works, some have wondered if there are dots that can be connected here.
Could the Blues look to move Hoffman to free up salary for Hall? It would be an intriguing deal, even if only because Hall actually has worse production this season than Hoffman and makes twice the money.
This Could Just Be a Wakeup Call
More likely, this isn’t the Blues keeping Hoffman out because of a pending trade and not wanting him to get injured, nor is it probably about thinking they should move a less expensive, more productive player for a different one. This could just be about sending a message.
Hoffman is an important part of the Blues offense and he’s there to score goals. If he’s not going to do that, the Blues will play someone else.
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