31 Thoughts by Elliot Friedman is, as per usual, a treasure trove of neat information regarding the National Hockey League, and a little bit of interesting trivia popped up in the 7th thought, regarding the Senators long list of teams that are looking for talent in their organization:
....As for his roster, it sure sounds like Dorion is getting a lot of calls on Jean-Gabriel Pageau. He’s a good player and his stellar playoff resume has not gone unnoticed. Pittsburgh is believed to be among those circling. (Mark Letestu remains an option there, too.) Boston joined the group of teams checking out Mike Hoffman. St. Louis remains on the radar (and elsewhere), looking for a scorer. I’m not saying this is their choice, but I do think the Senators have done some due diligence on Robby Fabbri’s injury. - 31 Thoughts
Mike Hoffman, huh? Let’s take a look at this guy and see if he’s worth the Bruins’ time:
From a results perspective, he is currently 3rd in Ottawa in points, and tied for 3rd in goals scored as 2nd line Left wing for the Senators. Relatively speaking he’s doing alright for himself possession-wise, being just a hair under 50% on a team that’s been struggling to do much of anything inside Guy Boucher’s butt-crunchingly unfun system. Under the right man, there’s no reason to believe he wouldn’t flourish, especially in a more offensively creative system.
Notably, a good number of his points this year came from the man-advantage, 12 of his 30 points came on the power play, where he leads the team, making him a tantalizing option for a power play that’s seen some sharp downturn in playing quality with the simple change of personnel during those brief but important 5 on 4 situations.
So, at the very least, the guy can still play, that is not in doubt at all.
But the big, challenging part of getting Mike Hoffman as a Bruin, as it usually is...is his contract. Currently set at around 5.1 million AAV for the next two years.
Ignoring the bodies they’d have to move just to make it, and we will come back to that...For a guy at 30 points on the year and edging ever closer to age 30, that is a lot of money and space. Space the Bruins...kinda don’t have right now, or don’t really need to commit to the guy. The B’s are rolling (for right now), guys like Danton Heinen and Jake DeBrusk are looking like they’ll finish with close to 35-45 points and are objectively generating more offense and shot attempts than he is at a fraction of the price, The best argument you can make for the guy at this juncture is maybe veteran experience come the playoffs? And whose to say any one of the youngsters in this lineup can’t become a playoff wunderkind themselves? You don’t know anymore than they do.
And that’s even if you can afford him. Ottawa’s season is going about as poorly as it can go with a team that’s loaded with awful contracts. If they’re honestly not thinking about selling by the beginning of February, they’re kidding themselves. They will be looking in turn for plenty of return in the way of name prospects, picks, and probably a player back. While usually in those kinds of deals the player is usually thrown in as a sweetener, for Boston it might be the only possible way they could get the guy on the team. Which would likely mean the end of some player in Boston like Ryan Spooner (which would be like trading for an older Ryan Spooner, if I’m being honest), and Adam McQuaid or something like that, unless they could convince the Sens to retain salary. I will give you a minute to conceive of how long those particular negotiations would last with the Melnyk-run Sens. In seconds.
So...yeah. That part becomes a sticking point.
But the rewards are well known. As a scorer in last year’s playoffs, he went all the way off to get the Sens where they were, as a power play specialist, he has plenty of potential to take a powerful Bruins attack and make it even more dangerous than it already is. But with such things, comes a price that might be too painful to pay.
What do you think?
Should the Bruins trade for Mike Hoffman?
This poll is closed
Yes, but only if Don Sweeney can somehow convince the Sens to retain salary
No, the Bruins don’t need him or have better already.
No, he’s too expensive
Yes, but only if he changes his jersey number to the #nice number