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Things lining up for Boston Bruins to take a run at Hoffman

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The Boston Bruins were reportedly willing to go the extra mile to secure a one-year deal with Taylor Hall when they were in the running for the free agent winger’s services in NHL free agency. That meant the B’s would have dealt away a player or two for salary cap relief to create the space necessary to ink the former Hart Trophy winner to a one-year contract like the $8 million deal he eventually signed with the Buffalo Sabres.

The Bruins could end up making the same kind of arrangement with free agent sniper Mike Hoffman based on the most recent developments out of his camp. The 29-year-old Hoffman is willing to take a one-year deal this offseason, according to his agent, similar to Hall in the COVID-19 crushed NHL economy, but likely at a lower rate than the $8 million that it cost Buffalo to eventually sign the former first overall pick.

That’s not too shabby at all for the best pure goal-scorer still left on the market.

“There’s no issues on a one-year deal,” Hoffman’s agent, Robert Hooper, told The Athletic in a story published Tuesday. “Obviously, if you’re going to take a one-year deal, you want to put yourself in a good situation because you’re going to be back in the market next year again.

“I think some of the teams that would love to add Mike Hoffman to their roster have had difficulty moving pieces around in order to make room for a guy like Mike. Who doesn’t want a 30-goal scorer in your lineup? Raise your hand.”

Hooper mentioned that nearly half the league had expressed interest in Hoffman, but there were five or six serious suitors believed to be teams like the Bruins and Nashville Predators among others.

Certainly, the Black and Gold would be raising their hand for a guy like Hoffman that’s averaged 28 goals per season since entering the league and scored 65 goals and 129 points in two seasons with the Panthers. Hoffman has a lethal shot and release, knows how to get to the scoring areas and would be exactly the kind of elite finisher that David Krejci has been without on the second line for the last few seasons.

Given the top-6 spot and the power play time he would garner as a shoot-first kind of player on a team full of unselfish pass-first teammates, the Bruins would arguably be one of the best spots for Hoffman to shine in a one-year audition for a biggest contract next time around.

The problem right now for the Boston Bruins: The flat salary cap. The Bruins have $7 million in cap space and an unsigned Jake DeBrusk that’s probably going to account for half the open space unless they trade him to address roster needs. The Bruins would love to move the contracts of players like Nick Ritchie and John Moore, but that’s a more difficult undertaking given the new NHL normal of a flat salary cap for the foreseeable future.

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Still, if the Bruins envision that they have one more kick at the Stanley Cup can then a pickup like Hoffman could go a long way toward pushing them back into true contender status after losing Torey Krug in free agency. It might be a difficult chore, but it’s one that Don Sweeney should be capable of given that the player’s agent is saying things that the cap-strapped Boston Bruins would absolutely want to hear.

 

Joe Haggerty has covered the Boston Bruins and the NHL for 18 years with NBC Sports Boston, WEEI.com, the Boston Metro and the Woburn Daily Times, and currently serves as lead Bruins reporter and columnist for Boston Hockey Now. Haggs always strives to capture the spirt of the thing any way that he can.

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Bruinmann77

I think the Bruins still plan to trade Jake and include Moore in the deal,and then sign Hoffman.

Jonah

If they could i would move out moore and another contract to pay debrusk 4m, hoffman 5m, and chara 1m

tonyd

This was a funny line:It might be a difficult chore, but it’s one that Don Sweeney should be capable of given that the player’s agent is saying things that the cap-strapped Boston Bruins would absolutely want to hear.

Don is the worst , most incompetent GM in hockey
Other Gm’s are capable, not Sweeney.

Fino Caraco

Totally agree!

Fino Caraco

The window for the veteran core of this team is just about closed. Hoffman while a nice addition doesn’t close the talent gap with Tampa enough to make anyone think the Bruins would have a legitimate chance to win a series against them. That being said if you can get him on a reasonable one year deal then it should be considered. It is about time Krejci has a real winger! Sweeney has done a fine job wasting the last few years of his career giving him sub-par linemates. The team looks like they are ready to move forward without… Read more »

Rick W Murray

They have to secure Hoffman even if it’s only for a year the guy can’t check a suitcase but he is a pure natural goal scorer something the bruins need desperately. They already have enough checkers and journeyman forwards and d. If they can sign Debrusk (bridge deal) and get this guy (Hoffman)we could have three solid powerful lines. And go from team that could bow out early to a team that could go all the way. Sweeney DON’T BLOW IT!!!!!

Fino Caraco

Wishful thinking… Sweeney has already blown it with this team.

Mike S

I’m curious as to why Sweeney has blown this team?

AJ

It was said before, but using Sweeney and capable in the same sentence is an oxymoron. He’s most likely demanding a 1st rd pick & a prospect for Debrusk, as well as throwing Moore in the deal (i.e. something another team would never do). Here’s a question – why don’t they use the 10% off-season overage to just sign him? You be over by 10% of the cap until the season starts. I understand that it puts them in an underwhelming situation, with teams knowing he has to get under the cap, but somehow Vegas was able to unload Schmidt… Read more »

Joe Prosser

I’d really like the Bruins to keep DeBrusk, a bridge deal mentioned above is a great idea, giving him the lowest amount in the first year like they have done in the past with other players. Sign Hoffman and trade Moore 2.25 million and Ritchie 2 million plus the 7 million in cap space that would give the Bruins 11.25 million to sign DeBrusk and Hoffman. Miller is still on LTIR as well at 1.5 million. He is supposed to be ready to play, the Bruins said according to the medical staff he’s been skating for months, the knee has… Read more »

Mike S

I love the idea, but if you think the bruins can trade Moore and Ritchie at this point you’re crazy… Especially in Covid times, teams are not willing to take on salary for players that simply can’t play on contending teams.

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