In a move that has been expected for a couple of weeks now, the St. Louis Blues made it official and signed veteran forward Mike Hoffman to a one-year contract.
The deal will pay Hoffman $4 million for the 2019-20 season.
Hoffman initially joined the Blues on a professional tryout contract a couple of weeks ago. It seemed surprising at the time to see Hoffman, a 30-goal scorer and very productive player, would only manage to get a tryout contract on the free agent market. But it was widely assumed that it was only a temporary move to give the Blues time to work out their salary cap situation before signing him to his actual contract.
That turned out to be exactly what happened.
[Related: PHT’s 2020 NHL Free Agent Tracker]
The Blues are going to open the season with Vladimir Tarasenko on the LTIR list, and will also be placing Alex Steen on that list following his decision to end his playing career. Those transactions will help make the Blues cap compliant for the start of the season and give them the necessary space to officially sign Hoffman.
He will give the Blues an added goal-scoring presence to help make up for Tarasenko’s absence at the start of the season. When Tarasenko does return the Blues are going to have a very potent offense and be one of the top Stanley Cup contenders in the league.
The 31-year-old Hoffman is coming off of a 2019-20 season with the Florida Panthers that saw him score 29 goals and 59 total points in 69 games. He has scored 65 goals over the past two seasons.