In today’s NHL rumor rundown, did the St. Louis Blues just confirm their interest in forward Mike Hoffman? What about the Boston Bruins? They might find room if Hoffman is still available near the start of the season. Are there updates on Ottawa Senators prospect Tim Stutzle and the chances he joins Senators’ training camp? Could the New Jersey Devils be thinking about weaponizing their cap space by moving P.K. Subban? Finally, what’s the latest when it comes to the Seattle Kraken franchise adding a head coach?
Blues Interested in Hoffman For Right Price
As per a report by Jeremy Rutherford of The Athletic, the St. Louis Blues are looking for additional scoring, especially with the news that Vladimir Tarasenko underwent his third shoulder surgery and could miss significant time.
Once the team figures out their LTIR situation, they could have room for a player like Mike Hoffman. When asked about Hoffman, Rutherford hinted that the Blues could be interested. He noted:
“I’m not saying we wouldn’t. (But) in all contracts, in my opinion, there’s a dollar value, where it just makes sense to do it without trying to jam a square peg into a round hole. I don’t believe there’s a premium we need to pay to fill a hole.”source – ‘Blues GM Doug Armstrong won’t rule out another signing, but cost may be too high’ – Doug Armstrong – The Athletic – 10/30/2010
The biggest issue for the Blues would not be adding more salary without solving their existing salary issues. The team is $1.2 million over the cap ceiling and still has RFA Vince Dunn to sign. He will cost the team around $2.5 million. From there, determining how long a player like Tarasenko or Alex Steen would be out matters, making sure the Blues have room to fit them back in when their injuries are no longer an issue.
Also on Hoffman, the Bruins are a team that some may consider a landing spot for the forward once they place some people on LTIR. Joe Haggerty of Boston Hockey Now says that player to watch here is David Pastrnak. If he’s not ready for the start of the season, GM Don Sweeney might look at Hoffman.
Devils Thinking About Moving Subban?
Ryan Dixon of Sportsnet is wondering if the New Jersey Devils might try to get creative with the contract of an expensive defenseman and weaponize their cap space in a deal that could net them a strong prospect or draft pick in return?
Dixon specifically notes that P.K. Subban could be a trade piece out of New Jersey if the Devils were willing to retain a good chunk of his salary for the last two seasons, getting a decent pick or prospect back in return. At $4.5 million versus $9 million could be an attractive piece for a team. Subban is still only 31, shoots right and loves a would relish the opportunity to show fans he’s got more left to give.
Senators Expect to Get Stutzle For Camp
We covered the report that newly-drafted Ottawa Senators prospect Tim Stutzle is still under contract with Mannheim this season and unless he’s released from that contract, can’t join the Senators in the NHL. But, there appears to be good news on that front.
Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun is reporting that the expectation is Stutzle will join the Senators at their training camp and that he might actually play for Germany at the World Junior Championships if his hand heals in time.
Though there has been some consternation because Stuetzle is under contract with Mannheim, it’s expected he will be released from that deal to come to Ottawa whenever camp begins. Since there’s no timetable in place and he’s recovering from a broken hand, there’s no rush for now.source – ‘GARRIOCH: The Ottawa Senators have made plenty of changes in a busy off-season’ – Bruce Garrioch – Ottawa Sun – 10/31/2020
Kraken Will Wait to Name Head Coach
As talk about the expansion draft gets more attention, everyone’s focus will shift to the Seattle Kraken as the NHL’s 32nd franchise. They’ll be joining the NHL the season after next and haven’t named their inaugural head coach.
They quickly landed Ron Francis as the GM in July of 2019 but Francis tells The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun he’s going to be patient on the coaching hire. He said:
We don’t know yet the kind of team we may be able to draft, so we’re comfortable kind of sitting back and waiting right now and watching what happens here. There’s still, hopefully, a 2020-21 season getting up and running and playing. Are there guys that end up losing their jobs or looking for other things elsewhere? I just think we have time on this. We’re not in a race to make that decision at this point.source – ‘LeBrun: Kraken already eying leverage in NHL expansion draft’ – Pierre LeBrun – The Athletic – 10/31/2020
That job will be an interesting one. Typically, a coach comes into an expansion situation with a long leash because expansion teams are expected to struggle. But, after the Vegas Golden Knights threw that theory out of the water, no job is secure.