By Patrick Kelly
With just over 24 hours left until the St. Louis Blues season opener against the Colorado Avalanche, the team has made one last signing to solidify the lineup. Mike Hoffman, who was signed to a PTO last week, made his time in St. Louis official by signing a one-year, $4 million deal.
Hoffman had been a late addition to the roster after the departure of Alexander Steen. Since the beginning of camp, he has been paired with Jaden Schwartz and Robert Thomas. The chemistry between the three has only continued to grow throughout the shortened camp. Unfortunately, as Hoffman had said to the media, there is only so much chemistry that can be built during practice, and a lot of it has to be done in game. One play that showed the chemistry the three could have took place in the scrimmage on Sunday when Thomas fed a pass across the slot to Hoffman for a perfect one timer under the arm of Jordan Binnington.
Hoffman has bounced around the league because of off-the-ice problems. He has been trying to put that behind him and just play hockey and it seems he found the perfect team to do it. The best part about this for the Blues is they got Hoffman at a steal for only $4 million. Hoffman finished last season with the exact same number of goals and points he scored in his final year before signing a four-year, $5.1 million contract.
Hoffman may have taken a bit of a deal to be here, but he picked St. Louis for a reason. This could be his year to show the league what he is capable of and with the pandemic affecting salaries and the season, this is simply the right time for Hoffman to try and earn himself a big payday this fall. Whatever the Ottawa Senators and Florida Panthers got, this will likely be a different, more hungry Hoffman who is looking to make giant waves this season and perhaps also add a ring.