Montreal Canadiens Expressed Interest in Hoffman Prior to Perry Signing

SUNRISE, FL - FEBRUARY 29: Mike Hoffman (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
SUNRISE, FL - FEBRUARY 29: Mike Hoffman (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images) /

The Montreal Canadiens were in talks with Mike Hoffman’s camp up until he signed a professional tryout with the St. Louis Blues organization.

On Monday, the Montreal Canadiens announced the signing of 35-year old winger Corey Perry to a one-year $750 000 deal. However, they had their sights set on another forward before this signing.

Given the COVID-19 pandemic’s economic effects, the NHL saw a flat salary cap for the upcoming 2020-21 regular season. As a result, many teams could not afford players on their roster and lost them for nothing. Likewise, it took several months for certain players. This can be seen with the likes of Corey Perry and Michael Frolik, who signed deals in the last week. Furthermore, up until Sunday night, there was another notable name still looking for a new team to join.

One of the top scorers still available in Free Agency has been Mike Hoffman who has spent the last two seasons with the Florida Panthers and seven years before that with the Ottawa Senators organization. In the 2019-20 season, Hoffman recorded 29 goals and 30 assists for 59 points in 69 games played. In the year prior, Hoffman had a career year of 36 goals and 34 assists for 70 points in 82 games played.

Per The Athletic’s Pierre Lebrun, the Montreal Canadiens were one of several teams that had been in talks with Mike Hoffman‘s camp. While there was no word of a concrete offer, it would have been interesting to see how the Montreal Canadiens would have tried to stay cap compliant.

Although Hoffman would inevitably go to the St. Louis Blues on a professional tryout, it is impressive to see that the Montreal Canadiens were still looking to add to their scoring, even after the acquisitions of Tyler Toffoli and Josh Anderson. In past seasons, both players have scored between 20-30 goals. Adding Hoffman to the mix would have made the Montreal Canadiens a significant scoring threat as they prepare to play in an all-Canadian division.

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Nonetheless, even without Hoffman, the Montreal Canadiens appear to be gearing up to make a run for the playoffs as they continue to add depth to their lineup.