Islanders UFA target Mike Hoffman joining St Louis Blues on PTO

Mike Hoffman #68 of the Florida Panthers (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
Mike Hoffman #68 of the Florida Panthers (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images) /

Some New York Islanders fans wanted Lou Lamoriello to add veteran sniper Mike Hoffman to the lineup. Unfortunately for them, the St Louis Blues struck first.

There’s no doubt that the one thing the New York Islanders needed going into the 2021 NHL season was a sniper. Adding a player you could guarantee to score 30+ goals would be a game-changer for the Islanders.

To many fans that player was UFA winger Mike Hoffman. The former Ottawa Senators and Florida Panthers forward scored 30 or more goals in last season (and was on pace to so so again in 19-20). The guy scores buckets of goals. It’s easy to see why he could have given the Islanders what they were looking for.

But on Sunday, Mike Hoffman signed a PTO to play with the St Louis Blues. Effectively taking him off the market.

PTO? Hoffman?

How does Hoffman, a player with 169 goals over the last six seasons end up on a PTO? I know, it sounds weird, but there’s a good reason for it.

Essentially it boils down to the fact that St Louis Blues really wanted him but still had to make room to sign him to the type of contract he wants. So, in order to keep him around and as a sign of good faith, the Blues signed him to a PTO while they sort out their cap situation.

Signing with the Stanley Cup champion from two years ago who just added Torey Krug to the roster isn’t a terrible call from Hoffman.

If the Islanders were interested in Hoffman it’s clear that they just didn’t have the same confidence that St Louis did in creating enough cap space to get him under contract. We know that it would have been possible for the Islanders to sign Hoffman, but it would have also required moves (like Ladd to LTIR), that just aren’t a sure thing right now.

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Could have Mike Hoffman been a good fit for the Islanders? Yeah, he probably would have been exactly what they needed to become legit contenders. Can they still contend without Mike Hoffman? Absolutely.