NHL Rumours: Calgary Flames, Winnipeg Jets, and Mike Hoffman

NHL Rumours

The offseason is in full swing and NHL rumours are swirling. Rosters are taking shape for the new season and there are rumblings over where the next big signing will land. The Calgary Flames are hoping to land their next big signing after bringing in Jacob Markstrom. The Winnipeg Jets are not looking at free agents so much as they are looking for a trade. Then there is Mike Hoffman, one of the top free-agent forwards who have yet to sign with a new team. These answers can only be speculated for now in the latest edition of NHL rumours.

NHL Rumours:

Calgary Flames

Rumour: According to TSN Insider Darren Dreger, the Calgary Flames want to add a veteran presence on the right side of the blue-line.

Analysis: This offseason has brought new hope into the Scotiabank Saddledome. The Flames have made two significant additions to bolster the defence in netminder Jacob Markstrom and defenceman Chris Tanev. Markstrom was the top goaltender with the Vancouver Canucks before hitting the open market. Tanev was also a key player in Vancouver before going to Calgary. The two players should be important additions to a team that needed help stopping pucks from entering their own net. The Flames also have a promising young defenceman looking to make an impact at the NHL level in Juuso Valimaki. In order to guide his development, the Flames want to add a veteran defenceman for additional depth on the right side.

Unless the Flames want to ask someone to play on their opposite side, there are few options for a right defenceman. Current free agent Ron Hainsey could be one such option. Outside of him, there are few veteran options. If Calgary decides to pursue a trade, they are far more likely to find a suitable contributor. The free-agent market is thin at right defenceman and they could be hard-pressed to find the right option for the right price.

Winnipeg Jets

Rumour: Frank Seravalli reported on TSN 1290 that the Winnipeg Jets are still shopping Finnish right-winger Patrik Laine.

Analysis: This is far from the first time Patrik Laine has been the subject of a trade rumour this offseason. The Jets have been actively shopping the former second overall pick for some time now. Very few teams, if any, have made legitimate offers for the star goal-scorer. Some other names have reportedly been tossed around that include Jack Roslovic and Sami Niku. Moving on from Niku in the trade could be a possibility as he is not much more than a depth talent. Roslovic was a first-round draft choice so Winnipeg may be less likely to part with him.

The Jets will clearly ask for a large haul for Laine. As much of a liability as he can be in the defensive zone, he is a pure goal scorer. Those talents can be difficult to find. The Jets will want a large return on their initial investment. That could make things difficult for other teams who may be interested. In a world that is continually impacted by COVID-19, teams may not want to take on such a large investment with the future very much an unknown. Laine will be a restricted free agent at the end of the upcoming season.

Florida Panthers

Rumour: TSN insider and analyst Pierre LeBrun has reported via Insider Trading that free agent Mike Hoffman is taking his time to decide on a new contract.

Analysis: As one of the top free agents available this offseason, Hoffman is looking to get a serious payday. Hoffman is an incredible talent who could help turn many NHL rosters into next level contenders. The problem is that many contenders cannot afford him. The flat salary cap has not helped his case. While a short term deal could likely be reached with relative ease, Hoffman would ideally like a long term solution. The good news for Hoffman is that he is willing to be patient.

With a talent like Hoffman, the offers are there. Teams are interested. Hoffman just wants to wait for a team with the right fit at the right price. If he wants the right price, he needs to look at teams who have long term injuries to highly paid players. The St. Louis Blues are a possibility. Vladimir Tarasenko is unlikely to play and could hit the long term injured reserve list. If the Blues offer Hoffman a contract, you would have to think he is considering it. A short term deal would give Hoffman a shot at a championship as well as enough money to hold over until the salary cap rises.

That does it for today’s edition of NHL rumours. Check back tomorrow for another edition.

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