Normally this time of year, the NHL would be a month into a new season. However, during this weird year, the NHL is in the middle of its off-season. While the initial flurry of NHL Free Agency has passed, there are still plenty of names out there that can help teams improve by the start of next season. And while we do not know when next season will start, we here at Last Word on Hockey will continue to provide you with the latest NHL Rumours. On the Tuesday edition of NHL Rumours, we look at the Winnipeg Jets, Vancouver Canucks, and Mike Hoffman.
Analysis: For months now, Patrik Laine‘s name has been thrown around in trade talks. But nothing has come from it just yet. The Jets probably do not make the move for Paul Stastny if they had a serious offer on the table for Laine. Laine has one year remaining on his bridge deal. The best thing for both parties is for Laine to report to training camp and play well this season. The Jets are not looking to rush anything with Laine as the Jets control his rights for the next three seasons. However, if there is a deal to be made to help them upgrade their defence, the Jets will listen. But the deal has to blow them out of the water.
With so much economic uncertainty of the next few seasons, Laine needs to play well for the Jets next season. Plus if the two sides cannot find common ground, having Laine playing well is huge for the Jets from a trade perspective. It is always best to trade an asset at their highest point. Laine is still a gifted young player that has developed well but still has a weakness. If he can fix that, he will be a great player. And goal scorers are always hard to replace in this league… the Jets have one in Laine.
Analysis: It is easy to pick on the Canucks for having Loui Eriksson‘s contract still on their books. And while it would have been easier to just him out, ownership has shown an unwillingness to do so. In the case of Eriksson’s salary, he is still owed $5 million for the next two seasons. And while it is easy to say just bury his contract in the minors, you have to look at the economic world the NHL is in.
If these were normal circumstances then maybe ownership is willing to bury Eriksson in the AHL. However, with so much uncertainty around this season and whether or not it will be played, owners are looking at financials even more. They are not just looking at what the salary-cap hit is, but what the player actually makes.
Since the NHL and NHLPA set up a system where there is escrow taken out of a player’s salary, the player gets less so the owners and players can split hockey-related revenue 50-50. That is something the AHL does not have. So, ownership would be paying more for him to be in the minors than in the NHL. The Canucks would really only save $1 million. It would be easier to keep him on the roster. Not to mention, the team may view him as an asset on the roster. Having a guy with NHL experience is always a plus, especially in the bottom-six. And for some reason he plays well with Bo Horvat. Considering we do not know when next season will start, do not be surprised if Eriksson is on the main roster.
Rumour: TSN 1200 Morning host Shawn Simson is reporting that free-agent forward Mike Hoffman is reviewing six offers including one from SKA St. Petersburg of the KHL.
Mike Hoffman is reviewing offers from 6 teams, with SKA offering the most money.
— Shawn Simpson (@TSNSimmer) November 2, 2020
Analysis: As we reported last week Mike Hoffman is going to take his time with offers. However, now it seems we know how many teams are in the running for his services. It includes one team from the KHL that can offer the most money. From the sound of things, Hoffman wants to stay in the NHL, so that takes the KHL offer off the table. The question remains who are the remaining five teams that Hoffman got offers from? Are the offers from contenders? Did he receive offers from both contending and non-contending teams? Are some of the offers coming from teams that have cap space?
Hoffman knows he is worth more than the offers he originally got when free agency started. If it is about money, then he will take the offer that satisfies that need. But if it is about winning then maybe Hoffman waits even longer to make a decision. It feels like a decision surrounding Mike Hoffman’s future is coming sooner rather than later.
That does it for this edition of NHL Rumours, keep your eyes peeled for another edition on Wednesday.
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