NHL Rumors: Latest Buzz on Mike Hoffman, Patrik Laine Trade and More
When NHL free agency began Oct. 9, there was a flurry of moves involving most of the big names. Naturally, things quietened down soon after, but there are still some top players on the free-agent market.
When will these players find teams? That's unclear—just like the start date of the 2020-21 season. And until it's known when the new campaign will begin, the offseason will go on. In the meantime, there will continue to be news and rumors surrounding the top free agents and potential trades.
Here's some of the latest buzz from around the NHL.
Hoffman Continues to Draw Interest from Multiple Teams
One of the best players still on the free-agent market is forward Mike Hoffman, who has been a consistent scorer throughout his NHL career. Over the past six seasons, he's had at least 22 goals and 56 points each year, including the past two with the Florida Panthers.
Although Hoffman has yet to sign with a team, there's been plenty of reported interest in the 30-year-old. The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun reported at the end of October that numerous teams have been in contact with Hoffman's representatives.
"Teams have continued to call about Hoffman," LeBrun wrote. "Try a dozen or so, five or six seriously, another six or seven more on the periphery. They've all checked in with Hoffman's camp, led by agent Rob Hooper of Octagon, but the offers so far have been bargain city."
LeBrun reported that those proposals have been one-year deals worth around $3.5 million-4.5 million, and he thinks those offers will continue to be on the table as the next season approaches.
While it's not known which teams have shown interest in Hoffman, NBC Sports' Jordan Hall reported that the Philadelphia Flyers are not among them. Hoffman should provide whichever team he joins with an offensive boost thanks to his goal-scoring prowess.
Will Jets Trade Laine Before Season?
Winnipeg Jets forward Patrik Laine has been the subject of some trade rumors this offseason. But it appears the 22-year-old may not be heading anywhere anytime soon.
According to Sportsnet's Ken Wiebe, it's probable that Laine will still be in Winnipeg when the 2020-21 season begins.
"Unless the Jets are blown away by an offer in the coming weeks or months, the most likely scenario would see Laine report to training camp and play out the final year of his deal," Wiebe wrote.
Although Laine is entering the final season of his two-year contract with the Jets, they have three more years of control, so he will be a restricted free agent beginning next offseason. Winnipeg will thus have the opportunity to match any team's offer and keep him with the team. That's why it "isn't going to rush to move Laine unless another team makes it well worth their while," per Wiebe.
The Jets selected Laine with the No. 2 overall pick of the 2016 NHL draft. He's tallied 247 points (138 goals and 109 assists) in 305 games over his first four seasons in the league.
Could Capitals Make Trade Before Season?
The Capitals have a large group of solid defensemen on their roster. Is it possible that they could trade one to fill another need before the 2020-21 season arrives?
The Athletic's Tarik El-Bashir recently broke down the possibility, although he noted that he doesn't "get the sense that anything is in the works."
He added: "If a significant move is made between now and the start of next season, I'd expect it to be on the blue line, where it still looks to me like there's one too many defensemen on the roster."
Even after putting Michal Kempny on long-term injured reserve after he underwent surgery on his Achilles tendon, the Caps still have John Carlson, Dmitry Orlov, Justin Schultz, Brenden Dillon, Nick Jensen, Jonas Siegenthaler, Trevor van Riemsdyk, Paul LaDue and prospect Martin Fehervary to choose from as they construct their defensive lines.
After winning the Stanley Cup in 2018, Washington has lost in the first round of the playoffs in each of the past two seasons, so it will keep looking to make the moves that help it remain a contender during the final years of its Cup window.