Mailbag: Free agent Hoffman’s best fit, Gaudreau’s future with the Flames

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Here is the November 11 edition of the Mailbag. NHL.com editor-in-chief Tracey Myers is at the height of senior writer Dan Rosen this week. If you have a question, tweet it to @drosennhl and use #OverTheBoards.

Could the St. Louis Blues sign Mike Hoffman at a cheap one-year offer? And if so, will he really help the team or be a problem in a tight locker room? – @HawaiiBluesFan

I think signing Blues Hoffman, an unrestricted free agent, would be a good idea. Hoffman scored 59 points (29 goals, 30 assists) in 69 games with the Florida Panthers last season and scored 359 points (172 goals, 187 assists) in 493 NHL games in nine seasons with the Panthers and the Ottawa Senators. He is one of seven NHL players to have scored at least 22 goals in each of the past six seasons (Patrick Kane, Nikita Kucherov, Brad Marchand, Sean Monahan, Alex Ovechkin, John Tavares).

The Blues will probably be without Vladimir Tarasenko at the start of the season after the forward underwent shoulder surgery in early September. He was due to be reassessed five months after the operation, and the NHL is aiming for Jan. 1 to start the season. I know the Blues found it offensive enough when Tarasenko missed everything but the first 10 games of last season after having shoulder surgery. But if a player like Hoffman is available, why not try signing him to replace at least part of Tarasenko’s production?

Hoffman’s agent Robert Hooper told The Athletic in October that Hoffman is ready to sign a short-term contract, knowing that there are teams that will have to take this path to adapt to the salary cap of the NHL ($ 81.5 million).

And yes, I think Hoffman would fit in really well in the Blues’ dressing room.

Video: NYI @ FLA, Gm3: Hoffman completes PPG tic-tac-toe

How long have the Chicago Blackhawks been stuck with the big four contracts (Kane, center Jonathan Toews and defenders Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook)? Could they find a buyer? – @SparrowsEdge

From now on, I expect each of the four to complete their contracts with the Blackhawks. Kane, Toews and Keith are each signed until the end of the 2022-23 season. Seabrook’s contract runs until 2023-24. Each has a full no-travel clause. Going back to what I talked about in the previous question, there are a lot of teams that either try to lose their pay or avoid taking a lot of pay and / or term. In their profession of defender Nikita Zadorov of the Colorado Avalanche, the Blackhawks kept $ 1 million of the $ 6 million Brandon Saad will do this season, and Zadorov signed his qualifying offer of $ 3.2 million, saving the Blackhawks $ 1.8 million for the cap.

When Toews told the Athletic last month that he was surprised that the Blackhawks were rebuilding, he also said he had no interest in playing elsewhere. I’d be surprised if Kane or Keith wanted to leave either. Seabrook? I go back to what he said on July 24, the day before the Blackhawks traveled to the Edmonton bubble for the Stanley Cup playoffs without him: “I don’t know where I belong here with the Blackhawks. When it comes to the NHL, I know I can be an impact player on a team. ”

The Blackhawks haven’t indicated they are trading Seabrook, and given what’s left on his contract, that’s unlikely anyway.

What’s wrong with Johnny Gaudreau? Now 27 years old and his production seems to have stalled. There have been so many rumors that he is leaving the Calgary Flames. Could a change of scenery trigger his game? Could the Philadelphia Flyers be an option? – @theashcity

It was surprising that Gaudreau scored 58 points (18 goals, 40 assists) in 70 games last season, the fewest he has scored in his six full seasons in the NHL. But this is the same player who averaged 77.2 points over the previous five seasons and who finished seventh in the NHL with 99 points (36 goals, 63 assists) in 2018-19. So I think there’s a good chance he’ll bounce back. At least that’s what my gut tells me. There is just too much talent there, and anyone can have an off season.

Gaudreau has two more seasons on a six-year contract he signed on October 10, 2016. He said in August he wanted to stay with the Flames, who were knocked out of the Stanley Cup playoffs by the Stars. Dallas in the best of. 7 First round of the Western Conference. Gaudreau scored four points (two goals, two assists) in Calgary’s six-game loss.

I’m sure there are a lot of Philadelphia fans out there who would love to see Gaudreau wearing a Flyers jersey; he was born in Salem, New Jersey, about 40 miles south of Philadelphia. But if I’m the Flames, I’m not ready to send Gaudreau anywhere yet.

Video: WPG @ CGY, Gm1: Gaudreau scores PPG in the 2nd period

Why is it Alex Nylander be overlooked as the Blackhawks’ best prospect? He had a very good camp before the playoffs and is still a very young player. Are you just trying to figure out why everyone seems to give up on such a young player with their skills? – @ HockeyTyler21

I see what you’re saying, but the Blackhawks reception and coaches aren’t forgetting or giving up on the 22-year-old forward. Nylander showed flashes of talent and skill that made him the 8th overall pick for the Buffalo Sabers in the 2016 NHL Draft, and those flashes help understand why the Blackhawks gave him the opportunity to play in their midst. first six forwards.

The problem is, it hasn’t been consistent. He scored 26 points (10 goals, 16 assists) in 65 games last season and 32 points (13 goals, 19 assists) in 84 NHL games for Chicago and Buffalo. The inconsistency isn’t unusual for a young player, but Blackhawks fans remember the high-impact defenseman Henri jokiharju, who was traded by Chicago for Nylander on July 9, 2019, who became a rookie in 2018-19. Selected by the Blackhawks with the 29th pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, Jokiharju averaged 18:59 of ice time in 38 games and had great chemistry with Keith. Then-coach Joel Quenneville also trusted him, who was generally hesitant to give young defenders a lot of playing time.

Is it fair to compare the two? Probably not, but that’s how it played out with some people. Like I said, Nylander will have his opportunities with the Blackhawks. But with other young forwards expected to look better this season, Nylander will need to be more consistent.



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