Boston Bruins

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - FEBRUARY 11: Mike Hoffman #68 of the Florida Panthers heads for the net in the first period against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on February 11, 2020 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

By Ty Anderson,

Fans unsatisfied with the Boston Bruins’ quiet offseason can add some frustration to their lives and scratch another name off their list, as free agent winger Mike Hoffman has signed a professional tryout agreement with the St. Louis Blues.

Hoffman, linked to the Bruins all offseason, entered the free agent market on Oct. 9 as its top scorer from a year ago by way of his 29-goal 2019-20 campaign with Florida and sat on the sidelines for over three and a half months before scoring a tryout. Of course, this is likely a tryout in name only, as the Blues will have cap space opened up when they’re able to place forwards Vladimir Tarasenko (shoulder surgery) and Alexander Steen (retired due to a back injury) on long-term injured reserve when the 2021 season begins.

Feb 22, 2020; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Florida Panthers left wing Mike Hoffman (68) looks on during the third period against the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

It’s believed that the 31-year-old Hoffman, who has scored at least 22 goals in six straight seasons, will sign a one-year deal with the Blues, and that he’s taking less money to join St. Louis.

This means that the Bruins either didn’t have the money to entice Hoffman or that they simply weren’t interested. Or, at the very least, that their interest was never as serious as many believed.

With Hoffman out of the picture, the Bruins will roll with a left-side complexion that features Brad Marchand (though on the shelf to begin the season) in his usual spot on Boston’s top line, and with Jake DeBrusk, Anders Bjork, and Nick Ritchie rounding out the group. 2016 first-round pick Trent Frederic and depth forwards Par Lindholm and Greg McKegg are also in the mix this year.

The Bruins will open training camp on Jan. 3.

Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.

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