Canucks: Mike Hoffman could be the missing piece

The Vancouver Canucks might not be done shopping around the market for forwards. Mike Hoffman could be the missing piece to the team’s top six.

The Vancouver Canucks have had a quiet approach to this year’s free agency, but in the long run, it may be something that could potentially help them in landing star UFA forward, Mike Hoffman.

It was a tough pill to swallow watching Tyler Toffoli sign in the eastern conference with the Montreal Canadiens. Everything about it was difficult to digest. The average annual value was lower than expected ($4.25 million) and the four-year term seemed appropriate. But still the Canucks general manager, Jim Benning didn’t bite. Why?

If the Canucks were to re-sign Toffoli after acquiring him in February, it made all the sense in the world to trade what they did for him (Tyler Madden, Tim Schaller, and a 2020 second-round pick). But unfortunately, that all took place before COVID-19 shook the world and ultimately froze the NHL’s salary cap at $81.5 million.

So when you add together the flat salary cap for next season and the Canucks inability to moveout deadweight contracts like Loui Eriksson and Brandon Sutter, it starts to make more sense as to why Benning decided against locking up the right-winger. Although the money was palatable as was the term, there is too much that is considered to be unknown at this point. And without their franchise players, Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes signed to long-term contracts, long term deals no longer make sense for the supporting cast.

That’s where Hoffman comes in. Not only is he a better goal-scorer and overall player in comparison to Toffoli, but with the way the market has gone for certain players this year, according Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, Hoffman is considering a one-year contract to play with a contender.

Now, given the fact that Hoffman is coming off what would have likely been back-to-back 30-plus goal seasons if COVID-19 didn’t end the regular-season early, he’s looking for a raise. But given the shape of the current market and the little amount of money being spent in this time of uncertainty, maybe an affordable one-year deal becomes available to Vancouver.

Hoffman signing with Vancouver would immediately make their top-six one of the NHL’s most deadly. From there, he could pad his stats in preparation for his next big contract, and the Canucks would have him for a Stanley Cup run before his money comes off the books to pave way for longterm extensions for Pettersson and Hughes, the driving force of this team.

What do you think Canucks Nation? Would Mike Hoffman on a one-year contract make sense for the Vancouver Canucks? Of course, Benning would have to find a way to move some money around to make it fit, but it’s totally possible. Comment below!