The St. Louis Blues are up to something, the question now is what?
On Sunday veteran forward Mike Hoffman was mysteriously absent from the lineup, leading to plenty of speculation about a potential trade being in the works or perhaps even just a case of Hoffman falling out badly with his current team. The Blues faced off against the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday and it was during the pregame warmups that many noticed Hoffman was nowhere to be seen, this in spite of the fact that the Blues have struggled to score goals as of late.
Hoffman, who was signed to a one year $4 million deal in the offseason, was brought in specifically because of his skills as a proven goal scorer in the NHL, but things have not worked out the way the Blues had hoped. Hoffman has produced offensively for the Blues with 20 points through 33 games, and he even has a positive plus minus rating of 6 after going a combined -49 over the last 3 seasons, but the goal scoring has not been there. Only 8 of his points have been goals this season, a sharp decline after averaging 35 goals over the last two seasons.
The Blues are reportedly in the trade market for more offensive punch, and that could mean a change of scenery for Hoffman who is a pending unrestricted free agent, but that is only speculation at this time. We will stay on top of this one and bring you more details as they become available.
Update: Blues insider Jeremy Rutherford has now confirmed that Hoffman has been made a healthy scratch, and unfortunately that does not provide any additional clarity. If the Blues are unhappy with Hoffman this could be a way to send a message, and if the Blues are in fact working on a trade this would be the move to make in order to ensure he does not get injured.
Again stay tuned as we will bring you all the details on this developing story.
Photo Credit: Colter Peterson/St. Louis Post-Dispatch