While it would seem unlikely, a recent report has tied to the LA Kings to free-agent winger Mike Hoffman. Could it make sense on a one-year deal?
The LA Kings made just a couple of minor but needed moves this offseason. The organization acquired defenseman Olli Maatta from the Chicago Blackhawks and acquired forward Lias Andersson from the New York Rangers for the 60th overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.
“Los Angeles finished 30th in goals per game (2.53) last season, but head coach Todd McLellan saw his club buy into an aggressive, in-your-face brand of hockey that would have yielded better results if it had a few more finishers. The Kings finished in the top 10 in several critical possession metrics at five-on-five.”
The 30-year-old is arguably the best remaining free agent on the market, scoring 29 goals with 30 assists for the Panthers last season. He’s consistently been a 25+ goal scorer since becoming a full-time player in the 2013-2014 campaign.
The Kings have the cap space to add a guy like Hoffman, but does it make sense to do so? Probably not, as a long-term deal would likely block a prospect from seeing regular time. That said, if Hoffman was open to a one-year deal, similar to Taylor Hall, I think he’d be a welcome addition to a team that finished with the second-fewest goals in the NHL last season.
I don’t particularly like using it as a fallback, but if he’s signed a three or four-year deal, the Kings could leave him exposed for Seattle’s expansion draft. In that scenario, he’d basically be a one-year rental when more prospects are ready a year from now.
He’s been linked to a number of teams, but let’s see if Rob Blake jumps in on this. Again, unlikely, but you never know.
Hoffman logged a 51.7 Corsi-for percentage and 46.3 expected-goals-for percentage last year.