This has been a difficult season for the San Jose Sharks. Likely looking at selling when we get to the trade deadline in a few months’ time, the organization looks to be entering the depths of a rebuild, which has been needed for a few seasons. It’s time to restock the cabinet with prospects before trying to compete. An injection of young, exciting talent is needed, which means we may see some of the pending unrestricted free agents sold off.
So, with this in mind, let’s focus on one in particular: Mike Hoffman. A player who has fallen on hard times in his career recently, he has seen somewhat of a renaissance. With a 22-goal pace on a Sharks team that has been dismal, Hoffman will attract interest. There’s no denying that the winger is a desirable option for some teams that have sustained forward injuries and need another depth source of goals.
When the issue comes to moving, Hoffman is his cap hit. He has a $4.5 million cap hit, which will be prorated down before the deadline, but it’s a lot for his skillset. Trying to move him for something like a first-round pick may be difficult for the Sharks if they do not want to retain money on his contract. Ownership’s stance on retention over prolonged periods may make this difficult to do though.
Hoffman has six goals and two assists on a team that has not played exceptionally to begin the season. Perhaps at the deadline, we will see him shipped out as the Sharks endure a much-needed rebuild here in the Bay Area. We’ve seen how desperately this team needs to get younger, and getting draft picks for players like this will help—with that said, what could the Sharks realistically expect for Hoffman?
I’ve wrestled with this for a few months in my mind. Part of me believes the Sharks could net a second-round pick from a team desperate enough to land the forward. In an ideal world, that would probably do nicely since Hoffman is not a piece that is in the long-term plans of this team at his age. Moving him on and enduring the pain of this rebuild as the season ticks on may be the best course of action.