The Boston Bruins posted the top record in the Atlantic Division during the 2019-2020 season. After defeating the Carolina Hurricanes in the first round of the playoffs, they fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning in five games. Now the process of signing free-agents has become a top priority.
Eyeing top NHL forwards on the free agent market, the Bruins have already lost out on Taylor Hill and Evgenii Dadonov, who inked a three-year deal worth USD15 million with the Ottawa Senators. Dadonov, who played his first three seasons with Florida before five seasons in the KHL before returning to Florida, had 25 goals last season.
That leaves Mike Hoffman as the top free agent forward available, and the Bruins are one of several teams interesting in signing him. Hoffman, who had 29 goals and 30 assists with Florida this past season, is a nine-year veteran with 107 goals and 123 assists. Mike Hoffman has apparently drawn considerable interest from Montreal before Tyler Toffoli signed and also from the Nashville Predators.
After the elite free agents sign, typically next level players are grabbed quickly, but that hasn’t happened this year. Therefore, players are showing the tendency to wait for teams to put forth serious offers.
Clearly an issue influencing the free agent market this off-season has been revenue losses due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The dollar amounts thrown towards the free agents has been considerably more conservative than prior years.
There is still plenty of time before the expected begin to the 2020-2021 season, with an anticipated starting time early next year. Therefore, remaining free agents can take their times assessing the situation that suits them best. The hope for the players is that teams will be in a dire situation to sign someone and offer more money than they are currently willing to part with.