One of the NHL's top free-agent forwards -- and a potential target for the Boston Bruins -- may not be a free agent for long.
The St. Louis Blues have signed veteran winger Mike Hoffman to a professional tryout contract, the team announced Sunday.
While the deal means Hoffman will join the Blues for the start of training camp on Jan. 3, it doesn't necessarily mean he'll play for St. Louis this season. Any NHL team can still sign Hoffman while he's on the PTO, which expires at the end of camp.
The Blues will get an up-close look at Hoffman, though, and the fact that they offered him a PTO suggests they have interest in the 31-year-old.
The Bruins reportedly have been among the teams interested in Hoffman as they look to add more secondary scoring. Hoffman has scored at least 20 goals in six consecutive seasons (four with the Ottawa Senators and two with the Florida Panthers) and racked up 70 points (36 goals and 34 assists) two seasons ago.
Boston already saw defenseman Torey Krug sign with the Blues earlier this offseason, as St. Louis appears serious about making another Stanley Cup run after winning it all in 2019.
The B's signed winger Craig Smith in free agency and brought back second-liner Jake DeBrusk on a two-year contract but still could use reinforcements behind their top line of David Pastrnak, Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, who combined for 107 of the team's 227 goals last season.