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Is a Mike Hoffman trade on the horizon?

The Mike Hoffman era may end sooner than later.

NHL: St. Louis Blues at San Jose Sharks Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s face it, no one wants bad news.

Prior to Monday night’s West division matchup between the Blues and Golden Knights, one thing was certain: Either the St. Louis Blues would snap their six-game losing skid or the Vegas Golden Knights would get out of a three-game funk. Unfortunately, St. Louis got blown out at home by a final score of 6-1.

You might be asking yourself: “How could the Blues lose seven straight games?” Here’s a better question you might want to ask instead: “Is a Mike Hoffman trade on the horizon?”

As much as I like Mike Hoffman, I doubt he’ll last in St. Louis for the long run. He seemed to have adjusted to the Blues. Then, he was a healthy scratch for the Blues’ home game versus the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday, March 28th — and the Blues lost 3-2 in overtime.

When Blues head coach Craig Berube made Hoffman a scratch, there was a lot of speculation about a possible trade before the NHL trade deadline on Monday, April 12th at 3 pm ET. Since Hoffman is heading towards unrestricted free agency, there’s a possibility other NHL general managers are checking in with Blues general manager Doug Armstrong inquiring about a possible trade. After all, there are a couple of NHL teams who are searching for another goal scorer. The Boston Bruins, New York Islanders, and Toronto Maple Leafs are just a few teams who could use offensive punch.

There’s one catch to a Hoffman trade: The Blues have to increase their scoring and improve their offensive play. No ifs, ands or buts.

Hoffman hasn’t lived up to expectations. He has recorded just one goal and one assist in his last five games. He hasn’t had much ice time either. Maybe there’s a disconnect between Hoffman, his fellow teammates, and their coaches. Who knows?

But then again, the Blues have been struggling, losing eight of their last 10 games. Injuries and goaltender hiccups have affected the Blues, who were expected to be a contender this NHL season. Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington looks nervous sometimes. Forget his six-year, $36 million contract for a moment. He must make more saves, find his groove, and lead his team. Blues backup goaltender Ville Husso isn’t ready to become a long-term starting goaltender. He’s not the answer to the Blues’ defensive issues.

Last but not least, the Blues have one of the worst special teams units in the league. So, there’s room for improvement when it comes to special teams and perhaps a big trade or two could help. It remains to be seen if Hoffman is part of one of those. He was signed in order to help with the power play, and so far, that hasn’t worked out.