Worst NHL Signings of 2021

Worst NHL signings of 2021, which includes Mike Hoffman.
MTL Canadians Mike Hoffman; Photo Credit Francois Lacasse

It’s finally 2022 so let’s start the year off right by taking a look back at some of the worst NHL signings in 2021.

5. Cody Ceci – EDM Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers took the opportunity to sign Ceci from the Pittsburgh Penguins for a 4 year deal for $3.25 million AAV. But for what reason they thought was a good steal turned out to blow up. Throughout the 2021 season, Ceci only has one goal and eight assists with 30 games played in total. With nine points in the season, as of now, he has a -7.

When Ceci is on the ice, the Oilers only win 48.19 percent of projected goals. Since Ceci spends over 20 minutes per game, it isn’t ideal. With a limited offensive talent and much less footwork, he’s one of the worst signings in 2021.

4. Mike Hoffman – MTL Canadians: 3 years, $4.5 million AAV

The Montreal Canadians signed Mike Hoffman to a three-year deal. Why? To have a potential goal scorer. According to the stats, it isn’t going their way. Now, Hoffman has scored four goals and made four assists with his time on ice averaging 18:06. With eight points during the season, he has a -12.

And because some injuries have limited him to 19 games, it adds a bit of struggle to his career this season. Because Hoffman is 32 years old, he’s reaching a point where this deal could mean serious business if he doesn’t get back into shape.

3. Nick Ritchie – TOR Maple Leafs: 2 years, $2.5 million AAV

Former Anaheim Ducks and Boston Bruins player Nick Ritchie signed to the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2021. The left-winger has played 30 games this season and only has one goal and seven assists. His time on ice is averaging at 12:14 and with eight points he ranks at a -5. Since signing a two-year agreement with the Maple Leafs this summer, Ritchie has had opportunities to excel.

They’ve put him on the first line with Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner where he didn’t even belong in and given him second-unit power playtime when he hasn’t earned it. Ritchie has done a couple of minor things that have gone unnoticed. Along with the rest of Toronto’s forwards, he’s won his fair share of board fights, established himself as a reliable net-front presence, and improved his defensive game this season. A sole goal nearly halfway through the season is a disaster at $2.5 million.

2. Seth Jones – CHI Blackhawks: 8 years, $9.5 million AAV

Defenseman Seth Jones was signed by the Chicago Blackhawks earlier this season after the Columbus Blue Jackets put him under a free agency. Jones has played 34 games in total, with three goals and 22 assists. His time on ice averaged 25:51, and so far, this season has a -10. When he’s on the ice, the Blackhawks are a disaster, winning only 48.13 percent of anticipated goals, driving possession at less than 50%, and being defeated 18 to 23 at even strength.

1. Tucker Poolman – VAN Canucks: 4 years, $2.5 million AAV

Tucker Poolman, former defenseman of the Winnipeg Jets, signed with the Vancouver Canucks back in July of 2021. Many people wonder why the former general manager, Jim Benning, of the Canucks thought this was a good idea. The answer is, no one knows. Poolman never thought much of his career, whether it came to the game or the money.

Poolman’s goal percentage sits roughly around 44.92. His career-high in points is 16, and as of now, he only has one goal and two assists. And with 30 games played, his time on ice is averaging at 17:30. This signing was so bad that it was, if not the only, one of the reasons as to why Benning was, later on, fired.

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