The Ottawa Senators have agreed to terms with restricted free agent Mike Hoffman on a four-year, $20.75 million extension. The deal, which carries an average annual value of $5.1875 million, allows both sides to avoid Hoffman’s upcoming arbitration hearing, which was scheduled for August 4.
4 more years! Extremely excited to be back in Ottawa! Thanks to everyone for their support, Love… https://t.co/78pdmYLcUs
— Mike Hoffman (@MHoffy68) July 27, 2016
Hoffman will make $3.8 million in the first year and $5.65 million in years two, three and four. A no-trade clause will be in effect for the final three years of the contract; the clause states that Hoffman will submit a list of 10 teams to which he would not accept a trade, according to General Fanager.
Hoffman, 26, scored 29 goals and 59 points in 78 regular-season games this past season, completing his second consecutive 25-goal and 40-point campaign (he scored 27 goals and 48 points in 2014-2015). There is plenty of room for Hoffman to grow into an even better scorer and an even stronger all-around hockey player.
Hoffman’s 29 goals and nine power-play goals led the team last year, and his 59 points ranked third on the roster behind Erik Karlsson and Mark Stone. He set career highs across the board, including in goals (29), assists (30), points (59), power-play goals (9) and power-play points (13), to name a few.
Hoffman has 59 goals and 113 points in 186 career regular-season games, as well as three points in six career playoff games, all with Ottawa.
Hoffman was relieved the two sides could settle on a deal before arbitration.
“It’s great. I’m extremely happy we could come to an agreement on a deal,” Hoffman said. “I went through the arbitration thing last summer and didn’t really want to go through that again. Coming to terms with Ottawa, it definitely feels good.”
The Senators hired Guy Boucher as the team’s new head coach. Boucher coached Hoffman in junior, so Hoffman is very much looking forward to working with him once again.
“I think [playing for Boucher] is going to be great for myself,” Hoffman said. “He knows how to work with me. He’s a great coach. He’s going to be great for all the players in Ottawa and I’m really looking forward to working with him.
“Back then we never realized we’re both going to be with the same NHL team one day, so it’s a pretty cool story.”
Hoffman has been one of the top go-to players in Ottawa over the past few seasons. He had a stellar rookie season last year while helping Ottawa make a historic late-season push for the playoffs, and followed that up with an even stronger sophomore campaign.
There has been a lot of speculation surrounding Hoffman’s future and his contract status this offseason. Many rumors suggested a possible trade (Calgary was frequently tied to Hoffman in the rumor mill). However, Ottawa took an important step today in locking up an offensive force who has untapped potential waiting in the wings. With the no-trade clause not kicking in until next year, Ottawa could still decide to move him at the deadline or next offseason, so this deal leaves many options on the table.
As for the contract itself, though there are several comparables, this deal most closely resembles the contract signed by Brayden Schenn of the Philadelphia Flyers. Schenn signed a four-year, $20.5 million contract extension Monday, carrying an average annual value of $5.125 million. That is practically the same deal on the surface, even if the payout structure is a little different; plus, there is no NTC in Schenn’s deal. However, the new trend this summer has been to award generous four- or five-year contracts with average annual values in the $4.5 million to $5.5 million range. Based on his numbers, Hoffman has proven to be worthy of the cost.
Ottawa Senators general manager Pierre Dorian remains optimistic about Hoffman’s future.
“I see an improvement,” Dorian said. “I definitely see someone who’s going to step forward, take a bigger role on our team, not just score goals, but help us win games. I see someone who’s been a good player in the NHL, but who can grow even further.”
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