Thursday, January 14, 2016

Sens Hoffman Hoping to Stay in Ottawa



Senators left wing Mike Hoffman is enjoying his best NHL season to date, and that means he's due for a raise next season. Hoffman, who earns $2 million this season and will become an unrestricted free agent, told Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun that he hopes to stay in Ottawa, preferably on a long-term deal.

Yet we are two weeks into the period where the Sens are permitted to negotiate with Hoffman, and the winger says he has heard nothing.

It's early, and Hoffman's busy trying to help the Senators wiggle their way into playoff position.

But down the road Ottawa will have to pony up or risk losing its top goal scorer to a heftier offer sheet. Either the Senators will look to sign Hoffman to a short-term bridge deal or they will try to lock up the Kitchener, Ontario native for something more significant.

The latter is what Hoffman would prefer. "For sure obviously some security would be nice," said Hoffman, according to Brennan. "I like the city, I like the team, I want to stay here. That's my number one goal. Hopefully that will be the end result."

Hoffman, who netted a raise from 750k to $2 million after potting 27 goals last season, says that he'd be the same player, regardless of term.

"Even if you're on a multi-year deal, you still want to be performing and doing as well as you can," he said. "It's not like you take your foot off the pedal. What fun is that? You want to be doing as best you can. Sure there is pressure but you can't really control it too much. Just go out there and do the best effort you can and at the end of the day, hopefully everything else takes care of itself."

Hoffman, a 5th-round draft pick by Ottawa in 2009, is currently 8th in the NHL with 20 goals. He's on pace to put up 40 goals, leads the Sens in goals, plus-minus (+11) and is tied for second in points (36).