Mike Hoffman’s Arbitration Ask Presents Low-Risk Situation For The Senators

Mike Hoffman’s Arbitration ask came out this morning, and at 3.4 million dollars, the Senators should be able to rest easy knowing they won’t have to cough up more than the 3.4 million dollar number Mike Hoffman is searching.

Earlier this week, Alex Chiasson’s arbitration hearing ended in a win for the Senators. The ruling was such for the Senators as they are only on the hook for 1.2 million, a far lower figure than Chiasson’s 2.475 ask.

That leaves the Senators with 9.8 million in cap space and 8.5 million (plus Hoffman’s deal) coming off the books in 2016. The roster hasn’t seen any additions, but the Senators are in pretty good shape when it comes to the payroll and product on the ice heading into 2016.

 

Hoffman’s Arb. Ask Beyond Reasonable

While the Senators did offer just 1.75 million, that’s clearly a case of starting the negotiations low. They don’t want to come up too high and leave themselves with a small negotiating range, and the 1.75 million dollar figure comes in low enough not to insult but to send a message.

In return, the ask from Hoffman’s camp should come as a pleasant surprise for the Senators. Hoffman led all rookies in scoring this past year and he also led the Ottawa Senators in scoring. In most cases, a player with that backing should make much more than 3.4 million dollars.

Not to mention, Hoffman has so much behind his case to prove he’s worth the 3.4 million and more. He was an advanced stats machine this past year and generated with the league’s best in categories like G/60, SOG/60, P/60, etc.

Hoffman was also a key asset to the Senators, as he influenced the possession rates of prominent forwards like Bobby Ryan and Mika Zibanejad all year long. Clearly, his offensive tools and speed having something to do with it.

If worst comes to worst and the award is near Hoffman’s 3.4 million dollar ask (which it very well could be) then it’s an affordable contract for a top 6 forward and it leads Hoffman to another RFA year next year. The Senators get another look at Hoffman and are prepared to pay out a bigger contract if he has a consistent effort this year. 

Of course, this past season didn’t end the way Hoffman would have like it to. He was a good piece for the Senators down their stretch, but wasn’t a key piece like players such as Mark Stone, Kyle Turris and Jean-Gabriel Pageau were.

The Senators would like to see a more consistent effort and if Hoffman can display the prominent scoring touch he had for most of last-year, then you shouldn’t be surprised if discussions on a long-term extension start next summer. At a minimum of 4 years.