By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
Robert Hooper, the agent for free agent winger Mike Hoffman, made it known to The Athletic’s Adam Vingan that his client is indeed willing to take a one-year deal for the 2020-21 season.
“There’s no issues on a one-year deal,” Hooper told Vingan. “Obviously, if you’re going to take a one-year deal, you want to put yourself in a good situation, because you’re going to be back in the market next year again.”
One of the market’s top talents, Hoffman remains without a deal despite a 2019-20 campaign that featured 29 goals (20th-most in the NHL) and 59 points in 69 games for the Panthers. The 30-year-old also has totaled at least 22 goals in six straight seasons dating back to 2014, and scored a career-best 36 goals and 70 points for the Panthers in 2018-19.
The Boston Bruins, of course, have been mentioned as one of the teams ‘most interested’ in adding Hoffman to their roster.
But they’re certainly not alone, as Hoffman has drawn interest from 13 teams in total, and with ‘five or six’ of them showing serious interest, per Hooper.
“I think teams are a little paralyzed at this point in time by the flat cap,” Hooper told Vingan. “I think some of the teams that would love to add Mike Hoffman to their roster have had difficulty moving pieces around in order to make room for a guy like Mike. The feedback on him has been very positive. It’s just a matter of making it fit.”
(Interestingly enough, this is similar to what the Bruins told Taylor Hall’s camp, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.)
A defense-free wing, Hoffman would seamlessly fit into the Bruins’ plans to David Krejci’s left, but that would seemingly leave the B’s last remaining free agent, Jake DeBrusk, without a home in Boston. (It’s just incredibly difficult to imagine how the Bruins would be able to add Hoffman and retain DeBrusk without moving some significant salary out of the picture.)
Signing Hoffman, who has 172 goals and 359 points in 493 career games, would likely eat almost all of that, as the expectation seems to be that he’s looking to sign a contract (one-year or otherwise) for close to $6 million.