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This Team Should Sign Mike Hoffman Right Now

NHL free agency began on October 9th, and almost all notable players have inked new contracts ahead of the 2020-2021 season. However, Mike Hoffman, the second best forward, and arguably the top goal scorer, on the market still has not signed.

Hoffman’s market was often linked to Taylor Hall’s, as many teams who were interested in Hall could fall back to Hoffman, if necessary. Hall didn’t sign until October 11th, which meant some teams found other options to sign earlier in free agency. Teams couldn’t risk missing out completely on the forward market. One team, to this point, has missed out on the forward market, but can make up for it by signing Hoffman.

The Nashville Predators have an open roster spot in their forward group, and what should be more than enough salary cap space to add Hoffman. Nashville could use some more offensive firepower, and Hoffman would be a great add to their second line and, potentially, their first power play unit.

Over his last six seasons, Hoffman has scored 26 or more goals five times while recording 30-plus assists in each of his last five seasons. He is a virtual lock to put up 55-60 points with the potential to hit 70, as he did in the 2018-2019 season with the Florida Panthers. Nashville has a few elite forwards on the roster, but they still rely on their defense corps for a lot of their offense. An elite scorer who has also shown he can be a solid point-producer makes a lot of sense for the Predators.

After his former teammate, Evgenii Dadonov, signed a three-year, $15 million deal with Ottawa earlier this offseason, Hoffman’s deal should come in above that in terms of average annual value (AAV). The two have put up similar numbers over the past three seasons, but Hoffman’s track record of his current level of production is longer. A three-or-four-year contract seems like the appropriate term, and an AAV of around $6 million, give or take, should be able to get the deal done.

At that term and price, the Predators should be making the offer without hesitation. Nashville could put him on a line with either Matt Duchene or Ryan Johansen, forming a great compliment to the first line with either Duchene or Johansen centering Filip Forsberg and Viktor Arvidsson. Hoffman could also join the first power play unit, as he would arguably become the best pure shooter on the roster. The fit would be great for both the team and the player if the two sides are able to strike a deal.

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