Florida Panthers: Why it may make sense to acquire Mike Hoffman

SUNRISE, FL - DECEMBER 23: Mike Hoffman
SUNRISE, FL - DECEMBER 23: Mike Hoffman /

Recently, the Ottawa Senators have been widely rumored to be shopping the highly coveted sniper Mike Hoffman.

Taking into consideration the struggles that the Florida Panthers have unexpectedly endured regarding 2nd line performance (excluding Vincent Trocheck obviously), potentially acquiring a dynamic scoring option such as Hoffman would seem ideal.

Rookie HC Bob Boughner has countlessly distributed 2nd line minutes to unproductive players such as Jamie McGinn, Radim Vrbata, Connor Brickley, and occasionally PK machine Colton Sceviour, only to experience everlasting instability.

Trocheck hasn’t experienced any difficulty whatsoever producing (17G, 24A, and 41pts in 43GP) while consistently centering the floundering 2nd line. However, Tro’s line mates haven’t approached the 7 goal mark or 20 points plateau (Vrbata: 13pts, Brickley: 12pts, McGinn: 13pts, Sceviour:11pts) thus far which is undoubtedly concerning.

Evidently, Florida desperately require a goal scorer to bolster the top 6 immediately, especially if the Cats are going to push for a playoff spot. Due to cap/money restraints and additional complications, the Sens’ management and ownership are essentially forced to trade an abundance of quality players, especially with the trade deadline approaching relatively soon.

According to various reports continually circulating across the league, OTT has recently opened trade discussions revolving around former 30G scorer Mike Hoffman.

Hoffman, who’s 28-years-old, has accumulated 11G, 18A, and 29pts in 42GP, which aren’t nearly indicative of Mike’s typical yearly scoring averages. With trade rumors constantly surrounding him, alongside the ruthless Canadian media heckling Mike, the experienced sniper has undergone numerous painful scoring droughts, thus contributing to Hoffman’s statistics declining as opposing to normally increasing.

Although, despite experiencing a horrendous season by ‘Mike’s standards,’ Hoffman has amassed 16 more points than Vrbata and McGinn, who both also play second line minutes.

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With two-years remaining at $5M AAV on Hoffman’s current deal (locked until 2020), Florida would be acquiring Mike’s valuable services for beyond 2018. While looking ahead, contending for 2019 with top-notch prospects such as Owen Tippett and Henrik Borgstrom expected to arrive would unquestionably put Florida in playoff contention.

Moreover, throughout the course of the past 3 seasons, Hoffman has recorded an astounding 82 goals, which averages out to approximately 27 goals per season. Mike could improve Florida’s struggling power play unit, while significantly strengthening the disadvantaged 2nd line.

Playing alongside former all-star, dynamic play-maker Vincent Trocheck would benefit Hoffman and Trocheck alike. Trocheck’s full-ice vision and pass-happy style poses for an increased amount of assists for himself, as well as an increased amount of goals scored for Hoffman.

With Vinnie scoring the majority of the goals from the second line, Mike would be able to help take the burden off of Trocheck’s shoulders, taking on some of the scoring himself from the 2nd line.

Fixing a problematic, plaguing issue such as scoring is certainly possible. However, formulating an attractive package for Ottawa to accept will become highly challenging; as the Sens will indubitably command top prospects/draft picks since they’re shedding salary and building towards a promising future of success.

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The negotiating process for Hoffman specifically could potentially become a prolonged, extended process. Hopefully Dale Tallon winds up developing an intriguing/convincing package for Ottawa’s liking to ultimately obtain Hoffman; otherwise, Florida will continuously experience offensive struggles from the 2nd line.