Forward Mike Hoffman has been on a tear as of late, but would trading his services make any sense for the Florida Panthers?
In 56 games played, the 29-year-old already has 26G, 21A, and 47 points, expected to reach the 40-goal plateau for the first time in his NHL career.
But lately, Hoffman’s name has been mentioned as one that could be apart of a trade. Of course, nothing official has come out and it remains highly unlikely that the Cats are trying to shop him.
For the sake of this exercise, though, we will break down whether a trade (at this point) would make any sense.
As many know and are aware, Hoffman has one more year left on his current contract ($5.187M AAV) and will have the chance to hit the open market next summer on July 1st.
Realistically speaking, because he will be 30-years-old by the time he becomes a UFA, this is arguably his last chance of securing his final payday.
And, based on his current value and production, there’s no reason why Hoffman wouldn’t pursue a deal in the range of six-seven years.
But of course, the Panthers would be foolish to give in to his demands and offer a soon-to-be declining winger that type of money and term. That’s why trading him before his contract expires wouldn’t be such a bad idea.
Now, am I saying to trade him this second? Of course not! After all, he’s been our best goalscorer this season and has also been a productive member of this team.
But what I am saying is to keep an open mind. If another team is willing to offer you a first-round pick, a top-four defenseman, and another defenseman and/or forward, that’s something worthwhile and worth considering at the very least.
Remember, the Panthers have a defensive core that’s going to need rebuilding and reconstructing over the summer. Hoffman is the perfect asset to dangle to get the return you want. He’s also *the* asset that contenders are always looking for.
Keep in mind, there’s no guarantee that Hoffman is going to take a discount of any sort when his expiry date occurs. Unless he’s willing to take a four-year deal, the Panthers should have no business pursuing an extension.
Luckily enough, the Cats have another year to figure this all out and shouldn’t rush to the phones to get a deal done for the sake of getting a deal done.
As I mentioned before, unless a team is offering a deal that’s worthwhile and giving you assets that will make you better in both the present and the future, the best option is to hold the phones and wait patiently when that type of deal comes in.
But at the same time, Panther fans need to realize that Hoffman is a short-term asset and not a long-term one. He was brought in for a playoff run or two, which doesn’t seem likely in Florida’s current state.
However, for the remainder of the season, I’d suggest that the Panthers hold on to their current No. 1 scorer (barring any potential offerings) and revisit this topic in the near future.
It would be nice to keep Hoffman for another year and get at least one hopeful playoff run out of him before he likely goes. And who knows? Maybe, just maybe, the Cats pull off a couple big summer signings this offseason.
But for now, Mike Hoffman will likely remain in Sunrise, Florida for the rest of the 2018-19 campaign. He will also likely be here for the start of next season, too.