Mike Hoffman, one of the top unsigned free agents, could opt to sign a short-term contract rather than a long-term one, according to his agent.
“There’s no issues on a one-year deal,” the agent, Robert Hooper, told The Athletic in a story published Tuesday. “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.”
Hoffman scored 59 points (29 goals, 30 assists) in 69 games with the Florida Panthers last season, as well as five points (three goals, two assists) in Florida’s four-game loss to the New York Islanders in the best-of-5 Stanley Cup Qualifiers. The 30-year-old left wing has scored at least 22 goals in each of the past six seasons, including an NHL career-high 36 with Florida in 2018-19.
More than a dozen teams are interested in Hoffman, Hooper said, including five or six that he described at serious.
“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,” Hooper said. “… Who doesn’t want a 30-goal scorer in your lineup? Raise your hand.”
If Hoffman signs a one-year contract, he will be one of the top free agents available after the season. Forward Taylor Hall opted to sign a one-year, $8 million contract with the Buffalo Sabres on Oct. 12, instead of a long-term contract.
Hooper said Hoffman is in no rush to sign a contract with the uncertainty surrounding the 2020-21 regular season, which the NHL said is targeted to start Jan. 1.
“I think it’s just a situation where until we know when the puck’s being dropped, there’s no pressure on either side to really do anything,” he said.
Selected by the Ottawa Senators in the fifth round (No. 129) of the 2009 NHL Draft, Hoffman has 359 points (172 goals, 187 assists) in 493 regular-season games and 19 points (10 goals, nine assists) in 29 playoff games.