The Ottawa Senators and their leading goal scorer Mike Hoffman received a ruling today in their salary arbitration case. Hoffman was seeking a salary of $3.4 million while Ottawa rejected that idea by submitting an offer of $1.75 million. Ultimately, the arbitrator ruled toward the Senators side of the case and awarded Hoffman a $2 million salary for the upcoming season. Hoffman probably isn’t too psyched right now.
Now $2 million isn’t something to make light of but Hoffman deserved more. The 25-year-old scored 27 goals last season in 79 games, tops on the team, and had 3 points in 5 playoff games as well. When Alex Galchenyuk recently agreed on a bridge deal at $2.8 million per season with the Montreal Canadiens I felt that Hoffman would fall somewhere in that $2.6-$2.8 million range. Hoffman’s short NHL resume, and being a 5th round pick back in 2009, has to be what tipped the ruling in Ottawa’s favor even though his numbers were comparable to players who earn significantly more. A follow up season with 20+ goals again should prove that he isn’t a one hit wonder and earn him a bigger contract next summer. But there’s no doubt his recent on-ice performance should have earned him a better ruling than the one he received.