The Montreal Canadiens are adding some serious goal-scoring to the top-nine, signing Mike Hoffman to a three-year contract. The deal will carry an average annual value of $4.5MM. PuckPedia reports that Hoffman will earn $3.5MM in 2021-22 and $5MM in each of the final two seasons.
Hoffman, 31, is one of the most lethal powerplay weapons in the NHL, and should immediately help Montreal with the man-advantage. Even more than that he adds another legitimate offensive weapon to a team that struggled to score goals in 2020-21. Even in a down year by his standards, Hoffman’s 17 goals would have tied him for second on the Canadiens, behind only Tyler Toffoli. His 36 points would have been behind only Toffoli and Nick Suzuki among the forwards, and more than replaces the numbers that Philipp Danault provided (though obviously not his defensive or positional abilities).
The question now is where Hoffman fits exactly, given the current makeup of the team. The Canadiens already have Toffoli, Brendan Gallagher, Josh Anderson, Joel Armia and Cole Caufield on the wing, not to mention Jonathan Drouin who is expected to ready to play again at the start of the upcoming season. Hoffman will have to find fit somewhere on those top three lines, or likely won’t be able to provide enough offense to offset the hefty cap hit he just received.
Still, there’s no doubt that Hoffman can score, and that alone made him an interesting target in this year’s free agency. He ranked 12th on our list of the Top 50 UFAs, with a prediction of three years and $12MM for the Canadiens.