Senators’ Hoffman awarded one-year, $2 million contract in arbitration

Jared Clinton
Mike Hoffman (Andre Ringuette/Getty Images)

The Ottawa Senators will have their leading goal scorer back in the lineup next season for a mere $2 million.

Monday afternoon, Senators winger Mike Hoffman was awarded a $2 million salary through arbitration, which is $1.4 million less than his $3.4 million ask heading into his hearing. Prior to the July 30 arbitration hearing, the Senators had offered $1.75 million and it was believed by some the two sides would land on a deal in the $2.5 million range — right in the middle of the two asking prices.

As such, the $2 million award is less than expected, especially considering the 25-year-old Hoffman is coming off of a 27-goal, 48 point season. His 27 goals were the most of any rookie, edging out teammate Mark Stone’s 26, and Hoffman finished sixth in voting for the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year. Read more

The Top 10 moments for 2014-15

Andrew Hammond  (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

1. Hawks win the Stanley Cup – June 15, 2015

Thanks to the (literally) tireless efforts of Conn Smythe winner Duncan Keith, the Chicago Blackhawks claimed their third Stanley Cup in six seasons, dusting off the Tampa Bay Lightning in six games.

Keith, who played an otherworldly average of 31 minutes per game in the post-season, scored the game-winning goal by following up his own rebound on Bolts goalie Ben Bishop. Patrick Kane, who always seems to come through in big contests, added the dagger on a beauty feed from Brad Richards.

In terms of sentiment, it was hard to beat captain Jonathan Toews passing the Cup off to Kimmo Timonen, whose career and life almost ended in the summer due to blood clots. Instead, the Finnish D-man ended his career a champion.

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Senators’ Chiasson awarded one-year, $1.2 million deal through arbitration

Jared Clinton
Alex Chiasson (Graig Abel/Getty Images)

Alex Chiasson and the Ottawa Senators failed to come to terms on a new contract before or after his arbitration hearing, so a league-appointed arbitrator decided the fate of Chiasson’s next deal.

Following a July 23 arbitration, Chiasson was handed a one-year deal worth $1.2 million, only a slight raise from the $900,000 he earned last season, which was his first in an Ottawa uniform. Chiasson came to Ottawa as part of the trade of Jason Spezza to Dallas, which also brought Alexander Guptill, Nick Paul and a 2015 second-round pick to the Senators.

This past season, Chiasson, 24, scored 11 goals and 26 points in 76 games for the Senators while averaging less than 13:30 of ice time per outing. He became a healthy scratch in the post-season, sitting out Games 3 and 4 of Ottawa’s first-round series against the Montreal Canadiens. Chiasson didn’t find the score sheet in the playoffs. Read more

Why hasn’t your team done anything this off-season?

Tampa Bay GM Steve Yzerman.  (Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

We’ve seen plenty of turnover on NHL rosters so far this summer, setting up what appears to be even crazier parity than normal in each division. The Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers and San Jose Sharks made major moves in the Pacific. The Washington Capitals jazzed up their top two lines in the Metropolitan. The Chicago Blackhawks did anything but sit on their championship team, making over a quarter of their roster.

A bushel of franchises, however, have been oddly quiet so far. Some are justified in their thought process. Others have their angry fans yelling “DO something!”

Why do some of these teams appear to be deer in the headlights right now? There’s a plausible explanation for each, though some are more maddening than others.

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10 players facing make or break seasons in 2015-16

Justin Schultz  (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)

The Edmonton Oilers avoided arbitration with Justin Schultz Wednesday by inking the 25-year-old blueliner to a one-year, $3.9 million deal. But the arbitration wasn’t Schultz’s choice. Rather, it was the Oilers who wanted to plead their case for a lower cost on Schultz’s contract.

However, by opting for team-elected arbitration – which, as mentioned, has now been avoided with the one-year contract – Edmonton was essentially giving Schultz an ultimatum: if he wants to keep his spot in the Oilers lineup for what he believes to be fair value, he’s going to have to prove that he’s worth it. Thus, the one-year deal.

Schultz isn’t the only restricted free agent signed to a one-year contract and he’s not the only player who can, as Mike Babcock put it with regards to Nazem Kadri, “put the screws,” to his club. On the flip side, though, one bad year could see some franchises giving up on their young guns.

Here are 10 players who could have make-or-break seasons in 2014-15: Read more

Rumor Roundup: Red Wings, Senators trade buzz

Lyle Richardson
Jimmy Howard (Mike Stobe/National Hockey League)

The Detroit Red Wings made a couple of recent notable additions via free agency, signing defenseman Mike Green and center Brad Richards. Still, one Detroit sports talk show host believes there’s more to be done.

Writing for the Detroit Free Press, Jamie Samuelsen suggests Wings management try to find a taker for goaltender Jimmy Howard. Samuelsen notes Petr Mrazek proved himself as a starter during Detroit’s first-round series against the Tampa Bay Lightning. In his estimation, that makes Howard (earning $5.5 million in actual salary for 2015-16) an expensive backup.

Howard, 31, might attract some interest around the league. The Buffalo Sabres, Edmonton Oilers and San Jose Sharks currently lack experienced starting goaltenders. Back in April, however, Wings GM Ken Holland said his preference was to have Howard and Mrazek battle for the starter’s job in training camp. Read more

Luke Richardson agrees to one-year deal to coach AHL Senators

Jared Clinton
Luke Richardson (via Binghamton Senators/YouTube)

In late-May, it was reported that the Ottawa Senators had tabled an offer to free agent bench boss Luke Richardson in hopes that he would come back for at least one more season to coach the AHL’s Binghamton Senators.

That became a reality Tuesday, as the Senators announced the club and Richardson have come to terms on a new, one-year deal that will bring him back to Binghamton for the 2015-16 campaign.

“We’re very excited to have Luke back behind the bench next season,” said Binghamton Senators general manager Randy Lee in a release. “As we witnessed with last week’s development camp, the growth and development of the young players in our organization is one of our highest priorities. Luke has shown a tremendous ability to push our players to be better and, even more importantly, to be fully prepared when they get the call to the National Hockey League.” Read more

Arbitration season: Derek Stepan is gonna get paid

Derek Stepan. (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

The NHL arbitration process is really no fun for anyone involved, since it brings negotiation into a formal setting and forces teams and their players to square off. Teams have to pretend that their own players aren’t really that good and hurt feelings can have long-standing consequences.

Which is why most arbitration cases get settled before the actual hearing. In fact, the Washington Capitals and goaltender Braden Holtby are already saying all the right things and trying to get something done beforehand. So there might not actually be much arbitration to hear about this summer, but there are some interesting scenarios nonetheless. Here’s a look at five high-profile cases:

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