The flat salary cap - as well as the financial repercussions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic - has drastically affected the free-agent market. There are numerous NHL teams up against the salary cap and others who may have internal budgets set by ownership due to the economic uncertainty.
Taylor Hall, who was the top free-agent forward, took a one-year, $8-million contract with the Buffalo Sabres - likely with hopes of cashing in next offseason.
Hoffman, who led all UFAs in points, may end up taking a similar route. The 30-year-old winger recorded 29 goals and 30 assists in 69 games with the Florida Panthers last season. Since becoming an NHL regular in 2014-15 with the Ottawa Senators, Hoffman has averaged 28 goals per season.
Consistent snipers are generally coveted on the open market, but it's worth noting Hoffman's contributions on the ice don't extend far beyond his goal-scoring ability. His five-on-five expected goals for percentage has been below 50% in each of the past five seasons, coming in at 46.3 in 2019-20, according to Natural Stat Trick.
HockeyViz's isolated five-on-five impact illustrates Hoffman's lack of play-driving ability over the past four seasons.
Plus is good in offensive zone (top row), negative is good in the defensive zone (bottom row)
Hoffman's former Panthers teammate, Evgenii Dadonov, inked a three-year, $15-million contract with the Senators on Thursday. Florida still has over $11-million in projected cap space, per CapFriendly, so perhaps a reunion is in order.