Mike Hoffman has led Ottawa in goals in each of the last two seasons — scoring 56 all told — which should play a key factor in negotiations for a contract extension this summer.
Know what else might play a role?
The presence of Guy Boucher.
Boucher, Ottawa’s new bench boss, coached Hoffman in the QMJHL Drummondville a few years back. After a tough rookie campaign, Hoffman responded with a banner 52-goal, 97-point campaign in 2008-09.
Not surprisingly, the two are quite fond of each other.
Upon being hired, Boucher told reporters he was excited about getting to work with Hoffman again and, in speaking with the Ottawa Sun this week, Hoffman shared similar sentiments.
“This is awesome,” Hoffman said. “I’m looking forward to having him behind the bench and leading us.”
Hoffman, 26, pulled in $2 million last season. Theoretically, he should be in line for a sizable raise. He found the back of the net 29 times last year despite clashes with former head coach Dave Cameron, and the Sun went to far as to suggest Hoffman is “the one forward on the team capable of posting a 40-goal season.”
In that light, it’s interesting to note how both Hoffman and Sens GM Pierre Dorion referred to Boucher’s presence as a “bonus” in terms of contract negotiations.
“I think it’s a bonus,” Dorion said on Ottawa radio earlier this month. “I think our fans know that the relationship between Mike and the previous coaches wasn’t the greatest.”
“Obviously I want to play in Ottawa, that’s my first priority,” Hoffman told the Sun. “Having him as a coach is obviously a bonus.”