While the hockey world waits and wonders what’s going to happen to the remainder of this season, Sportsnet’s Emily Sadler published an article on the NHL’s top UFAs of 2020. Two of the Florida Panthers pending unrestricted free agents, Evgenii Dadonov and Mike Hoffman made the list. Let’s see what Sportsnet had to say about our two forwards that will need new deals to stay in Sunrise. Make sure to check out the full article on Sportsnet.
8. Evgenii Dadonov, RW, Florida Panthers
2019-20 cap hit: $4 million
Dadonov quietly put up back-to-back 28-goal campaigns down in Florida, tallying 65 and 70 points in his past two seasons, and a scoring spree in January has him just three markers shy of that total through 69 games. He’s one of the league’s most underrated sharp shooters and his production over the past three years all but guarantees he won’t be underpaid come free agency – though age and the current cap uncertainty may deter clubs from offering long-term pacts.
9. Mike Hoffman, RW/LW, Florida Panthers
2019-20 cap hit: $5.1875 million
Florida has been one of the most intriguing teams to watch down the stretch, considering their position in the standings straddling the line between contention and, ultimately, not.
Hoffman is coming off the best season of his career (by a pretty wide margin) in 2018-19, leading the Panthers in goals (36) and tallying 70 points in his first year with the club. The Panthers’ goals leader (he’s third in overall points, with 59) looked like an intriguing rental candidate at the deadline but wasn’t moved.
With the salary cap expected to remain flat next season as a way to deal with the financial fallout from the coronavirus outbreak, it looks like the Panthers will only to be able to afford to keep one of Dadonov or Hoffman. And depending on how bad the hit the team is taking because of all this, they might have to let both players walk and try to fill their slots with younger, cheaper players. It will be an interesting offseason for sure... once we actually get there.
Who would you rather re-sign?
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Neither, see ya!