Saturday, October 5, 2019

Mike Hoffman: Two Autographed Cards

For years, I kept telling people Mike Hoffman was a 30-goal player and that the Ottawa Senators had a potential contending team with a captain like game-breaker Erik Karlsson, a potential Selke candidate and point-per-game player in Mark Stone, 1A and 1B centres like Derick Brassard and Kyle Turris, and tough shut-down defensemen like Marc Methot, Cody Ceci and Mark Borowiecki, a dependable starting goalie like Craig Anderson, and fine two-way players with offensive upside like Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Ryan Dzingel.

Even more so when Guy Boucher became coach. And they did reach a Conference Final, taking the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins to double-vertime in Game 7. And then came the meltdown, then the tear-down.

Only three players remain from that list: Anderson, who is in the twilight of his career; Pageau, a young leader who will help guide the likes of Colin White, Thomas Chabot , and Brady Tkachuk; and Borowiecki, who has more value in Ottawa than elsewhere.

But Hoffman? He led the Florida Panthers with 36 goals last year while playing on the team's would-be second line, one more than captain Aleksander Barkov. He's leading it again this year, with 4 goals in 2 games after tonight's hat trick. He also posted the franchise record 17-game point streak last season.

He is currently on the last of a four-year contract that carries a cap hit of $5.1875M and, despite Florida's non-existent tax rate, may be playing himself out of the team's price range in the future.

Here he is wearing the Sens' red (home) uniform on card #236 from Upper Deck's 2015-16 O-Pee-Chee set with the "NHL All-Star" mention:
And here he is sporting the Sens' best uniform, the black alternates from 2011-17 on card #389 from Upper Deck's 2015-16 Series 2 collection:
He signed both in thin blue sharpie last January after scoring a goal in a game against the Montréal Canadiens.

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