Monday August 3rd, 2015

The new season hasn’t even started yet and the Senators already are 2–0.

Ottawa was taken to arbitration by young restricted free agents Alex Chiasson and Mike Hoffman this month and in both cases the rulings came back in favor of the team.

Just last week, Chiasson was awarded a one-year, $1.2 million contract by an arbitrator. The fourth-line winger was asking for $2.475 million while the team was offering $1 million.

NHL’s wave of pre-arbitration deals a sign the system is working

On Monday, the Sens got another big win when an arbitrator awarded Hoffman a one-year, $2 million contract. Heading into the process, Ottawa was offering $1.75 million while Hoffman was demanding $3.4 million.

Both are excellent deals for a team that now has its lineup set and has more than $8 million left under the cap. The terms of the deals are so good, in fact, that both players might be feeling a bit unappreciated.

Hoffman in particular has every right to feel shafted. The winger scored 26 goals at even strength last season, most by a rookie and eighth-most in the league, more than such superstars as John Tavares (25), Tyler Seguin (24), Jamie Benn (23) and Ryan Getzlaf (22).

He took some heat for his defensive zone learning curve, but as TSN's Travis Yost demonstrated, his defensive fancy stats compare favorably to many of those same elite scorers.

Dustin Byfuglien trade rumor makes sense, but are the Bruins a good fit?

So, did Hoffman get hosed? Probably, but the 26-year-old will have this season to prove his value before heading back into negotiations with the Senators as an RFA next summer. If he delivers, you can be sure that GM Bryan Murray will be happy to reward him for his efforts. And there’s little doubt that Hoffman probably won’t want to leave his fate in the hands of an arbitrator again.

Hoffman’s case was the third to be settled in arbitration this summer—following Chiasson and the CapitalsMarcus Johansson—and was the last case on the NHL’s arbitration docket.

• Free agent signing tracker | Available FAs and cap space

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