Rumor: UFA Mike Hoffman Close to Signing New Deal

The Mike Hoffman Sweepstakes have gone on much longer than anyone anticipated, but as long as the player is signed by opening night, him and his Agent will be happy. Turns out there's two teams who are heavy favorites to land the soon-to-be 31 year-old - the Nashville Predators and the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Columbus has been trying to upgrade their offense this entire offseason. Adding Max Domi should help but the team has come up short on contracts for Taylor Hall and Tyler Toffoli. Adding Mike Hoffman to their mix would certainly be a huge boost.

The Blue Jackets are built on defensive structure and if you are signing with the club, get ready to block shots or you're not going to play. That's just the way head coach, John Tortorella likes it, basically planting a fear of having your minutes reduced if you're getting out of the way of the frozen biscuit. 

Hoffman scored 29 goals in 69 games last season and 36 the year before. He's one of the most underrated snipers in the league and would jump immediately into Columbus' top-line and power-play. His nine-year career has been split between Ottawa and Florida, and trip to Ohio could be next.

Hoffman made $5.187 million on his last deal and considering the time crunch now, his next deal should come in at roughly $6 million, and will likely be for 2-3 years max. 

Columbus isn't the only team with Hoffman on their radar as the Nashville Predators have kept in close contact with the player and his Agent, ensuring to be informed if a decision is coming. The Preds' cleared a ton of money and are looking to boost their left-wing position. They, like Columbus had Taylor Hall as priority #1, which never came into fruition so the attention shifted to Hoffman and others. 

Keep an eye on these two teams as their off-season's are far from over!

Photo credit:  Joel Auerbach/Icon Sportswire