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Senators' Mike Hoffman hopes to avoid arbitration

Restricted free agent forward says he and Ottawa are 'in the midst of trying to sign new contract' @NHLdotcom

Forward Mike Hoffman said he is hoping to sign a contract with the Ottawa Senators.

"That's obviously my No. 1 goal. I love Ottawa, I love the fans there," Hoffman told the Toronto Sun on Sunday. "We're a great team, great guys, so that's obviously my first priority, to try to get something done with them."

Hoffman, 26, is a restricted free agent and has an arbitration hearing scheduled for Aug. 4. He led the Senators in goals (29) and had 59 points in 78 games last season.

He had 27 goals and 21 assists and was given a one-year, $2 million contract from an arbitrator after he was a restricted free agent following the 2014-15 NHL season. Hoffman asked for $3.4 million and the Senators countered with $1.75 million.

"We're in the midst of trying to sign a new contract here," Hoffman told Sportsnet during a visit to the Honda Indy Toronto.

Hoffman won the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League championship with Drummondville in 2008-09, when Senators coach Guy Boucher was coach.

"New coach coming in, Guy Boucher, I had him in junior when I played in Drummondville of the Quebec League," Hoffman said. "Very good relationship with him, we won a championship together. So definitely looking forward to working with him this year."

In 186 NHL regular-season games, Hoffman has 59 goals and 54 assists. He has a goal and two assists in six Stanley Cup Playoff games.

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