All things being equal the Senators will have to give the vacant second line winger job to Mike Hoffman.

He’s the only one of those currently battling for the spot who would need to clear waivers if they tried to send him to Binghamton. After all they’ve invested in Hoffman — as well as the offensive potential and speed he has — the Senators would be wrong to risk losing him. Because they likely would.

“I’m not really thinking about that right now” Hoffman said before Monday’s pre-season tilt when asked if he considered that his contract status gave him a leg up on the competition in a battle with the likes of Cory Conacher Mark Stone and Shane Prince. “I’m just trying to come in here and do what I can. This is where I want to play. I don’t want to go anywhere else. I’d love to be a part of this team this year.”

Hoffman had his first pre-season shot Monday against the Flames when he skated with Kyle Turris and Clarke MacArthur on what was the team’s first line with Bobby Ryan Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek given the night off.

Conacher was again alongside Stephane Da Costa after the two worked well on a line with Mark Stone Sunday in Winnipeg. Stone stayed behind in his home town for personal reasons while Buddy Robinson stepped up to play with Conacher and Da Costa in Saskatoon.

“We think a lot of Mike” coach Paul MacLean said before the game. “He’s had some great years in Binghamton. We’re looking forward to giving him the opportunity and see if he can run with it.”