Mike Hoffman has been traded not once, but twice, after his girlfriend was accused of harassing Senators teammate Erik Karlsson's wife.
Mike Hoffman had quite a morning on Tuesday.
The Senators traded Hoffman to the San Jose Sharks only to be sent to the Florida Panthers a few hours later. The trade moves come amid allegations that Hoffman's girlfriend harassed Senators teammate Erik Karlsson's wife online.
Ottawa sent forward Hoffman, defenseman Cody Donaghey and a fifth-round pick in the 2020 NHL draft to the Sharks in exchange for forward Mikkel Boedker, defenseman Julius Bergman and a sixth-round pick in 2020. The Senators' announcement was released at 7:40 a.m. ET.
Not quite three hours later, the Panthers acquired Hoffman and a 2018 seventh-round pick from the Sharks, who gave up their fourth and fifth-round picks for the 2018 draft and their 2019 draft second-round pick.
Hoffman, 28, spent the first seven years of his NHL career with the Senators, the team that drafted him in the fifth round of the 2009 draft. The winger offered a statement of gratitude to Ottawa fans following the trade, saying, "Words can't describe how thanksful I am for all your support during my 9 years with you. The next time I step foot onto the ice in Ottawa I will not be wearing the "O" or the Senator logo on my chest, but it will be a Panther."
For Florida, GM Dale Tallon spoke of adding Hoffman's offense to a team that missed the playoffs by a game in 2017-18. The winger has scored at least 20 goals in all four of his full NHL seasons.
"He’s 28, he can score, he can skate, he’s got a got a cannon for a shot," Tallon said. "We needed to add some speed and skill to our lineup, and this turns out to be the fit for us."
Tallon also mentioned the team doing its due diligence in acquiring Hoffman, who's days in Ottawa were numbered after Melinda Karlsson, defenseman Erik Karlsson's wife, filed an order of protection against Monika Caryk, Hoffman's longtime girlfriend, last week, allegations Hoffman and Caryk denied.
According to the Ottawa Citizen, Melinda's statement to the court said that Caryk wished the baby and her dead, while also wishing someone would take out Erik's legs to end his career. Melinda filed the order against Caryk, alleging cyberbulling and a "campaign of harassment that plagued the Karlssons" after the loss of their unborn son in March. The couple lost their son, Axel, one month before his reported due date.
Mikkel Boedker, LW
Cody Donaghey, D
Mike Hoffman, LW
The allegations are related to anonymous social media postings, with accusations of burner accounts. The Ottawa Citizen reported Erik called out a troll on Instagram after the baby's death who accused his wife of "popping painkiller medication."
"We did our homework and we discussed it with a lot of different people," GM Dale Tallon said. "We feel that’s in the past … we’re very confident he’ll be embraced by our team and by their wives and girlfriends. We have a strong culture down there now. Talking with Mike and all the parties, it will work out to our benefit."
While the Senators didn't address the situation with Hoffman's girlfriend, the trade announcement included a statement saying how the move impacts the team's future.
"Today's trade showcases our determination to strengthen the future of the team by improving chemistry, leadership and character in the locker room and on the ice. We are confident it is a step in the right direction for the long-term success of this organization," said Senators general manager Pierre Dorion.
Ottawa can now turn its head back to Karlsson, as the Norris Trophy-winning defenseman has one season left on his current contract, though issues with ownership and attendance have clouded the team's future.
The Sharks, meanwhile, added an additional pair of picks in the upcoming 2018 draft, as well as a second-round pick in 2019 and a fifth-rounder in 2020. The moves also free up cap space for San Jose, which has been a rumored landing place for free agent forwards Ilya Kovalchuk and John Tavares, and GM Doug Wilson has been up front about his team making a splash in the upcoming weeks.
"Are we positioned to add players? Yes," he told The Athletic's Kevin Kurz. "Could it be in the UFA market? Yes. Could it be in the trade market? Yes. … I think we’re positioned really well to be pretty active in adding another piece."