The Ottawa Senators traded winger Mike Hoffman on Tuesday, hoping to solve an ugly off-ice issue involving star defenseman Erik Karlsson and his wife.
The Senators sent Hoffman to the San Jose Sharks, who then dealt him to the Florida Panthers. All told, the two transactions involved four players and six draft picks.
The Sharks sent forward Mikkel Boedker, defensive prospect Julius Bergman and a 2020 sixth-round pick to the Senators for Hoffman, defensive prospect Cody Donaghey and a 2020 fifth-round pick. They then dealt Hoffman and a 2018 seventh-round pick to the Panthers for 2018 fourth- and fifth-round picks and a 2019 second-round pick in a move that clears significant cap space for San Jose to use in an offseason that includes potential free-agent forwards John Tavares and Ilya Kovalchuk.
The Senators were eager to deal Hoffman amid a dispute with team captain Karlsson and his wife. Melinda Karlsson recently filed an order of protection against Hoffman's fiancée alleging harassment and cyberbullying in the form of hundreds of derogatory online messages aimed at her and her husband, whose first child, a boy, was stillborn in March.
Ottawa General Manager Pierre Dorion didn't hide his reasoning for trading Hoffman.
"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," Dorion said. "We are confident it is a step in the right direction for the long-term success of this organization."
Ottawa might still trade Karlsson, who can be a free agent at the end of next season, but shipping Hoffman addressed an immediate problem. Dorion contacted the Panthers about Hoffman last week, but Florida GM Dale Tallon said the players Ottawa was looking for didn't make it a match.
The Panthers were still interested in Hoffman and made a deal with the Sharks for the speedy winger who can score at a reasonable price without having to trade from their NHL roster. Hoffman has surpassed 20 goals in each of the past four seasons since becoming a full-time NHL player.
"We felt that this would be a perfect fit for our team," Tallon said. "He's 28, he can score, he can skate, he's got a cannon for a shot. He'll be a good fit for our team moving forward. We missed the playoffs by a point. I thought that we needed to add some offense and some speed and skill to our lineup, and this turns out to be the fit for us."
Tallon said he was confident Florida's locker room would accept Hoffman and wasn't worried about the situation in Ottawa being a problem.
"We did our homework and we discussed it with a lot of different people," Tallon said.
Locals up for awards
The NHL gathers in Las Vegas on Thursday night for its annual awards show (7 p.m. on NBCSN).
Burnsville native Brock Boeser of the Vancouver Canucks is up the Calder Trophy (rookie of the year), along with Mathew Barzal of the New York Islanders and Clayton Keller of the Arizona.
Boeser, 21, finished second among rookies in goals (29) and fifth in points (55) in 62 games; he missed the final 16 games of the season because of a back injury.
Another Minnesotan, Winnipeg Jets captain Blake Wheeler, is a finalist for the Mark Messier Leadership Award. Wild forward Jason Zucker is a finalist for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy, which is awarded "to the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community."