Senators captain Erik Karlsson will no longer have to share the ice with Mike Hoffman.
Ottawa shipped Hoffman to the Sharks on Tuesday along with Cody Donaghey and Ottawa’s fifth-round choice in the 2020 NHL Draft in exchange for forward Mikkel Boedker, defenseman Julius Bergman and a sixth-round draft pick in 2020.
Hoffman was then traded by San Jose just a few hours later to the Panthers (along with a 2018 seventh-round pick) for Florida’s 2019 second-round pick, 2018 fourth-round pick and 2018 fifth-round pick.
TRADE: The #FlaPanthers have acquired forward Mike Hoffman and a 2018 7th round pick from the @SanJoseSharks.
Details » https://t.co/gOBMMcelc5 pic.twitter.com/EOJdWrI1JK
— Florida Panthers (@FlaPanthers) June 19, 2018
Hoffman and his fiancee, Monika Caryk, have been accused of harassment and cyber attacks against Karlsson and his wife, Melinda, sometimes going as far as wishing injury to Karlsson and taunting the couple about their stillborn son.
“Monika Caryk has uttered numerous statements wishing my unborn child dead,” Melinda Karlsson said in a sworn statement (via the Ottawa Citizen). “She also uttered that she wished I was dead and that someone should ‘take out’ my husband’s legs to ‘end his career.’
“Monika Caryk has posted over 1,000 negative and derogatory statements about me as a professional.”
Hoffman and Caryk have denied being behind the anonymous attacks.
“There is a 150 percent chance that my fiancee Monika and I are not involved in any of the accusations that have been pursued (that are) coming our way. We totally understand there’s no place for cyberbullying. We’ve offered to cooperate and do anything it takes to find out who is doing this, and support (the Karlssons),” Hoffman said in a statement.
“Obviously this is a tough time that they’re going through, and we want to find out who is doing this, because for some reason it’s coming into our court, and it’s 150 percent that it’s not us,” Hoffman continued. “We have nothing to hide. We’re willing to cooperate in any way to solve this and figure it out, and prove that it wasn’t us.”
The Senators clearly weren’t willing to wait for this case to play out in court (though no charges have been filed as of Tuesday) to repair tensions within the locker room. In a release announcing Tuesday’s trade, Senators general manager Pierre Dorion said: “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.”
Hoffman, 28, had spent his entire NHL career with Ottawa before Tuesday.
— Mike Hoffman (@MHoffy68) June 19, 2018
In a statement posted to his Twitter account after the trades, he thanked the Senators and their fans and said he “can’t wait to take the next step” with his new Panthers teammates.