Columnist image
Frank Seravalli

TSN Senior Hockey Reporter


That sound you heard on Wednesday as the story broke about the series of allegations levied by Erik Karlsson’s wife against teammate Mike Hoffman’s fiancée wasn’t jaws hitting the floor in the Ottawa Valley.

It was Hoffman’s trade value plummeting.

Now it all makes sense why the talk around the Senators last week was that Hoffman was a sure bet to be traded – which is why he ranked No. 3 on TSN’s first Trade Bait board of the summer.

Hoffman has dropped to No. 9 on the latest Trade Bait list – only remaining so high because it’s a near certainty that he will be traded now. It’s just a matter of when, where, and for what.

The situation had been simmering behind the scenes for months. Hoffman’s agent, Robert Hooper, told the Ottawa Citizen this week that he has “been aware of it since the end of the season.”

Karlsson's wife, Melinda, filed for an order of protection against Hoffman's fiancée, Monika Caryk, for an alleged cyberbullying campaign that began in Nov. 2017 and continued through the death of the Karlssons’ stillborn son. No criminal charges have been laid against Caryk and none of the allegations have been tested in court. Hoffman told the paper there is a “150 per cent chance that my fiancée Monika and I are not involved in the accusations.”

There is little chance the Senators' roster can be put back together as currently constructed – adding yet another layer to Karlsson's complicated extension or trade process looming this summer.

“It would be very difficult for both parties – both Erik and Mike as well as the wives and fiancées – to co-exist in the same wives’ room and the same dressing room,” Hooper told the paper. “Hopefully it can be resolved as quickly as possible.”

Senators GM Pierre Dorion must be kicking himself now for not pulling the trigger on a trade before the drama leaked. He could be faced with moving Hoffman, who has averaged 26 goals over each of his first four full NHL seasons, for pennies on the dollar compared to the asking price at February’s trade deadline.

One NHL GM said Thursday that Hoffman would be “persona non grata” with his team – “at least until this legal matter is resolved up one way or the other.” Another GM said he “would never invite that kind of circus” into his dressing room.

The Senators would love nothing more than to move on from this latest embarrassment in a calendar year full of them – from a 30th place finish to owner Eugene Melnyk’s show on Parliament Hill to Karlsson’s trade and extension drama to assistant GM Randy Lee’s arrest.

Here is TSN Hockey’s latest Trade Bait, with trade season revving up and just one week until the NHL Draft kicks off in Dallas:

Oliver Ekman-Larsson [previously No. 8] is off the board as he has agreed to terms on a $66-million extension with the Coyotes, which can officially be signed on July 1.

- Canucks defenceman Alex Edler joined the board in concert with teammate Chris Tanev, as Vancouver is expected to entertain and explore many different avenues to improve their roster. Edler is the longer shot of the two to go.

- P.K. Subban slid to No. 15 from No. 10 after Predators GM David Poile told Pierre LeBrun this week that a Subban trade is “not happening.” If it sounds familiar, Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin said “I would say no” when asked if a Subban trade was unrealistic just days before it actually happened in 2016. No one is questioning Poile’s word or integrity. It’s just other GMs insist on Subban’s recent availability. Whether or not Subban is actually moved is another story.


The Top 25

Trend Player Pos Age Cap Hit GP G PTS Years Clause
  1. Erik Karlsson, OTT RD 28 $6.5M 71 9 62 1 M-NTC
  2. Ryan O'Reilly, BUF C 27 $7.5M 81 24 61 5  
  3. Jeff Skinner, CAR LW 26 $5.73M 82 24 49 1 NMC
Embedded Image 4. Philipp Grubauer, WSH G 26 $1.5M 35 2.35 .923 RFA  
  5. Max Pacioretty, MTL LW 29 $4.5M 64 17 37 1  
  6. Justin Faulk, CAR RD 26 $4.83M 76 8 31 2  
  7. Canucks' No. 7 overall pick                
  8. Noah Hanifin, CAR LD 21 $925K 79 10 32 RFA  
Embedded Image 9. Mike Hoffman, OTT LW 28 $5.19M 82 22 56 2 M-NTC
  10. Phil Kessel, PIT RW 30 $8M 82 34 92 4 M-NTC
Embedded Image 11. Milan Lucic, EDM LW 29 $6M 82 10 34 5 NMC
  12. Alex Petrovic, FLA RD 26 $1.85M 67 2 13 RFA  
  13. Dougie Hamilton, CGY RD 24 $5.75M 82 17 44    
  14. Rasmus Ristolainen, BUF RD 23 $5.4M 73 6 41 4  
Embedded Image 15. P.K. Subban, NSH RD 29 $9M 82 16 59 4  
  16. Jacob Trouba, WPG RD 24 $2.81M 55 3 24 RFA  
  17. Conor Sheary, PIT LW 25 $3M 79 18 30 2  
  18. Max Domi, ARI C/LW 23 $1.36M 82 9 45 RFA  
  19. Alex Galchenyuk, MTL LW 24 $4.9M 82 19 51 2  
  20. Andre Burakovsky, WSH LW 23 $3M 56 12 25 1  
  21. Chris Tanev, VAN RD 28 $4.5M 42 2 11 2 M-NTC
  22. Alex Edler, VAN LD 32 $5M 70 6 34 1 NTC
  23. Vladislav Namestnikov, NYR LW 25 $1.94M 81 22 48 RFA  
  24. Sam Reinhart, BUF RW 22 $894K 82 25 50 RFA  
  25. Corey Perry, ANA RW 33 $8.63M 71 17 49 3 NMC