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
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|