In an effort to clean house and rid themselves of additional drama the Ottawa Senators traded Mike Hoffman, prospect Cody Donaghey and a fifth-round 2020 pick to the San Jose Sharks in return for forward Mikkel Boedker, prospect Julius Bergman and a sixth-round pick in 2020.
Trouble was brewing in Ottawa
The wife of Erik Karlsson found it necessary to get a peace bond (the U.S. equivalency of an order of protection) against Hoffman's fiancee precipitated by her season-long campaign of online harassment.
Lots of drama in Ottawa... so much so that the Senators decided to rid themselves of Hoffman. Karlsson has been the topic of trade rumors since the trade deadline and either this means they got rid of Hoffman to relieve Karlsson and his wife of any additional problems, or it was just time for Hoffman and his eccentric girlfriend to pack their bags and go.
Salary-wise things work out for Senators
Hoffman's salary cap hit was $5,187,500 per year for the next two years while Boedker was earning $4 million for the next two years. The prospects and draft picks just round out the deal for both teams.
The cap hits are close, but the Ottawa club will actually be saving $5.3 million that they can use to sign a free agent if needed. The money savings could also be attributed to Ottawa's decision to trade Hoffman... the other stuff didn't help his case for staying.
Hoffman, 28 has averaged 26 goals and 58 points over the last four seasons. San Jose seems to be fine with taking players with issues. They just signed Evander Kane whom they picked up at the trade deadline to a seven-year $49 million contract after Kane had multiple behavioral issues.
So, either the Sharks have a full-time phycologist on staff or they're just willing to take the chance on both these players not acting out in the future. One must admit they have improved their front line considerably especially with the aging Joe Thornton (38), Joel Ward (37), and captain Joe Pavelski (33) all not getting any younger.
Boedker has bounced around over the last several years after being with the Arizona Coyotes for eight seasons. He had a short stint in Colorado and then got traded to the Sharks where he's played the last two seasons.
Boedker did sign a $4 million four-year contract but hasn't really performed up to expectations. His 25 goals, 38 assists over the past two seasons didn't exactly impress too many hockey experts.
Perhaps he'll get a fresh start (seems to be the go-to for some of the recent NHL trades) in Ottawa. He just needs to be certain his new wife stays away from Karlsson's wife (lol...). It shouldn't be too much to ask.
The other parts of the deal
Bergman, 22 was a second-round draft pick of the Sharks in 2014. He's a right-handed shooting defenseman who played for the Sharks AHL affiliate San Jose Barracuda. He collected 10 goals and 10 assists.
Donaghey, 22 is also a right-handed shooting blueliner who had 16 points in 54 games while playing with the Brampton Beast of the ECHL last season.
Who won the trade?
Just on pure statistics, the Sharks came out on top in this trade. Hoffman along with Kane makes the Sharks' front line pretty awesome. Boedker is a mystery. He has unbelievable speed and a pretty accurate shot. He didn't get much playing time in San Jose averaging just 13:21 minutes a game.
If Boedker can find his game it may be good for Ottawa. The thing is Hoffman already has found his game, and it's tough to pass on a guy who can average 25+ goals a season.
I've been following NHL hockey for a long time, and this is the STRANGEST reason to unload a player. Today's modern world of social media can really mess up lives, and this was a perfect example of it.
Ottawa can claim till the cows come home that this trade was about saving some salary cap money, but one must wonder if they just wanted to move on from the drama.
Hoffman and his girlfriend may love northern California (who doesn't?) and fit right in there.
A new start... how refreshing!
What is your take on the trade? Did Ottawa really have no choice for multiple reasons to move Hoffman? Will Boedker ever pan out to be a player who can produce? Let us know in the comments section below.