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The Ottawa Senators made a trade Tuesday morning involving Mike Hoffman, the left winger whose fianceé is accused of cyberbullying the wife of star defenseman Erik Karlsson.
The 28-year-old Hoffman was dealt along with minor league defenseman Cody Donaghey and a 2020 fifth-round draft pick to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for forward Mikkel Boedker, defenseman Julius Bergman and a 2020 sixth-round selection.
“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,” Senators general manager Pierre Dorion said in a press release.
Later Tuesday morning, San Jose shipped Hoffman along with a 2018 seventh round draft pick to the Florida Panthers in exchange for Florida’s 2019 second round pick and two 2018 picks, a fourth-rounder and a fifth-rounder.
— Florida Panthers (@FlaPanthers) June 19, 2018
The transactions come a week after news emerged that Karlsson’s wife, Melinda, filed an order of protection against Monika Caryk, Hoffman’s fianceé.
Why was the order of protection filed?
In the protective order, filed May 4, Melinda Karlsson accused Caryk of harassing her and her husband online, including cruel comments about the death of their child, who was stillborn in March. According to the Ottawa Citizen, the abuse alleged in the order dates back to November 2017. It prompted an investigation by Ottawa police that is ongoing.
From the Citizen:
“Monika Caryk has uttered numerous statements wishing my unborn child dead,” says Melinda Karlsson’s sworn statement to the court. “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.”
The harassment stems from anonymous posts on social media, including Instagram and Twitter.
In an Instagram post following his son’s death, Erik Karlsson posted a photo of Axel’s tiny footprints. In the post, Karlsson thanked the city and the team’s fans for their love and support and wrote: “We feel very lucky to be Axel’s parents. Even though he was stillborn, we know we will hold him again one day under different circumstances and the joy he gave us will be with us forever.”
The post garnered more than 10,000 comments, with the overwhelming majority of them expressions of support and sympathy for the couple. However, one comment, posted by user sandydandy45, stood out: “I feel bad for the baby he didn’t have a chance with Melinda popping pain killer medication everyday.”
It took the league’s top defenceman just seven minutes to respond: “How dare you. You have been making fake accounts and buying hacked ones for months to harass me and my wife but this is an all new low even for you. You are a disgusting person.”
Hoffman and Caryk have denied involvement
“There is a 150 percent chance that my fianceé 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 to the Citizen.
“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. 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.”
Hoffman was considered a likely trade candidate even before the cyberbullying scandal
Before Tuesday’s trade Hoffman spent his entire NHL career with the Senators. After moving back and forth between the Senators and AHL affiliate Binghamton in 2011 and 2012, Hoffman stuck with the Sens in 2013 and has been one the team’s most consistent forwards over the last four seasons, combining for 104 goals and 120 assists.
However, after the team endured a miserable 28-43-11 record this year, the team was widely expected to move Hoffman — and potentially Karlsson, a five-time all-star and two-time Norris Trophy winner — for financial reasons and to potentially add pieces for a rebuild.
What are the Senators getting in Mikkel Boedker?
Boedker, 28, was the No. 8 overall pick of the Coyotes in 2008. He made his NHL debut at age 19 and spent parts of eight seasons in Arizona. He was traded to Colorado at the deadline in 2016 and later signed a four-year, $16 million deal with San Jose. Last season, he totaled 15 goals and 22 assists in 74 games for the Sharks.
In all, Boedker has 109 goals and 179 assists in his NHL career.
“Mikkel Boedker is a competitive, versatile, two-way forward who can play both wings,” Dorion said. “He has a track record of playing his best hockey in the most important games, including the playoffs and internationally. His skill set – in particular his speed – along with his veteran leadership fits with our vision for the team.”
Bergman, 22, played for San Jose’s AHL affiliate last season, totaling 10 goals and 10 assists in 65 games. He was a second-round pick in 2014.
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