At last year’s trade deadline, Ottawa wanted a legit prospect and a first-round draft choice for winger Mike Hoffman.
Today, Hoffman bounced from Ottawa to San Jose to Florida, with the return comparatively minimal. Hoffman’s value plummeted in the wake of his girlfriend, Monika Caryk, allegedly cyber-stalking the wife of teammate Erik Karlsson.
Karlsson is one of hockey’s top defensemen and is entering the final year of his contract. Karlsson is also likely to be dealt, but Ottawa apparently felt keeping Hoffman would still be too toxic moving forward, and understandably so.
It’s surprising that any team wanted Hoffman, 28, given the circumstances. But he’s a decent scorer: 22, 26, 29 and 27 goals over the last four seasons. The Penguins could have used him, especially if they didn’t have to give up much.
There’s only one way Hoffman can shake this: By dumping Caryk.
Hoffman and Caryk have reportedly been together since they were teens, but Hoffman must decide what he values more, her or his career. Caryk’s behavior and this incident will stain Hoffman as long as they’re together. Teammates won’t trust Hoffman. His teammates’ wives and girlfriends won’t trust Caryk.
Florida GM Dale Tallon said he did his homework on Hoffman’s off-ice issues. That’s sketchy. Tallon is old-school. Tallon thinks about hockey, and everything else is peripheral crap.
Maybe Tallon can hide Caryk’s computer.