The San Jose experience didn’t last long for Mike Hoffman, as the Sharks have flipped their newest forward to the Florida Panthers in exchange for 2019 second, 2018 fourth and 2018 fifth round picks. The Sharks will include a 2018 seventh along with Hoffman, who moves from Ottawa to San Jose to Florida in a matter of hours. There is no retained salary in the trade.
Senators’ GM Pierre Dorion is notoriously stingy with trades in-division, which may have led to this opportunity for the Sharks. San Jose finishes the transaction with $4MM more in cap space, and a few extra draft picks to fill out the cupboards. Giving up Boedker would weaken their on-ice performance if his cap space wasn’t used for something else, but the team is expected to take a long run at some top names in free agency this summer. They do have contracts to work out with Tomas Hertl, Chris Tierney and Dylan DeMelo, along with unrestricted free agent Joe Thornton, but should have plenty of space to go after someone like John Tavares or Ilya Kovalchuk to give them some added offensive punch.
That offense was what Hoffman was supposed to bring, something that he’ll now take to Florida instead. The 28-year old winger will move south in the Atlantic Division, and join a relatively young team that already has some outstanding forward talents in players like Aleksander Barkov, Vincent Trocheck and Jonathan Huberdeau. The Panthers will add a four-time 20-goal scorer to their group, despite his recent off-ice situations. Because of those troubles between Hoffman and Senators captain Erik Karlsson, Florida has acquired him for an extremely low price. GM Dale Tallon released a statement regarding his newest player:
Mike is a skilled, consistent and hard-working player who has proven himself to be a talented goal scorer in the NHL. His speed, experience and offensive abilities will bolster our top-six group.
Taking a top scoring threat away from a division rival for a handful of picks after the first round is a steal for the Panthers, who are looking to take a run at the playoffs right away. As Chris Johnston of Sportsnet relays, Tallon had spoken with the Senators about Hoffman but thought the asking price was too high. Last night he received a call from the Sharks, and could find a price that worked. The Senators apparently wanted roster players from the Panthers, instead of the draft pick package that the Sharks were after.
The fireworks seem to just be starting in Ottawa, but both San Jose and Florida seem to be in a better position than they started this morning. This deal is a great one for both teams, as long as Hoffman’s off-ice situations are resolved. Draft week has been kicked off with a bang, and there will be plenty of intrigue as we approach Friday’s event.