It had been some time now that Ottawa was looking to ship out some salary. When looking at the roster, Mike Hoffman’s was a name that came up frequently for the team to be able to dump some money. Following the allegations of Hoffman’s fiancée cyber-bullying Melinda Karlsson after the loss of her child, it was academic that he was eventually going to be traded.
That came to fruition Tuesday morning as Mike Hoffman was sent to the San Jose Sharks. Along with Hoffman, the Sharks received prospect defenceman Cody Donaghey and a fifth-round pick in 2020. Going back to Ottawa is forward Mikkel Boedker, prospect defenceman Julius Bergman, and a sixth-round pick in 2020.
You can read Donaghey’s Dobber Prospects profile here. He was a free agent signing by the Leafs a few years ago.
You can read Bergman’s Dobber Prospects profile here. He was a second-round pick by the Sharks in 2014.
That wasn’t the end of things, though. San Jose then flipped Hoffman to Florida for a trio of draft picks:
The #FlaPanthers send a 2019 second round pick, 2018 fourth round pick (via Vegas) and 2018 5th round pick to the #SJSharks for Hoffman. The Cats just picked up a guy you can pencil in for 20 goals and 50 points without parting with a roster player, prospect or first-round pick.
— Jameson Olive (@JamesonCoop) June 19, 2018
All told, this is what it looks like:
Ottawa gets Mikkel Boedker, Julius Bergman, and a sixth-round pick in 2020.
San Jose gets Cody Donaghey, a second-round pick in 2019, a fourth-round pick in 2018, and fifth-round picks in 2018 and 2020.
Florida gets Mike Hoffman and a seventh-round pick.
If you want to know why Ottawa went about this in a roundabout way instead of just trading Hoffman straight to Florida:
Pierre Dorion is a big believer in not trading players within his own division. Often says he rarely talks shop with other GMs in the division. Interesting play by #sjsharks.
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) June 19, 2018
That’s some shrewd general managing from San Jose’s Doug Wilson. He turned Mikkel Boedker, a guy whose salary they wanted to shed, into a lower-tier prospect and a net of three draft picks.
What Florida receives.
If we can set aside the off-ice cyber-bullying allegations for right now, Hoffman is an upper-tier scorer in the NHL. He has 104 total goals over his four full seasons in the NHL. Those 104 goals puts him 24th in the league in that span, two fewer than James van Riemsdyk, three fewer than Jeff Skinner, and four fewer than Phil Kessel. One thing to note about that is he wasn’t given much PP time in his first full season, managing just one PP goal. So even though he has fewer total goals than Kessel over the last four years, Hoffman’s goals/60 at five-on-five (0.91) is actually higher than the Pittsburgh sniper’s (0.86).
The Panthers were really top-heavy in their scoring last year following the loss of both Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith. Hoffman allows them to lengthen the lineup again and give them a proper third line scoring threat, whether it's Hoffman or Bjugstad or whomever.
What Ottawa receives
This really hurts Ottawa, though. Boedker turns 29 years old by the end of the calendar year and he has yet to manage a 20-goal season. Hoffman churned out four consecutive 20-goal seasons, averaging 26 per year from 2014-18. Boedker can be a decent playmaker which doesn’t make this trade a total loss but it’s a downgrade in most categories we look to in helping generate offence (from CJ Turtoro):
You can argue maybe it’s a marginal upgrade defensively, but that doesn’t really matter to us for fantasy purposes. The Senators just incurred a downgrade offensively.
What San Jose receives
While the prospect and picks are nice because they did lose some picks in trades for this year – they don’t have 2018 second- and third-round picks – the biggest win for them is clearing cap space. If the cap goes up to ~$80M, they now have about $17-million to work with. They have Tomas Hertl, Chris Tierney, and Dylan DeMelo to sign, but it also leaves them room to maybe sign both Thornton and Ilya Kovalchuk. Or maybe they make a run at John Carlson. Whatever they decide to do, they have a little bit more flexibility now than they did four hours ago.
Who this helps:
Magnus Paajarvi – Hoffman being traded should open some top-six minutes and there isn’t much on the left side to replace him. Paajarvi looked fine on the third line for the Sens last year so maybe they just leave him there, but it does afford him the opportunity to move up the lineup if he forces the hand of the coach.
Florida’s Third-Line Centre: This is uncertain because both Nick Bjugstad and Jared McCann spent some time as the 3C last year. Bjugstad was eventually moved to the top line leaving McCann as the 3C, and that’s when the Panthers really started making their push for the playoffs. I assume McCann starts again as the third-line pivot, so it would give him a true scoring winger.
Who this hurts:
Matt Duchene – Hoffman and Duchene weren’t world-beaters together, but they did help the team score much more often. When Duchene was on the ice without Hoffman last year, Ottawa took fewer shots, scored fewer goals (by 0.8 per 60 minutes which is a lot), and generated fewer scoring chances. Maybe Ottawa could be better off overall if Mark Stone becomes a regular winger for Duchene, but does he help him score more than Hoffman did? I’m not so sure.
Mikkel Boedker – Unless he’s a staple on the top line with Duchene, this is a downgrade for Boedker. He’ll end up skating with Jean-Gabriel Pageau or Zack Smith and going from San Jose’s middle-six to Ottawa’s middle-six is a downgrade.
Jamie McGinn – McGinn had spent some time on the third line last year but I imagine he gets pushed to the fourth line with this acquisition.
Frank Vatrano – They'll need to leave Vatrano on the right side where they had him at times last year. He looked fine there, but it does limit him because if he can't show consistency on right wing, there's nowhere for him to play on the left.
As a small aside, and I briefly mentioned this about Florida lengthening their scoring, I'm not so sure Hoffman starts in the top-6. The line of Bjugstad-Barkov-Dadonov was excellent after being assembled, Huberdeau isn't getting pushed off the second line, so it's very conceivable that Hoffman starts the year on the third line. In that sense, it could hurt his fantasy value. There's also nowhere for him to play on the top PP unit unless they push Dadonov to the second unit. This could be a downgrade for Hoffman but it'll completely depend on their 5v5 and PP alignments, which we don't really know for sure yet.