With the controversy surrounding Mike Hoffman, is the timing right for the Flyers to make a deal?

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By now, I’m sure many of you are well aware of the situation between Mike Hoffman and the Ottawa Senators. Late last week, news leaked of the alleged “cyber-bullying” that occurred between Monika Caryk, Hoffman’s fiancé, and Melinda Karlsson, Erik Karlsson’s wife.

According to Shaamini Yogaretnam of the Ottawa Citizen, In court, Melinda Karlsson gave the following sworn statements in court:

“Monika Caryk has uttered numerous statements wishing my unborn child dead.”

“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.”

These statements, however, have been known for longer than the date they were spoken in front of a judge. Apparently, Senator’s General Manager Pierre Dorion knew about these allegations since the end of the regular season in May.

Many have taken to Twitter to show their support of the Karlsson family, including wives of former teammates Andrew Hammond and Kyle Turris.

https://twitter.com/marlee_kat/status/1006634197367304192

https://twitter.com/julieturris/status/1006649117915824128

Clearly there is a discord in the Ottawa locker room. Signs have pointed towards it, including the fact that Dorion has been actively shopping Hoffman for a good bit of time now. The Senators are in a very precarious position, their reputation hanging in the balance and hinging on how they handle this terrible turn of events.

With the news sure to flow as more develops, Mike Hoffman’s trade value continues to plummet as more and more information becomes available. Teams surely won’t be interested in acquiring Mike Hoffman, and is essence, his fiancé Monika Caryk.

However, as Bruce Garrioch puts it for the Ottawa Sun, many teams could still be interested in Hoffman’s services despite knowing about his current situation:

“The belief is Ottawa can still get a good return for Hoffman if the club can find the right fit.”

Sure, Hoffman is a very enticing option. He could help a teams powerplay unit, and has the potential to put up 30 goals one of these seasons.

Garrioch also points out that the asking price for Hoffman may be similar to that of the Carolina Hurricane’s asking price for Jeff Skinner. He says that an NHL-ready prospect or a player who can help the Senators now, along with a first round selection could just do the trick.

However, are teams going to be willing to pay for a potentially disgruntled forward who carries along some pretty heavy baggage?

As far as the Flyers go, it might be worth waiting out the legal process. Seeing what the court says and what comes of all this could end up playing into the Flyers hands. If Caryk is found to have made the alleged statements, Hoffman will have to do one of two things: accept that it happened, and accept a major blow to his trade value, or get rid of the dead weight and try to distance himself far from the drama that ensued.

If Hoffman sticks by Caryk’s side, you can all-but kiss his chances of being a Flyer goodbye. Many would have a hard time accepting a player like that into the locker room, let alone a fiancé like that into the suite for home games.

We all saw how former Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren handled the “party boy” ways of Mike Richards and Jeff Carter. Obviously, Hextall is now the General Manager, but I highly doubt that if there was a low tolerance for players partying at fraternities, there’s an even lower tolerance for players with significant others who like to spew vitriol online towards other wives and girlfriends of the spouse’s teammates.

However, if Hoffman decides to wash his hands of Caryk, and try to continue to repair his image with teams across the league, he could become a decent asset to a team looking for a younger forward with 30-goal potential.

Regardless of the outcome, Hoffman’s trade value has taken a substantial hit. Many teams will use that as an advantage, attempting to drive down the Sen’s asking price. Dorion isn’t exactly in a position of power, so he may be forced to take a deal that is less than what he anticipated. The Flyers are in a position of strength, with their two first round picks, multiple later round picks on top of that, and a surplus of young talent that could help the Senators immediately.

The legal process will almost certainly need to play out before Hextall takes a longer look at acquiring Hoffman, but if Hoffman comes out cleaner on the other side, Hextall should at least make a call and gauge what the asking price would be, maybe finagle something a little cheaper like he usually does, and see where it goes. What’s the harm in kicking the tires?

 

Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

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