In what promises to be a most unpleasant offseason in Ottawa, Mike Hoffman was always the first domino to fall.
Suspicions, allegations and, quite conceivably, disgusting actions created a toxic environment and dissent within the Senators ranks that grew to be beyond repair. For that reason, and in order for a franchise to begin restoring order and cleaning up its own image, Hoffman had to be removed from the situation. It seems the cost was secondary.
On Thursday, with a little more than 24 hours before spending the No. 4 selection at the NHL Draft, Senators general manager Pierre Dorion addressed the trade precipitated by turmoil between team captain Erik Karlsson, his wife Melinda, and banished forward Mike Hoffman and his fiancee, Monika Caryk.
“Our dressing room was broken,” Dorion said.
“We have to have a dressing room that wants to win together. (The) key components for us moving forward are character, leadership, accountability — and we’re very happy with the return we got on Mike Hoffman.”
Dorion continued, touting the abilities of Mikkel Boedker — the key piece acquired from the San Jose Sharks in return.
“We know with the culture we’re aiming to get that he’s going to fit into that dressing room.”
Justifiably so, the Senators have been criticized for their handling of the Karlsson-Hoffman situation, which was first made public last week when reports surfaced of Melinda Karlsson filing a protection order against Caryk.
For whatever it’s worth, Dorion claimed that it first surfaced on the Senators’ radar as a “rumour” at the end of the season, Sportsnet’s John Shannon reports.
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