To the surprise of no one who’s been watching the news or keeping up with rumours, the Ottawa Senators traded forward Mike Hoffman, defenceman Cody Donaghey and a fifth-round pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft to the San Jose Sharks for forward Mikkel Boedker, defenceman Julius Bergman and a sixth-round pick in 2020.

“Today’s trade showcases our determination to strengthen the future of the team by improving chemistry, leadership and character in the locker room and on the ice,” said Senators general manager Pierre Dorion. “We are confident it is a step in the right direction for the long-term success of this organization.”

The trade is the latest round in what has been an astonishing run of tabloid-style fodder for the Senators.

Hoffman’s fiancé Monika Caryk was the subject of a peace bond after she allegedly posted hundreds of derogatory messages online pertaining to defenceman Erik Karlsson and his wife Melinda. The situation cast yet another ugly shadow over the organization.

While Hoffman and Caryk denied the allegations and lawyered up to apparently assist the Karlssons in finding the “real” perpetrators of online harassment, the damage was clearly done and something had to give.

The Senators have already struggled to hold on to Karlsson, whether in rumour or reality, and it’s been impossible to shake the feeling that something’s wrong inside this hockey club. The Hoffman/Karlsson saga, while surprising, kind of fits with the soap opera stylings of Dorion’s crew.

But this is, for all intents and purposes, one of those hockey trades and the Senators did alright given the circumstances.

The 28-year-old Boedker had 15 goals and 22 assists for the Sharks in 2017-2018. The Denmark native is the highest-selected player in his country’s history and signed a four-year deal with San Jose in 2016.

“Mikkel Boedker is a competitive, versatile, two-way forward who can play both wings,” said Dorion. “He has a track record of playing his best hockey in the most important games, including the playoffs and internationally. His skill set – in particular his speed – along with his veteran leadership fits with our vision for the team.”

Hoffman had 22 goals and 34 assists for the Senators in 2017-2018. In 342 career NHL games, all with Ottawa, the Kitchener native has 107 goals and 123 assists. He also has 14 points in 22 playoff games.

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