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Five Questions With...

Five Questions with Mike Hoffman

Panthers forward discusses life in Florida, moving on from Senators

by Mike Zeisberger @Zeisberger / NHL.com Staff Writer

NHL.com's Q&A feature called "Five Questions With …" runs every Tuesday. We talk to key figures in the game and ask them questions to gain insight into their lives, careers and the latest news.

The latest edition features Florida Panthers forward Mike Hoffman.

 

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Mike Hoffman was greeted by 68-degree temperatures when he departed his home for the BB&T Center, where he and the Florida Panthers hosted the San Jose Sharks on Monday.

Back in Ottawa, the only other home the Panthers forward has had in the NHL, it was minus-4 degrees.

"Obviously it doesn't seem like real life sometimes," Hoffman told NHL.com. "You show up to the rink in a t-shirt, and that's pretty cool. I guess [it's just] another example of the perks you get from playing hockey in Florida."

The change seems to have given Hoffman, 29, a new lease on his NHL career. He entered the 6-2 win against the Sharks with 23 goals, six shy of the career-high 29 he scored with the Ottawa Senators in 2015-16.

Hoffman's 17-game point streak (10 goals, 10 assists, 20 points) from Oct. 13-Nov. 23 broke the Panthers record of 13 set by Pavel Bure in 1999-2000. He became the fifth player in NHL history to have a point streak of at least 17 games with a new team, joining Pierre Turgeon and Clint Smith (18), Dany Heatley (22) and Wayne Gretzky (23).

Hoffman, defenseman prospect Cody Donaghey and a fifth-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, were traded by the Senators to the Sharks for forward Mikkel Boedker, defenseman prospect Julius Bergman and a sixth-round pick in 2020 on June 19. About two hours later, Hoffman was traded to the Panthers with a seventh-round pick in 2018 for a fourth-round and a fifth-round pick in 2018 and a second-round pick in 2019.

Video: FLA@MTL: Hoffman uses one hand to beat Niemi

The trades came a week after a report by the Ottawa Citizen claimed Melinda Karlsson, the wife of former Senators captain Erik Karlsson, filed an application for a peace bond against Hoffman's fiancée, Monika Caryk, alleging harassment and cyberbullying that occurred last season and continued after the Karlssons' son, Axel, was stillborn. Hoffman has denied the allegations.

Panthers coach Bob Boughner and his wife went to Waterloo to meet with Hoffman and Caryk after the trade. Boughner was impressed. He still is.

"He's been unbelievable," Boughner said. "You never know if you should believe what you hear, but everything he's said, he's held true to. He's been a team guy as a player, he's having a lot of fun and the guys love having him."

Hoffman recently spoke on a handful of key issues with NHL.com.

Here are Five Questions with … Mike Hoffman:

 

The Senators were the only NHL organization you'd been with before the summer. You were with them for nine years. How long did it take you to get comfortable in Florida?

"I wouldn't say too long. Regardless of the city you are going to, I would say changing organizations, changing teammates, coaches, management are probably the things you need to adapt to the most. Obviously the weather is nice down here, so that wasn't too difficult to adapt to. I'd say it was about a month to get comfortable with the surroundings."

Video: TOR@FLA: Hoffman redirects shot past Sparks

 

Do you ever look back and question why you were traded?

"I like to look ahead. I like it here. You have to look at the big picture sometimes. People sometimes need reasons why they get rid of some players. I would just say that if you go around and ask anyone in that locker room if I was a problem, I think you'll be able to find the answer yourself. I have no regrets about my time in Ottawa.

"(Senators general manager) Pierre Dorion was great to me during my time there. He was very professional when he told me I was traded. There is no ill will."

 

How difficult was it leaving Ottawa and all the white noise that surrounded you there?

"There are things you can't control in life. You can't control what people say. We tried to be up front. We went to the media and said we didn't have anything to do with it, we were there trying to sort things out and help with whatever needed to be done. At the end of the day, we wanted to show that it wasn't us; we wanted to help. At the same time, we wanted to let the [Senators] know we were trying to help."

Video: FLA@CGY: Hoffman opens scoring off turnover

 

You're on pace to have your best goal-scoring season in the NHL. How much can you attribute that to how much the Panthers wanted you?

"For sure it's been great, the support I've received here. Obviously it gives you confidence as a person and a human that they believe you can come in here and play to the top of your abilities and your potential. Like a lot of things, you've got to play with confidence in order to have success. It gives you that extra motivation to play.

"I think everyone enjoys their time playing here. I've found it to be a great organization. The staff, everyone has been first-class. I don't think you'll find anyone complaining about playing down here."

 

There is a stereotype among fans up north that Florida-based players spent a lot of time on the golf course and at the beach. Want to clarify that for us?

(Laughs) … "I've been able to play (golf) a little bit, but the schedule doesn't really afford you a lot of time. You get a round in here and there, but a lot of it has to do with time management. I have a pool at my place and I've only been out there a handful of times. You have to be set and be ready for the games.

"Everything has been great here. It's tough when you've been with an organization for nine seasons, but the transition has been quite seamless."

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