It’s not exactly a secret that San Jose Sharks superstar Erik Karlsson and Florida Panthers forward Mike Hoffman aren’t on friendly terms.
You may recall the scandal that broke in the 2018 offseason when it was alleged that while both players were with the Ottawa Senators that Hoffman’s fiancee Monika Caryk had harassed Karlsson’s wife Melinda Karlsson over the course of several months. Caryk was alleged to have planned and executed an elaborate cyber-bullying and online harassment campaign against the Karlssons, which went to a whole new level following the stillborn birth of the Karlsson’s first son Alex in March of 2018.
Since then both Hoffman and Karlsson have been traded and the story had more or less run its course. Until last night…
Karlsson’s Sharks were in Florida to take on Hoffman’s Panthers and things got heated between the two.
Check out this exchange:
Here’s the thing though… Hoffman wanted to take this much, MUCH further.
Check out these comments from Hoffman post-game in which he calls out Karlsson for backing down from a challenge.
“I have been thinking about this game for a long time,” Hoffman said, according to The Athletic’s George Richards. “It is a part of hockey.”
But when Hoffman grabbed Karlsson and challenged him to drop the gloves, Karlsson backed down.
“He actually played tonight and I asked if he wanted to go and obviously he did not,” Hoffman said. “I chased him around for an entire shift, kept asking and asking. He wouldn’t. He kept saying ‘I’m not fighting you.’”
Missed opportunity, in my mind. If these two had dropped the mitts it would have been the story of the season so far. Two former teammates whose wives had such bad blood that they BOTH ended up getting traded. Then they drop the gloves in their first game against each other!? That’s some W Network prime-time soap opera stuff right there. Missed opportunity.